From barista to analyst, BCIT Computing grad now sees infinite potential

Despite a somewhat rocky start in post-secondary education, Computer Systems Technology (CST) Diploma grad Stuart Budd is now a lifelong learner.

After completing much of a Bachelor of Science at the University of Victoria, Stuart took time off working as a barista at Starbucks. His natural talent and people skills propelled him into store management. It took a number of years for him to decide to try post-secondary studies a second time.

He found his niche in CST, where he enjoyed the approach to learning. “I have always enjoyed BCIT’s education style: the intimate setting, the focus on practical skills, and being job ready when we graduate,” explains Stuart. Beyond the classroom, he became involved in student council and clubs, and even met his future wife.

Now Stuart finds himself in the role of Intermediate Business Analyst at Agreement Express, which he describes as “a fin-tech company that never stops.”

Career combines technical analysis with interpersonal communication

His role uses a range of his skills, including the people skills he honed at the coffee bar: “My education is that of a software developer, but if you ask my colleagues they’ll say my mouth writes better code then my hands.”

“However, without my technical knowledge, I would not be able to bridge the gap between an engineer and a customer. BCIT provided me that understanding.” He spends his days helping clients find the right technical solutions to meet their evolving financial needs.

Working at the leading edge of financial technology, Stuart’s curiosity about the potential of the data flood around us has brought him back to BCIT to Computing Part-time Studies. He’s now completing the part time Certificate in Applied Data Analytics (ADAC).

“They say ‘data is the new oil.’ I disagree, as oil has a finite amount. Data is the new internet, the amount of data we have is only limited by input.” – Stuart Budd, CST graduate and ADAC student

It’s the BCIT style he knows and enjoys. “Through the hands-on exercises and engagement-driven learning I find retention of my studying is exceptional.”

The need to analyze data is growing

“I get asked all the time how data science could be used in my industry,” says Stuart. “Every input/output in any system is data. So opening a bank account is no different that playing a video game, only the goal now isn’t fun but to gain wealth.” He’s fascinated by the data modelling possibilities that exist in his sector, and so many others.

“The need to analyze and mine data will only grow as we gain more and more. They say ‘data is the new oil.’ I disagree, as oil has a finite amount,” Stuart counters. “Data is the new internet, the amount of data we have is only limited by input.”

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Photo: Stuart also recently began the applied role of Dad.

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