Paige Turley

Paige Turley

Paige Turley ’22 encourages anyone to do things even if you are scared. That’s how she landed a role as a White Sox Senior Business Analyst after a Marketing Analytics internship in Florence, Italy.

She accredits her time as a finance and data science double major for helping her navigate the professional world of finance and data analytics. Turley’s experience at the College of Charleston is unforgettable and has immensely helped her in her professional career.

She reflects in an interview about the most rewarding parts of the college experience, and what her life is like now.

What class in finance or data analytics has prepared you the most for life post-graduation?

Three classes immediately come to mind. The first is Professor Lancie Affonso’s course where he had us practice networking and emphasized on focusing on our goals. He had us come up with a ‘BHAG’ (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal) which is the concept that if you could imagine doing anything, what would you do? From this, I landed on the fact that I really wanted to be a leader in data and analytics in the sports industry. This spark gave me momentum to pursue the career path that I am currently in.

The second class is Professor James Malm’s Excel class. I use skills that he taught us in that class in my current position every day.

Thirdly, a DSCI class taught by Professor Gioconda Quesada where we learned data visualizations tools such as Tableau. Knowing this software gave me a step ahead in interviewing processes and made the initial start of my role much easier since I had experience in a tool that I now use daily.

Is there anything you have learned while in college that has stuck with you throughout your professional career?

I have to give a major shoutout to Lancie Affonso. I had an Honors course with him senior year where he emphasized the value of connecting with others who inspired you. Learning this and practicing it is what led me to this job and is something that I still practice daily. I’ve made a continuous effort to make new connections through networking and industry groups. This effort has resulted in meeting some really awesome people.

One example of this that comes to mind is a Women in Sports and Entertainment group I joined. This group introduced me to my current mentor who has been a continuous support in my career. Another one is being accepted into a program run by the NBA called “NBA Future Analytics Stars” where I had the opportunity to connect and learn from really talented leaders in the NBA.

What made you want to pursue a career in finance? 

From a very young age I knew I liked math, numbers and statistics, so I decided to major in finance in college. A mentor of mine suggested I try out some data science classes, which I ended up really enjoying, more so than finance. I saw a lot of career opportunities with data and analytics that interested me, so I took it on as a minor. I thought I was going to go down the typical finance career path, however, when looking into potential career opportunities I liked the variety that business analytics provided. Now, I am able to combine my technical skills with personal interests and passions.

How has your perspective of a finance/business career changed since entering into the workforce?

I think in college I thought that these careers were very narrow and there was really only one path I could take. Now, I’ve seen in my role how business analytics can be beneficial to so many areas of an organization and that there are many different paths you can take with these careers.

How did you end up working for the White Sox Team?

I had a sports marketing internship at the College that showed me what working in sports was all about. Once I knew that this was something I was interested in long term, I looked for jobs in sports where I could also utilize the technical skills that I learned as a finance and data science student at College of Charleston.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job as a White Sox Business Analyst?

The most challenging aspects of my job, but also the most rewarding, is figuring out solutions that make sense for multiple parties and presenting data in a way that appeals to different groups. Sometimes I can be deep in the weeds of the data, and I have to make sure that I take a second to peel back to a larger perspective of why these matter to various audiences. It’s an ongoing learning experience that I now find fun.

Any advice for women pursuing a career in finance? 

  1. Don’t be afraid to speak up and use your voice. You are in the room for a reason.
  2. Be curious and always have a goal of continuous learning. Reach out to people who inspire you or you are just curious about. Especially early in your career, there is always more to learn.
  3. Create relationships with those who you feel supported by. Whenever times are tough, having a network of people who you can reach out to for guidance is crucial.
  4. Kindness, empathy, and emotional intelligence go a long way.