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Irene Poh
Senior Business Analyst, Procter and Gamble

PohName: Irene Poh
Senior Business Analyst
Company: Procter and Gamble
Age: 28

Bachelor’s degree in policy analysis and management, Cornell University
Master’s degree in research and industrial engineering, Cornell University
MBA, University of Chicago

Like most undergraduates, Irene Poh wasn’t sure what she wanted to be “when she grew up.” One thing she did know, however, was that she was a “quant at heart.” Quantitative subjects such as mathematics and statistics spoke to her. Poh felt strongly that her career would draw upon her passion for analysis.

Today, at age 28, she is a senior business analyst for Procter and Gamble, providing advisory and consulting services to P&G hair-care marketing teams across North America.

“I work with the various business leaders to provide strategic and tactical recommendations on how to solve some of their highest-priority business problems,” Poh explains. “My prior roles at P&G have included global supply-chain consulting, which was more pure operations research and industrial engineering work; I also was a manager at one of P&G’s largest warehousing operations in the world.”

Not bad for a woman who has yet to stick 30 candles in her birthday cake.

Poh attributes her solid footing in both qualitative and quantitative skills to her bachelor’s degree in policy analysis and management and her master’s degree in research and industrial engineering from Cornell University.

“Both degrees are about solving difficult programs and influencing decision makers and/or policy makers at critical moments,” says Poh, who says her master’s degree also helped her command a higher starting salary when P&G hired her straight out of school.

Three years into her career, however, Poh decided she needed more schooling, and a master’s degree in business administration seemed to fit the bill.

“The business world is competitive, and education is an asset that nobody can ever take away from you,” Poh says. “The University of Chicago is a very analytical program, with strengths in finance and economics. These were areas that supplemented my work in P&G’s business analytics organization; I felt that I could benefit from the formal training in finance and business strategy.”