My Name is Kambiz “Kam” Zardouzian and I am privileged to have graduated from Rady’s inaugural MSBA class in 2017, which was my second master’s degree. I have also earned an MBA from the University of San Diego. I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my career having been involved with a number of technology startups, and have also worked for more established companies such as WD-40, Electronic Data Systems and more. I co-founded Analytica Data Company (ADC) with my fellow student Christopher Armstrong while we were students in the MSBA program. We provide scalable data analytics services to progressive organizations across a number of industries including retail, cyber security, marketing, manufacturing, healthcare and bio-environmental sciences. Taking a lesson from Silicon Valley startups such as Apple, Google and Facebook, Chris and I recently moved into a house in North San Diego that serves as our headquarters. We currently have two paying clients and are working hard to scale our bootstrap startup. Having support from everyone at the Rady School of Management means the world to us as we compete in a hyper-growth industry.
1) What impact has Rady had on your career progression?
The MSBA program has brought relevancy to my expertise. I believe, wholeheartedly, that my 20-plus years of industry experience is packaged more valuably with my MSBA degree from Rady. There is no door that I can’t open with my new-found knowledge and I owe this fresh start to the MSBA program.
2) Has your Rady MSBA enabled you to change industries or functional areas or even achieve a promotion?
I’ve had several job offers but as I mentioned I am more of an entrepreneur. So, while I am repeating the startup organizations skills I already possessed, my MSBA degree has opened a lot more doors for me, helping me engage organizations and individuals whom I may not have access to in the past. It was time for me to reignite my knowledge and reinvent myself by becoming more relevant with today’s business trends and the MSBA program has provided the opportunity for me to engage in discussions to solve impactful challenges facing our world today.
3) What event or realization served as a ‘turning point’ for during your Rady School and/or professional career?
Chris and I were waiting on Professor Nijs to start a tutorial session for his customer analytics class about half way through the quarter. We had learned enough about the potentials of data analytics to engage in conversations on where and how we would apply our newfound skills post-graduation. It was during that conversation and the brainstorming of what we could do that Chris and I came to realize that consulting engagements would offer us the best opportunity to sample the world of data analytics from which Analytica Data Company is launched from.
4) Tell us a fun fact about you, or something people may not know about you.
I was introduced to the Rady MSBA program by MBA Alumni Rady Chung, with whom I practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. During a training session in early 2016, Brady told me about Rady’s new MSBA program and brought me to school to meet Professor Nijs. I sat in on his diet customer analytics class for MBA students (diet because he toned it up for the MSBA cohort!) and I found the subject fascinating. I applied and was accepted from the more than 450 applicants, for which I am truly grateful for because I was on my way to law school and, well, I don’t think the world needs another attorney! Also, Lei Cong and I teamed up with two MBA students (Juliana Brasil and Sabrina Qutb) from Rady to take fourth at last year’s NetImpact business competition. And finally, I am a former collegiate tennis player, accomplished former triathlon and cycling racer, current Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, as well as standup and regular surfer!
5) What was your favorite class and why?
This is a tough question to answer because I appreciated all the classes because they built off one another. However, if I had to choose one, it would be Professor Balac’s Big Data class followed closely by Professor Coggeshall’s Fraud Analytics class. I choose these two classes for their practical application as I am currently using some of the code we wrote for class assignments in real life.
6) What is the most memorable moment from your Rady School experience?
The most memorable moment was when the bobble head doll of Professors Nijs and August that I had made arrived 3 months before graduation. I waited patiently during that time to finally present them with their dolls on behalf of our cohort. That and our Nice Decision Tree T-shirts that we had made after the first quarter.
7) How have you applied your studies to your career?
Absolutely … without question! Chris and I are working with a couple of clients for whom we leveraged some of the code we developed during the program. I can’t stress enough for students to keep all their work in a well-organized fashion for this very reason. This becomes even more important as students graduate and are removed from the daily opportunity to practice their knowledge — use it or lose it becomes relevant quickly.