Full Sail University

How A Business Intelligence Grad Helps Verizon Execs Make Data-Driven Decisions

Will Torres uses his skills in data analysis to help Verizon executives pick smart strategies.

Will Torres wears a gray pinstriped suit with a red tie, a red carnation on the lapel, and sunglasses.

Making responsible decisions at an executive level isn’t easy: A hasty choice or a poorly selected strategy can create a ripple effect of consequences for employees, stakeholders, and consumers. Data about a company, its products, and the industry at large can help executives avoid mishaps, but they’ve got to have people on their team who know how to use that data to recommend solutions. Will Torres, a graduate of Full Sail’s Business Intelligence master’s program, is bringing data-based solutions to Verizon executives as a Finance Portfolio and Program Manager.

Will grew up in Chicago and Puerto Rico and moved to Florida after he got married. He started working in sales at Bank of America and worked his way up to a position as a Payment Web Implementation Project Manager as he earned degrees in accounting and business, as well as a Six Sigma Black Belt certification. He decided he wanted to earn an advanced business degree that focused on statistics, so he signed up for Full Sail’s Business Intelligence master’s degree in 2013.

Full Sail’s program gave Will the background in statistics and data he needed to advance his career. He learned how to pull numbers and give data-driven presentations to executives to help them make the best decisions for a company’s bottom line. Will especially liked the program’s focus on business solutions.

“One of the good classes that we had was about solution management. [It taught us] how to provide the best business intelligence solutions by gathering the information that we need to share with the team and how to work with data rather than just by gut feeling,” Will remembers.

After he graduated, Will became a Program and Project Management Consultant with Verizon and was promoted to his current role a year later. As a Finance Portfolio and Program Manager, Will analyzes pertinent data to help Verizon’s business executives make smart decisions. Strategy is at the core of what he does every day.

“In the mornings, I talk to VPs about goals and how to prioritize and strategize to meet our targets. Then I’m doing presentations for executives, presenting them with statuses, then managing some teams and questions about, ‘Hey, how do we get this product approved? How do we get funding for this? How do we [fix an issue] so that we’re not legally or financially at risk?’” Will explains. “Then we look at business cases and create presentations about how we can market things. At the end of the day, we’re giving product notes and documenting everything. The next day, we’re back at it again.”

Will loves working collaboratively to present his team’s data findings, but his next goal is to make it to a Senior Manager or Director position where he can make decisions about the data and direct the strategies of his choosing. For now, he’s continuing to learn as much as he can about the intersection of data and business.

“You need to learn, learn, learn, and learn every day,” he says. “That’s the most important thing to know for anyone in this career — there’s constant change, and change is inevitable.”