Alex Khou

B.S. Business Information Management, 2012

Why did you choose this major?

I knew coming out of high school I wanted to major in a degree that takes into account my passion for technology with my growing interest in business. I chose Business Information Management because it gave me the best of both worlds – technology skills (programming languages such as Java and SQL) and fundamental business concepts (financial accounting, marketing, project management). I did not completely realize this during college, but understanding technology and business helps me to converse with professionals from both areas and help bridge any communication gaps.

What has been your career path since graduating with your B.S.?

After graduating from UCI in 2012, I started my career at a consulting firm named Protiviti as a technology consultant. During my time at Protiviti, I worked with clients from parts of the country such as Oregon, the San Francisco Bay Area, Colorado, and New Jersey. I assisted clients by helping them solve technology-related problems, ranging from recommending process improvements to their security/infrastructure workflows to fixing enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations. As a consultant, I had broad exposure to various industries across the clients I worked with.

In the fall of 2014, I accepted a position as a senior business analyst at Amgen, one of the largest biotechnology companies in the U.S. In this role, I work with IT developers and business professionals (scientists/engineers) to build and deploy applications that improve speed, efficiency, and value of the company’s clinical and commercial process and products.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I enjoy my current role at Amgen because I help recommend solutions (specifically technology solutions) that enable the organization to bring drug products to market faster to serve patients with illnesses. I enjoy the client-facing aspect of the job since a big part of being a business analyst is to identify current business problems and opportunities, identify needs of the business counterparts you’re working with, and documenting those needs in a way developers can implement through a technology system/solution.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

A typical day may include interviewing business professionals (think the scientists and engineers) whose goal is to streamline their drug development processes. Answering emails to follow up with your project team and daily status calls are typical in a day’s work.

What was the best part of your experience at UCI?

I believe the best part was the freedom and choice to participate in activities and organizations that interested me. I made life-long friends through my time in organizations such as Lambda Phi Nu and the Accounting Association. I also enjoyed those days in school in which I didn’t have classes and was able to sleep in!

In what way(s) did your studies at UCI prepare you for your career to date?

Business Information Management provided me fundamental skills that carried over to my career. The ICS classes provided me a solid understanding of programming languages and relational databases, which helps to understand and communicate with developers. The management courses I took provided me with a “big picture” understanding of how and why companies operate.

What would be your advice to incoming students who might want to follow a similar career path?

My advice to incoming students is to reach out to alumni (more often than not, we’d love to provide our wisdom!), become involved with campus organizations, intern at companies you’re interested in (you’ll find out if the industry or career you’re interested is right for you), and make sure to have some fun!


“Understanding technology and business helps me to converse with professionals from both areas and help bridge any communication gaps.”