When the Milwaukee Bucks finished their 2020 season as NBA champs, School of Informatics and Computing graduate Gabriel Wachowski was there courtside to celebrate. Although her “assists” are more behind the scenes—doing data modeling, for example—she is a valuable member of the Bucks organization and contributor to their success.
Wachowski is a Research and Innovation Analyst for the Bucks, where she mostly focuses on scouting. She says she has learned a lot from working with NBA scouts, some of whom have been in basketball longer than she’s been alive. Her intention is to continue working her way up in the organization, maybe pivoting to other sports, and she wants to help pave the way for more women to feel welcome. To that end, she has been involved in the NBA’s program to expand diversity in the league.
Before applying to the Bucks, Wachowski was regularly checking team job pages. She also found a connection on LinkedIn and reached out to her now boss to inquire more about the position. Her past internship with the Indiana Pacers and class experience with the Indy Eleven also prepared her for working in the sports field.
“My class with Dr. Pierce was another great one because we worked closely with the Indy Eleven USL soccer team and got to gain more experience working with people in sports,” she said. Proximity to Indianapolis was one of the main reasons she chose the Applied Data Science Sports Analytics master’s program at IUPUI.
In particular, Wachowski says she benefited from her database-focused courses because the department she now works in with the Bucks is brand new and building out their data infrastructure.
“Overall, the job has been absolutely incredible. I definitely feel like having my master’s was extremely important to being ready for the job that I have. My classes at IUPUI and my internship were both instrumental to where I am today,” Wachowski said.