Wesleyan and Argus Information and Advisory Services share a strong bond, especially for the 11 Wesleyan grads and interns who currently work here. It is not a coincidence that Michael Heller ’87, the company’s co-founder, and I, who head HR, are Wesleyan grads. The connection resonates with me on many levels. The company name is reminiscent of the student newspaper: Argus refers to the 100-eyed “all-seeing” giant of Greek mythology, and for the past 16 years, Argus Information, which specializes in data analytics, has helped its clients see things in many different ways. More important, though, the company shares a similar intellectual philosophy with Wesleyan.
“The Wesleyan connection definitely was a factor in my choosing to work at Argus,” says Grant Nikols ’13. “Because I was talking to professionals who had been in my shoes just a few years earlier, I was able to ask questions about how a Wesleyan education would translate to Argus and how the company culture compares to Wesleyan.”
Founder Michael Heller says: “The Wes/Argus connection is strong and we intend to keep the pipeline open.” Over the years, Argus has hired more than 40 Wesleyan alumni and has developed an effective recruiting strategy that it recommends highly to other alumni and hiring companies: identify and source Wesleyan students, provide them with continuous training and development to hone their technical and professional skills, and offer continuous growth opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities. In turn, Argus has found a huge upside in hiring Wesleyan students, as they have the intellectual capacity and motivation to handle complex client projects and progress rapidly. “Wesleyan alumni should continue to promote Wesleyan in their companies,” adds Heller. “There is great payout in hiring Wesleyan grads, given their intellectual curiosity and skill set.”
Founded in 1997, Argus maintains the most comprehensive databases for credit card, debit card, and deposit transactions in the world. We enhance our clients’ ability to manage their businesses profitably, positioning them to handle key competitive, regulatory, and economic challenges. Argus was recently acquired by Verisk Analytics, the world’s largest analytics firm.
While a liberal arts graduate may not possess 100 percent of the requisite skills and knowledge upfront for this “big data” company, Argus has found it worthwhile to hire smart Wesleyan students, along with specialized engineering students, and develop their skill sets through summer internships. Adam Watson ’14 says his internship “covered a very broad range of tasks that one would be expected to perform as an analyst at Argus and has prepared me to enter the finance industry after graduation.”
Additionally, retaining these talented Wesleyan graduates requires that Argus offer clearly articulated career paths and promotion opportunities. As we have grown rapidly, this has created tremendous career opportunities for Argus employees. Chenelle Tanglao ’08 says that her Argus career has offered her international work, as well as the opportunity to manage some large clients.
While training, development, and opportunity are key to an individual’s success, Wesleyan alumni here at Argus know that there is another important factor: their Wesleyan education. As Chenelle says, “My Wesleyan education has been key to my success at Argus—you need to be able to think on your feet and learn very quickly. There is and always will be a technical, quantitative aspect to analytics, but it is Wesleyan grads’ natural inclination to learn quickly and think critically that really drives their success here. Wes folks are particularly well-rounded: they are good at completing the actual analysis, deriving implications, and communicating solutions.”
Through each successful Wesleyan hire, Argus has found that its investment in their training and development has paid off exponentially. It is Wes at Work at its finest! —SABRINA ZOOK ’89