Student Spotlight: Amanda Pratt
September 12, 2022
Meet Amanda Pratt
Incoming PhD student
WHERE I LIVED PRIOR TO STANFORD
University of California, Berkeley
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
DEGREES & MAJORS
Master of Business Administration
Master of Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Bachelor of Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Academic and work experience
Prior to Stanford, I worked for 5 years at Keystone Strategy, a technology and strategy consulting firm that deals with questions around digital transformation and frequently collaborates with academics in management and technology. As part of this experience, I got very interested in the process of change that organizations go through as they begin to employ machine learning and data science. My observations were that the largest hurdle for organizations to overcome in their digital transformation journeys was surprisingly not one about technology systems, data, or skills, but one about organizational readiness and process change. As such, I am pursuing a PhD in order to conduct research and become an expert the intersection of technological shifts and organizational change, in the hopes that we can better inform managers who are on this journey themselves.
Impact I hope to have in my field and the world
When we think about data science, machine learning, and other ‘digital’ companies, we often think of the big names in Tech. But by some estimates, Tech only makes up 10% of the US economy by GDP—less than manufacturing! While Big Tech will often be the scions of technological change, all companies can benefit from systematic (and ethical) collection and use of data in order to improve their products and processes. Many companies recognize the promise of data, but realizing this promise can be more elusive. I hope to contribute to a better understanding of how to facilitate technology change and adoption and provide practitioners with information that will enable successful transformations.
Interests and hobbies
My husband and I love to travel; most recently we have been to Italy, Jordan, and Egypt. During the pandemic when travel was more difficult, I found myself nurturing a number of house plants, which has become a significant pastime. I also like to get outside, whether it’s going for a run, walk, or cycling. Plus, getting outside helps to justify my interest in good food and wine—two interests that make us very glad to be back in California!