András Szép ’19 BSBA (MIS) has been an Apple fan since he was young. “I had an iPhone and wanted to write apps for it,” he says. Years later, his journey has come full circle. After obtaining degrees from the University of Arizona and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he currently works for the same company he’s always been passionate about: Apple.
Szép grew up in Budapest, Hungary, where he cultivated an interest in technology. At age 11, he began learning how to code and went on to build multiple apps, including a bookstore for Hungarian books and a tool for visually impaired individuals. These experiences—and seeing how the apps impacted people’s lives—fostered his excitement for IT.
For his senior year of high school, Szép and his twin brother Márton relocated to the United States. When it came time to select a university, they decided to move to Tucson, due in part to the Eller College of Management’s highly ranked MIS program. Plus, their parents spent two years in Arizona and spoke highly of the state.
The twins both double majored in MIS and physics. “It’s a very unusual combination,” says Szép. “For me it made sense.” After all, he was interested in coding and the business side of technology as well as conducting research.
In fact, he applied his enthusiasm for research to the MIS field by working on projects with various professors. With Matt Hashim, associate professor of MIS, his analysis of how bots impacted the 2016 presidential election was nominated for Best Paper at WITS 2019. His research with Gondy Leroy, professor of MIS and associate dean for research, examined simplifying medical texts to help patients better understand information.
During his time at the University of Arizona, Szép also joined various extracurriculars, such as the Eller Student Council and Delta Sigma Pi.
After earning his bachelor’s, he pursued a master’s degree in business analytics from MIT. The choice to apply was largely motivated by the research he did as an undergraduate and seeing how data-focused projects could impact people’s lives.
“MIT was always a dream school,” he says. “I was fortunate to get in.”
The program was challenging, but Szép enjoyed sharpening his hard and soft skills, getting to know the students in his class and working with a company on a capstone project.
“The machine learning skills were very valuable,” he says. “It was equally valuable to learn how to apply those in a real-life setting.”
He completed his degree in 2020 and now resides in Austin, Texas, where he works as a data scientist at Apple.
Reflecting on his time at Eller, he appreciates the opportunities he had to grow and figure out his next steps. “The University of Arizona has such a good support system in terms of faculty and student organizations,” Szép concludes.