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Josh Doran

Josh Doran, Clemson MBA AlumnusMBA Corporate, Class of ’16

Data Scientist, VisioStack

By Madison Hudgins

Josh Doran is currently a Data Scientist at VisioStack, a Greenville-based company that provides data management and business intelligence services for the transportation industry. VisioStack recently landed a major Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the development of AXIS, a drone-based inspection system that will improve traffic safety at all U.S. highway-rail crossings. The DOT’s goal for this project is to create a more efficient system that can inspect crossings quickly and accurately, leading to maintenance which will help to reduce incidents.

“Thousands of incidents occur at these crossings each year, often the result of hazardous conditions,” said Josh. “The AXIS system uses variables such as the change in grade at the crossing, line of sight, and warning signs to assign a risk profile to each crossing, leading to maintenance which will help to reduce incidents.”

Josh enjoys the challenge of learning new skills and has spent much of his time at VisioStack developing his coding proficiency and finding new ways to grow the business. “You don’t always notice measurable improvements on a daily basis,” said Josh, “but over time, the result of hard work is very rewarding.” 

During Josh’s time at Clemson he played on the men’s soccer team, where he learned valuable lessons about putting in effort every day to achieve long-term goals. When he is not working on revolutionary ways to improve public safety, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching and playing sports, traveling, eating great food and woodworking. Josh continues to keep the ball rolling and we can't wait to see what this Clemson Tiger does next!

How did your Clemson MBA experience shape your career path?
The MBA program gave me valuable insight into various industries and career paths while also opening entirely new options for me with my career choice. Each class and every speaker helped me narrow my focus toward what career I wanted long-term. Rather than focusing on a single discipline, I found that I enjoyed applying concepts from each of my classes. My passion for business growth and entrepreneurship became clearer during my time in the MBA program.
Further, the relationships that I built during my time in the program made it an easy choice when I was offered a job that required a move back to Greenville from Charlotte. The business community in Greenville is outstanding and is the type of place in which I hope to work for a long time.

What is your favorite Clemson MBA memory?
My favorite memory is the study abroad course I took called Global Business Transactions. During the semester we studied various aspects of international business, including mergers & acquisitions, business law and intellectual property rights. The highlight was a weeklong trip to Europe, visiting three branches of a large European law firm. In each city we met with partners in the firm who presented incredibly valuable information and spent time answering our questions regarding international business relations and execution. It’s a trip I won’t forget.

What piece of advice would you give to our current/future students?
While you are in the program, take advantage of as many opportunities you can, whether that’s being part of the MBA Student Association executive team, listening to speakers or taking part in interview sessions. There is so much that can be learned from others even if you don’t think you’ll follow their career path. Many of the lessons and practices applied in business are similar across industries, regardless of the specific skillsets applied in those jobs.
Another piece of advice is not to be too focused on finding your dream job or the perfect work situation so early in your career. Chances are your true dream job may change as you gain more work experience. There is so much that can be learned from any company you work for and the situation you are currently in. You’ll always be able to learn from and take those experiences with you, which will prepare you for your next step.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
I consider playing on the men’s soccer team at Clemson a very big achievement for me. I first visited Clemson before my senior year of high school and instantly fell in love with the university. I was considering kicking for the football team, but soccer has always been the sport I’ve loved most. After my first visit, I did everything I possibly could to earn a spot on the team, and I am thankful for the time I had playing there.
During my career, I would consider winning the U.S. DOT research grant for AXIS as my greatest accomplishment. We are the first company from South Carolina in 23 years to earn an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant from the U.S. DOT, and I’m very excited about the work our team is doing at VisioStack. This project aligns well with our current offerings but may also open doors for us to expand our services in the future. Our existing platform and system architecture will be leveraged to help ensure the success of this project, which will not only provide an innovative solution but will also help improve safety everywhere AXIS is used.

Favorite Quote:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 
- Joshua 1:9