Laura works as a consultant for Deloitte and Touche working on problems in the Life Sciences and Health Care Regulatory sector. She has had this job since finishing her Master’s degree in Biostatistics at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Heath in May 2006.
Laura does programming with the statistics program SAS to do the initial data processing on various projects. Recently she worked on a Medicaid audit, which required going through all hospital admittance records and running queries to investigate patient eligibility. In another type of project the company works to come up with better pricing strategies for health care providers. Laura is involved in analyzing prices of the items and services used by the provider, as well as their own financial data. This information is used to determine how different scenarios will impact their gross and net revenues.
Laura graduated from GVSU with a major in math and a minor in chemistry before her graduate work at UofM. Although a Master’s degree was not required for her job, it was during that program that she learned the SAS program, and also worked at a Graduate Student Instructor, which required teaching other students about SAS! Laura did an internship during the summer before beginning her current position at Deloitte, and she was recruited for the job by someone who saw her resume on the School of Public Heath website and thought she would fit their needs.
Laura encourages students to “just be open to learning new things all the time.” She has learned so much about health care and consulting since being on the job. Laura points out that when starting your job your degree is not the most important thing anymore, but that being a math major gives you the problem solving skills to tackle almost anything. She tells students not to take the easy way out – be ambitious and absorb whatever you can, rather than just trying to fulfill degree requirements. Laura says some of her most useful classes were actually ones that she chose as electives. When starting a new job Laura advises, “Be prepared to be overwhelmed, and just hang in there”.