New Website Shows Possibilities for Careers in Mathematics
While mathematicians may sometimes by driven by the abstract beauty of their subject, the reality is that once our students graduate, they need to find a job! At some point nearly all math majors ask themselves, "What can I do with this degree?" Well, the American Mathematical Society (AMS) is helping answer that question. The AMS has started the Early Career Profile Network, which includes anecdotal data about the careers of math majors who have graduated within the last 6 years. Grand Valley is proud to be participating in this project, and you can view our most recent profiles here. If you know someone who we might like to include on this site, let us know!
One of the students currently profiled on the site is Laura Roede, who graduated with a math major and chemistry minor in 2004. After her time at GVSU, Laura did a Master's degree in Biostatistics at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. This led to her current job as a consultant for Deloitte and Touche, where she works on problems in the Life Sciences and Health Care Regulatory sector. Laura was actually recruited for the job by someone who saw her resume on the School of Public Health website and thought she would fit their needs!
Much of Laura's work involves statistics programming with SAS, which she learned as a graduate student. She has worked on a Medicaid audit, which required going through all hospital admittance records and running queries to investigate patient eligibility. In another project, Laura was involved in analyzing financial data to help health care providers come up with better pricing strategies.
Laura was always enthusiastic about her education, and she encourages students to "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."