Statistics Career Day 2011 was a success. There were 268 participants from area high schools, colleges, universities, and businesses.
There were 19 exhibitor tables for the morning career fair, and 12 speakers for the keynote and afternoon sessions.
The purpose of the event was to inform students about various career opportunities that use statistical methods. The focus was on a career fair, rather than a job fair, in order to attract high school students and entry level undergraduate students. Many attendees asked questions about the types of jobs that are available for a student that graduates with a statistics degree. This event helped answer those questions.
More than 250 people participated, including working professionals, high school and college students. These students were able to talk to representatives from 15 institutions and hear presentations from 12 speakers.
The keynote address, delivered by Dr. Nancy L. Geller, focused on the events that led to her becoming a biostatistician. Dr. Geller traced her life and career path for the audience, allowing the audience to learn from her experience. She gave some interesting details about some important studies she has worked on, including the large randomized clinical trial of estrogen and progestin in healthy postmenopausal women (part of the Women's Health Initiative) which was stopped early when researchers found that women who took the hormones had an increased risk of developing breast cancer and heart disease.
The concurrent break-out sessions were held in six rooms. The presentations addressed a variety of topics including the current and future job market, salary levels (from entry to senior level), how they got into their current position, educational background needed, his or her daily life, including work environment, and the best way to pursue such a career in the speaker’s field. A brief Q&A session was held at the end of each talk. Some specifics on the invited speakers and a brief description of the talks follow.
Nancy Brucken, Principal Statistical Programmer, and Corina Sirbu, Principal Biostatistician, both of PharmaNet/i3, talked about Using your Statistics Degree in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Steve Denham, Associate Director of Biostatistics and Information Services at MPI Research, gave a presentation called Advancing the Statistical Analysis of Pre-Clinical Studies.
Kyle Furge, Assistant Professor at the Center for Cancer Genomics and Computational Biology at the Van Andel Institute spoke on Applied Biomedical Computational Biology.
Brian Hartl, Epidemiology Supervisor at Kent County Health Department, discussed Public Health Epidemiology.
Doug Heilman, Product Manager at Farmers Insurance, gave a talk titled Statistics in Insurance: Beyond Actuarial.
John Quiring, President and CEO of QST Consultations, spoke about Statistics in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Ann Penix, Clinical Biostatistician at Innovative Analytics, discussed Life as a Phase I Clinical Trial Statistician.
Megan Riksen, Assistant Director of Career Services at GVSU, gave advice concerning Strategies for Finding Your Career in Statistics.
Rob Lievense, Lead Production Engineer at Perrigo, talked about Applied Statistics in Drug Formulation and Processing Development.
Justin Sjogren, Clinical Biostatistician/Programmer at MMS Holdings, presented on Statistics and SAS Programming in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Clark Smothers, Associate Director/Head of Biometrics at Pfizer Animal Health, discussed Opportunities for Statisticians in the Animal Health and Biological Fields.
Nineteen institutions participated in the Career Fair portion of the conference. The exhibitors included Farmers Insurance, Perrigo, Pfizer Animal Health, Meijer, Van Andel Institute, Bryant's Healthcare Solutions, Experis, Kent Co. Health Dept., MMS Holdings, QST Consultations, Auto-Owners Insurance, Community Research Institute at Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Innovative Analytics and Priority Health.
Two graduate programs were represented in the Career Fair. The programs included the GVSU Biostatistics Professional Science Masters, and the Western Michigan University Statistics Department.
There were also tables displaying information about the American Statistical Association (ASA), GVSU Math & Stats Club, Mu Sigma Rho, and Career Services.
The GVSU Department of Statistics, GVSU Office of the Provost, CLAS Dean’s Office, Southwest Michigan Chapter of the ASA, GVSU Career Services, GVSU Math & Stats Club, and the Western Michigan University Department of Statistics.