University of Michigan, BSE Industrial and Operations Engineering, 2016
University of Michigan, MSE Industrial and Operations Engineering, 2017
I began as a Data Scientist at Amazon in 2017. The most important classes to succeed in that role were IOE X6X (statistics) and IOE X7X (data/simulation). Data Scientists are considered “generalists”, and I was tasked with projects relating to statistical analysis, data pipeline automation, and dashboarding and visualization, among others. When I wanted to specialize (in optimization), I switched roles to Research Scientist – which allows me to work on larger-scale projects in a specialized field. I am now working on building models and putting them in production. My time as a Data Scientist has proved extremely helpful, since I am familiar with all the CS developer tools and skills required to do this successfully.
How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?
In general, research positions require you to have a PhD or Masters degree. I had peers who were interested in research positions but were not considered since they did not have an advanced degree beyond a bachelors. Specifically, my degree in IOE put me in a great spot for working in Amazon Operations.
Advice to Students
I would recommend that every student join a student org or community that gives you something beyond what classes offer. I think the bulk of my maturity as a professional came from working in student orgs. I was most heavily involved in BLUElab (specifically, Woven Wind). Working with and leading the team threw me into a full-time position running a non-profit, with the CoE’s full support when I needed it (managing PR, legal considerations, tech reviewers, and so much more). I also found that to be the easiest way to make friends and build a network.