You are here

U of M Harbors a Life Passion

December 9, 2015

Portrait: Blake Nhul

Portrait: Blake Nhul
Photo by Jack Swift, CLAgency student

When asked about his major, a smile easily creeps on senior Blake Nhul’s face, “Happiness, happiness is how I would describe statistics.” If one thing is clear about Blake, it is that he is passionate about data.

However, he didn’t discover his passion right away. Before attending the University of Minnesota, Blake was a psychology major at Anoka Ramsey Community College. As a native of Minnesota, he dreamed of attending the University of Minnesota. After two years at Anoka, he achieved his dream when he transferred to the University to pursue statistics and psychology as a double major.

Blake is a co-founder and advisor for the University’s Statistics Club, where he helps schedule events and professional workshops where students gain skills not readily found in an academic setting. “The Statistics Club helped me share my passion with fellow students. It is very interesting to connect with 30-40 other undergraduate students who are also extremely interested in statistics.”

Off campus, Blake has two internships this fall—opportunities that he found with the help of Dr. Barb Kuzmak, who coordinates the department’s internship program. Seagate Technology, a data storage company, has a developing internship program with the School of Statistics. Blake's internship role there has been to build different models to reduce production time. Blake was also awarded a coveted entrepreneurial-internship grant—funded by statistics alumnus Dr. Lynn Y.S. Lin—for an internship at Key Log Rolling. There, he analyzes data to see what the recreational company can improve on and use that data to find new customers.

Blake credits the experience he’s gaining through internships as something that is critical to maintaining an edge: “All students should have internships. Nothing beats experience in your field.”

Statistics is one of the fastest growing career fields in the country. “The demand for statisticians and analysts is always going to grow,” says Blake. “The beautiful thing about statistics is that it’s used in everything. There will always be a demand for it.”

After graduation, Blake has many options given his multiple internships in the field, dedication to the Statistics Club and mentoring others, as well as his academic excellence. At this point, he is leaning towards a career in data analytics and quality control, but that will probably be the first of many opportunities that come the way of this exceptional undergraduate.

This story was written by an undergraduate student account executive in CLAgency. Meet the team.