Sorting Out the Future: Statistics Success
Senior Taylor Aldridge says every academic experience and internship she has had has been about learning: gaining a skill, getting a unique experience, or making a few connections along the way. “With each one of my internships I’ve always tried to learn one more thing that I didn’t know,” she says.
Aldridge started as a biology major, but was swayed to change her major to statistics by an excellent teacher, Audbjorg Bjornsdottir. She was fascinated by the applied side of the field. “I’m a very applied person, I think that’s why I’ve enjoyed all my internships so much.”
Throughout her academic career Aldridge has managed to not only gain invaluable professional experience in internships, but has also already secured a position after graduation as a technical analysis consultant for BoomLab, a consulting firm based in Minneapolis. “For me, I like the opportunity to keep growing and keep switching, and the position offered that.”
Aldridge participated in internships at Kohl’s and the Minnesota Center for Homicide Research. At Kohl’s, she worked on creating a user interface for the product data management team. She designed the interface to show where their merchant ordering system failed using data visualization software called Tibco Spotfire. She also wrote a how-to document on Spotfire for Kohl’s business and programming analysts.
In her time working for the Minnesota Center for Homicide Research, Aldridge worked on a data analysis team looking at certain cases and categorizing them for different databases. For example, she would look at cases with mysopeds, killers who target and sexually assault children, and categorize them based on various factors. “I learned the importance of attention to detail, consistency, organization, and so much more working for the state.”
Aldridge’s internship experiences gave her a competitive edge in landing her position with Boom Lab. “To stay relevant you have to understand the tools that are being used in statistics. You have to be a multifaceted person, that’s how you stay ahead,” she says. “I looked for internships that I could work hard at, be passionate about, and have a drive for what I was doing.”
As the vice president of the Undergraduate Statistics Club, she recalls helping a fellow student who was having troubles with interviews for internships. Aldridge sat down with her and helped her improve her interviewing skills, in the long run she ended up landing a position.
In her time at the University, she has been an active member of the statistics community, including her leadership position in the Undergraduate Statistics Club and as a survey research technician for the Office of Information Technology. Aldridge credits the faculty and her fellow students for creating an open and helpful community. “Through all of my experiences I was constantly growing, always bettering myself, and I think that’s what employers look for.”