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RECENT GRADS

Alexandra Saldan, '16, Quality Analyst, Vantiv

Why did you apply to MMSS?
MMSS first caught my attention because it was so rooted in the real world. When I was considering applying I browsed the thesis library on the website and saw how broadly I could apply what I learned -- people had analyzed data on every topic under the sun. I wanted to be able to use data from the real world to answer questions and make discoveries. That was probably the biggest factor in my decision to apply.

How has MMSS prepared you for graduation?
Interestingly, the thesis projects that drove me to apply to MMSS in the first place ended up being instrumental in my job search. Nobody had to wonder whether I could take what I learned in the classroom and apply it in the world, because I already had done so in my thesis.

What have you enjoyed most about MMSS?
One thing I came to really appreciate about MMSS was the small size of the program. I never felt like just another face in a sea of students, and I was able to get to know all of my classmates. I feel like the program responds to the students as well; in my case I had a non-traditional major pairing (MMSS and linguistics) and Professor Ely took the initiative to support students like me.

Rachel Boroditsky, `16 Business Analyst, Mckinsey & Company

Why did you apply to MMSS?
There were 2 main reasons I applied to the program. The first reason was purely academic. I wanted to take classes that demonstrated how to apply mathematical modeling to different social questions. I considered double majoring in mathematics and economics, but I realized I would miss out on many applied math concepts since the upper level courses in both majors are highly theory based. However, the MMSS classes fit my interests perfectly. The second reason was community based. The MMSS community is known for being close and there are many opportunities and resources within the community.

How has MMSS prepared you for graduation?
Freshman year I took multi-variable calculus and an economics class and for me, the coolest part of my coursework was seeing how I could use mathematical modeling to explain different social phenomena around me. In addition to explaining core economics questions, math could be used to help model anything from election outcomes to the likelihood of war between two countries to the psychology behind choosing a university to attend.

What have you enjoyed most about MMSS?
I enjoyed the classes most about MMSS. Not only are they challenging, but they force you to think critically about the world around you and how you can use the skill set you learn in MMSS to make an impact. I've also enjoyed being a part of the MMSS community. If you need advice on anything from job recruitment to course selection, you can always reach out to MMSS students, alumni, or staff for support and they are incredibly willing to help. These are the two components of the MMSS program that I appreciated the most.

Jeffrey Hong, '16, Business Intelligence Analyst, Wayfair

Why did you apply to MMSS?
While reading articles from places like FiveThirtyEight, I was curious about the current problems in various disciplines like economics and political science, and how math and statistics could be used to understand and address those problems.

How has MMSS prepared you for graduation?
My MMSS experience has been nothing short of fantastic. All the classes in the MMSS program are very challenging but interesting, and the professors are very accessible and willing to help answer any questions.

What have you enjoyed most about MMSS?
My fellow classmates have become some of my best friends at Northwestern. From the quarterly dinners to working on the senior thesis, my interactions with the MMSS family greatly enriched my experience. For anyone thinking of applying to MMSS or entering the MMSS program, I would definitely suggest interacting with students and professors as much as possible. Everyone is so smart here, and you'll definitely learn a lot!

Maxwell C. Rong, '17 Pursuing Stanford PhD in Economics

Why did you apply to MMSS?
I applied to MMSS because the program's goals aligned well with my interests, combining mathematical rigor with applications to social sciences. The small class size and selectivity of the program also appealed to me.

How has MMSS prepared you for graduation?
I really enjoyed my time in MMSS. The classes were rewarding and prepared me well to face future challenges, but even outside of class material, I learned valuable skills like how to work collaboratively with others and how to do research. MMSS faculty also provided great academic and professional advice which I believe will be very helpful going forward.

What have you enjoyed most about MMSS?
Two experiences from MMSS really stand out to me. The first is the sense of community. Taking classes with the same group for two years, as well as the many program sponsored events, really allowed me to get to know my classmates well. At the end of the day, I feel like I really identify with the MMSS program. Second, I appreciated the senior thesis experience. It was challenging and gratifying to pursue a self-directed project, and I learned a great deal about research.

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