Data Scientist - Biostatistics PhD Graduate

Updated 05/20/2019

I am a PhD candidate at the Medical University of South Carolina in Biostatistics. I have greatly enjoyed the opportunities this has afforded me, but academia is not where I will be able to best utilize the skills I have developed. As such, I have been exploring jobs in industry that would better suit my goals.

My favorite part of my PhD program has been working as a consulting statistician for the Orthopaedics research group at MUSC. I have had the opportunity to have in depth conversations with clinicians about the questions they really want answered, and I have the ability to recommend which methods, data, and experimental design would be best suited to those questions. I have also had the opportunity to analyze and present data from ongoing research projects, which has been the most rewarding part of the experience. My understanding of the data, methods, and results are essential when attempting to draw conclusions and make decisions based on our analyses, but without the contextual understanding from those with domain knowledge, our decisions would not be grounded by real world experience. Having conversations with both sides in the room leads to better decisions and more impactful actions. I feel that this dynamic is best represented in data science jobs in industry, and my skill set meshes perfectly in this setting.

I love working with colleagues with expertise in other areas, so that the combination of our skills creates insights with more value than I could provide alone. Creating simple, impactful, and insightful visuals that are easily understood is an exciting challenge, in that it forces me to distill complex inference to real world actionable items. But again, being present for the discussion of the meaning and use of these insights remains vital, providing me an opportunity to speak up for the nuance of the data and methods.