Class Year

14

Current Hometown:

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Job and Employer

Marketing Science Partner, Facebook

Work:

I have been at Facebook now for just over 2 months. I am with the marketing science team and I work primarily with advertisers - setting up massive scale measurement, running their experiments for them, and running point in conversations with chief marketing officers and our internal people here. I fit in between the data science team, the sales team, and the community operations team, and make sure everything goes smoothly and everyone follows all the rules we have in place with regard to user data. Before that, I was the head of media analytics with Hershey, the chocolate company. 

Graduate School

Penn State University

Graduation Year

2018

Degree

M.S. Applied Statistics

Senior project:

Evaluating Methods for Detecting Critical Transitions in Agent-based Models

Internship:

REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at the Santa Fe Institute in Santa Fe, NM

Human ecology in action:

When you work with data and technical systems, it’s often easy to forget that the numbers you’ve been manipulating all day actually mean something beyond their numeric value—the difference between a family spending their paycheck on groceries or the electricity bill, or a business owner participating in an energy efficiency program to save money and reduce his carbon footprint. My background in human ecology constantly grounds my interests in systems and numbers in the realities of people, motivations, experiences, and outcomes.

A COA experience that was particularly significant or memorable:

OOPS [COA’s Outdoor Orientation Programs], both as a participant and as a trip leader, was a definite highlight. As an older, married, transfer student, I was a little concerned about “fitting in” to the community. All of these concerns disappeared on my first OOPS trip as I spent a week in the woods with some of the brightest and most compassionate folks I had ever met. I enjoyed the experience so much I volunteered to be an OOPS leader during my senior year, having an equally as enjoyable experience (albeit one with a lot more rain).

Considerations for prospective students:

You have to mentally justify your course load to yourself and how it meets what it is you’re trying
to learn. Even more importantly, you have to write that all down in your human ecology essay
and show how these ideas all flow together. That exercise of throwing all your innate interests
and acquired skills into a pot, stirring it, and seeing if you made soup or not is really important
because it is literally what you do for the rest of your life. I always praise COA in that regard.

Invest yourself fully. To really understand COA and gain all the benefits from your education there, you have to fully immerse yourself in all the opportunities and experiences available to you as a student and community member there. Don’t hold back; get involved, get dirty, and have fun.