From Master’s Student to Data Scientist 

Carrie Rider ’15, ’16,  M.S. in data analytics & B.S. in math and statistics, and in social sciences
Current Position: Data Scientist, Booz Allen Hamilton

I am a data scientist on a research and development team at the Rome, N.Y., office of Booz Allen Hamilton. Booz Allen Hamilton is a global company that offers a combination of consulting, analytics, digital solutions, engineering and cyber expertise to help clients solve difficult management and technology problems. My team is creating customized software for a government project. My primary role is to extract information from unstructured data and convert that information to structured forms so that it can be leveraged by other applications.

Data science is a broad field of expertise. I prefer the data engineering aspect of data science, such as developing ETL (extract, transform, load) processes, because it is like solving a puzzle. I know where we want to end up, and my job is to figure out how to get there—how to set up the databases and pipelines so that analysis and discovery can begin. 

Booz Allen taps a lot of Clarkson talent; they come to the Clarkson career fair every year. It was my attendance at the fair in fall 2015 that led directly to an interview and job offer months before I graduated.
 

I started at Clarkson as an undergraduate. I majored in math and statistics because that’s where my interests were. Those same interests prompted me to pursue a graduate degree in data analytics. 

I decided on Clarkson for my master’s partly because the one-year program is very cost-effective, especially since they offered me an assistantship. Additionally, the skill sets and classes emphasized in the program really targeted the same skills that I was seeing advertised in job descriptions.

The skills I learned at Clarkson continue to be critical to the work I’m doing. The technologies and languages are changing, but the core ideas and the way of thinking that I learned at Clarkson still apply.

Recently, Booz Allen asked me to attend the career fair to help recruit potential employees. It was fun to be on the other side of the table this time, representing two organizations that I believe in. 

Afterward, we were reviewing the resumes of applicants from different programs. I’m proud to say that there were several excellent candidates from Clarkson who the company wanted to move forward with. 

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