How was your experience in the MS program in Statistics?
My experience in the MS program in Statistics at the University of Chicago was fantastic. The theoretical rigor of the program enhanced my love for statistics, and I felt that I gained a deep understanding of statistical theory and methods. Additionally, the required master's thesis component gave me a taste of what it's like to conduct research all day, which I found intellectually stimulating and fulfilling. Overall, I felt that the program provided me with the tools and skills necessary to succeed in a Ph.D. program.
Did you feel that the environment in the department was inclusive?
Yes, I did. The University of Chicago provided a very inclusive environment, which was especially important for me as an international student. The senior master's students organized events to guide us and gave the advice to make the most of our time in Hyde Park. The department organized several board game nights that helped me to make a lot of exceptional friends. The faculty members were always willing to help us to maximize our learning experience, and the administrative staff was very helpful with any questions related to international visa or other needs.
Did you feel that you had enough support within the department from faculty and staff to assist in any needs you may have had?
Absolutely. The faculty members were always willing to help us maximize our learning experience, and they were accessible whenever I needed help or advice. In particular, the Department Master's Advisor (DMA), Mei Wang, who also wrote my recommendation letter for my Ph.D. application, met with me several times and was extremely helpful in answering questions not only about statistics but also about living in the US and life in Hyde Park. My master's thesis advisor, Wei Biao Wu, was also very accessible and gave me great insights into conducting research.
How were your job prospects after graduating, and what are you doing now?
After completing the program, I considered various career paths in both industry and academia. However, the theoretical rigor of the program and the experience of conducting research for my master's thesis increased my passion for statistics and motivated me to pursue a Ph.D. Currently, I am a third-year Ph.D. student in Statistics and Data Science at Yale University, where my research is focused on causal inference and machine learning in medicine.
Are there aspects of your degree program that have been particularly relevant or useful in your job hunt or current work?
The required master's thesis component of the program was especially useful in preparing me for my current work in my Ph.D. program. My thesis work involved using granular financial system data from the Central Bank of Mexico to model the financial network and perform stress testing to identify the most important firms in the system. This experience gave me a taste of what it's like to conduct research full-time, and I found it intellectually stimulating and rewarding.
Is there anything else you would like to add for prospective students to know when applying to the program?
Overall, I highly recommend the MS program in Statistics at the University of Chicago. The program is rigorous, but the faculty members are very supportive and accessible, and the department provides a very inclusive environment. The required master's thesis component is especially valuable for those who are considering a career in research or who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. Additionally, the program's focus on theoretical foundations provides a strong foundation for anyone interested in pursuing a career in statistics or related fields.