# Fall 2021 MS Statistics Profile Evaluation & School Suggestions

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Feeling kinda nervous to make this post cause I'm pretty insecure and stressed about my undergraduate GPA, but I figured it'll be worth asking for advice. I'll start off with my profile and explain a little more about my circumstances and what I'd like help with near the end. Thanks in advanced to anyone who responds!

Student Type: Eastern European Female (1st Generation Immigrant and 1st Generation College Student; US Citizen)

Major: Statistics (Minor in Mathematics)

GPA: 3.29 (My in-major GPA is lower, mainly because of getting straight C's in my math courses during my first 2 years)

Relevant Courses: Calc 2 (C+), Linear Algebra (C), Multivariable Calculus (C-), Stat Methods (A), Stat Methods 2 (A-), Diff Eq (C+), Regression Analysis (A-), Probability and Distributions (B-), Vector Calc (C), Experimental Design (A), Theoretical Statistics (A-), Intro to Proofs (B+), Data Analytics and Visualizations (A), Undergraduate Research (A), Theoretical Stat 2 (A-), Bayesian Statistics (A), Statistical Engineering (A)

I did horribly my first 2 years because I had an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. I would regularly work myself up to the point of hyperventilation and even vomiting before most major tests cause I couldn't stop myself from spiraling, and I had been so accustom to it that I didn't realize it was abnormal to do that. I finally got diagnosed during the very start of my junior year and I was put on anti-anxiety medication and given testing accommodations (extra testing time and a quiet location) for the disability center at my school. That ended up making a world of difference for me, as I was finally able to be in a mental state where I could handle taking a huge test. Over the course of my junior year my grades went up tremendously, and I got an average of 3.8 over that year. This helped pull my overall grades up a lot, but the damage from my first 2 years is still present.

GRE: Taking it sometime in the upcoming 2 months. Currently trying to see if I can get additional testing time due to my anxiety disorder. Expecting to do well, as I've been prepping this whole summer.

Research:
1 year as an undergraduate research assistant doing Bayesian analysis on insects and vector-borne diseases (expected to continue this throughout the rest of my senior year; also expected to result in 2 publications).
1 year of being a volunteer data analyst for the US Forest Service, working on analyzing data on forest silviculture and soil microtopography (expected to publish a paper on findings sometime next year where I will be either 1st or 2nd author; expected to continue this throughout the rest of my senior year).
3 months as an individual REU student (with the same professor I've been an undergraduate research assistant for) doing Bayesian analysis on aphid data (expected to continue this throughout the rest of this fall semester; expected to publish a paper on this where I will be 1st author).
1 semester of analyzing COVID data alongside healthcare analytics company during my Statistical Engineering class to optimize COVID funding allotment in the state of Maryland.

Work Experience/ Projects:
2 summers as Data Analysis intern for nuclear research government contractor.
1 semester of being a grader for Data Analytics and Visualization (course I have taken before and did well in w/ same professor)
Expected to work 1 semester as a grader for a grad-level course covering similar material as my Data Analytics and Visualization class.
1 year working on WiDS Blacksburg committee to organize a large annual conference for women in data science (expected to continue this throughout the rest of my senior year).
3 months of participating in a randomization working group, which is currently working on creating/organizing papers and resources that explains the benefits and issues with various experimental techniques used in clinical trials (i.e. why you shouldn't use permuted blocks or how to analyze randomized trials). (expected to continue into senior year and probably also after college).
Unofficially worked as a tutor throughout high school and my undergraduate years helping out friends, neighbors, and siblings with math and statistics. (at least 30 people who I've tutored beyond just "help with homework")

Letters of Recommendation:
Expected 2 strong letters of recommendation: one from the professor I've been an undergraduate research assistant (have not had her as a teacher) who can vouch that I'd be great in research, and one from the professor I'm a grader for (have had him as a teacher) who can vouch that I'm a hardworking, strong student in statistics. Might also ask my experimental design professor for a letter of recommendation, as experimental design/ research consulting is the field I want to go into after grad school.

Awards:
\$5000 scholarship from Department of Statistics.
1st Place Winner at local ASA DataFest competition (won against 35 other teams that were participating).

Concerns

Additionally, I've worked on a lot of research projects that are going to result in a formal paper, but due to COVID the development of all of those papers got pushed back, so I don't think there's anything I've been working on that's going to be sent for review by the time I do my applications. This makes me feel like a lot of the outside research I've done holds less weight in my application.

Programs I'm Applying To/ Looking For:
As a first-generation college student, I really don't know much about the whole grad process. I've figured out some of the basics of it from others, but I feel like there are huge chunks I'm missing, like which schools are known for specializing in what or which schools would be a good-fit for me and my application. I'm really interested in working as a in-house statistical consultant for science/engineering companies research departments (i.e. General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Dupont, IBM, etc) after getting my degree. Because of this, I've been prioritizing schools that offer classes in graduate-level experimental design and statistical consulting. So far I've gotten 4 programs that I'm interested in, but if anyone has any suggestions it'd mean a lot to me!

1. University of Michigan's Bridge Masters Program in Applied Statistics
2. Oregon State University's Masters Program in Applied Statistics
3. Purdue's Masters Program in Statistics
4. George Mason's Masters Program in Statistics

Once again, thank you to everyone who read this and responded. Like I said, it means a lot to me.

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