[edit] St. Olaf Alumna - Erin McMurty

Erin McMurty
  • Student's name: Erin McMurty
  • Undergraduate institution: St Olaf College
  • Position: Data Analyst
  • Company name: Mayo Clinic
  • Industry sector: Healthcare Policy and Research

What she does:

  • Erin graduated from St Olaf in 2001 and has been employed by the world renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as a research statistician since then. She works in the Healthcare Policy and Research Division at Mayo, putting together research projects aimed at making healthcare at the clinic high quality and cost effective. Erin is involved with projects from beginning to completion, using her skills in statistics and mathematics to design research projects, collect and filter raw data, and perform statistical analyses. Erin is also responsible for writing up manuscripts and abstracts for the studies she performs to better medical care at Mayo.

Math on the Job:

  • As a data analyst, Erin relies heavily on her statistics background to collect and analyze raw data. The task of designing and presenting statistical projects also requires that she use the methods of logical thinking from theoretical mathematics classes and her skills in interpersonal communication. Also, Erin's knowledge of economics and finance allows a deeper understanding of her work and the goals of the research department at the Mayo Clinic.

Erin's background:

  • Erin graduated from St Olaf College in Northfield, MN in 2001 majoring in mathematics and economics with concentrations in both statistics and finance. Erin was also in a program through Mayo to get a Master's degree in statistics from Iowa State University, and received her degree in December 2005.

Advice for students:

  • A broad range of different math classes while in college really helps when seeking employment on the job market. As Erin says, "Take a wide variety of classes, take something in different branches of math, you never know what you might find interesting unless you take a class in it. Also think of other disciplines that may compliment your math major and make you more marketable in the job market. You don't need to have a concentration, but being able to say you've had a couple of classes in a certain area goes a long way!" This seems to be good advice as obtaining a position in statistical research at one of the leading medical research centers in the world right out of college is quite an accomplishment!