Early Career Profiles:
 St. Olaf Alumna - Jennifer Beilfuss
What she does:
- Jennifer received a BA in mathematics from St Olaf in 2001 where she worked on a project for Target Technology Services during her senior year. Upon graduation she was offered a position as an Associate Systems Engineer and since has held various analytical and leadership positions at Target. Most recently, she transitioned to the Target Marketing pyramid and now conducts qualitative and quantitative research to better understand purchase behavior and motivations.
Math on the Job:
- Working as a manager for one of the largest companies in Minnesota, Jennifer uses a wide variety of math skills to analyze quantitative data or lend qualitative research legitimacy. The problem solving skills she obtained from math courses in college were necessary for daily work at Target. As Jennifer said, "Knowledge of statistical methods, analysis, and good practices with data mining is incredibly useful in my day-to-day job."
- Jennifer graduated from St Olaf College in Northfield, MN with a major in mathematics. The extensive knowledge of math skills she gained from St Olaf and uses on a day-to-day basis at Target are critical for success in her position. Jennifer continued her education and also obtained a BA in studio art from the University of Minnesota.
Advice for students:
- Gaining leadership abilities is a very important skill that undergraduate students may apply in any area of employment. As Jennifer says, "My advice to math majors who are thinking of working in the business field is to try the Math Practicum [a St Olaf program in which senior math majors work on problems for companies in a business setting] , or work as an intern to get a better feel for the practical methods that businesses use. I would also suggest gaining leadership experience to better prepare you for managing analysis/projects as it will be valuable experience that you can take with you in any field."