Early Career Profiles:
St. Olaf Alumnus - Grant Riewe
What he does:
- Grant graduated from St Olaf in 2001, majoring in mathematics. He currently works for Securian Fiancial Group in St Paul, Minnesota as an IT senior project manager. This means that Grant is primarily focused on solving probelms with environmetal issues and improving efficency. He is also responsible for providing analysis of and solutions to complex problems by serving as a technical resource for implemented technologies at Securian.
Math on the Job:
- Most of the math Grant uses on a day to day basis is less complex than the subjects he studied at St Olaf. As he says, "The math I use is rarely explicit. I use math to develop cost/benefit analyses for projects, and in a variety of statistical ways to analyze re-occuring probelms within the environment." Much of the benefits that Grant enjoys from a math major stem from the complex thought processes learned as a mathematics major. Grant learned to think abstractly as a math major and uses this appraoch to provide Securian with continuing solutions to company issues and problems.
- While at St Olaf, Grant took a variety of classes in both the mathematics and computer science departments. These classes provide students with a variety of methods to problems solving that become invaluable in the workplace. According to Grant, "I stronly stress that all math and CS courses provide the basis for a rational, logical approach to problem solving within the work environment. I particularly favor Differential Equations, Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra for this." Grant is also currently working on completing a master's degree in business administration.
Advice for students:
- Math skills are applicable to nearly every job in the business sector, and also allow for a well rounded undergraduate education. As Grant says, "unless you intend to pursue a Ph.D., the specific courses taken matter less than the variety of problem solving experiences that can be recieved during the course of [a math major]." Also, "[Mathematics and computer science] make the business world go round, and you cannot truly be successful at the highest levels without an understanding of how to read and leverage statisical information."