What can I do with a QSS degree?

QSS is an interdisciplinary program that provides its students with both technical skills, concentrated in statistics and computing, and a grounding in a social science.  Alumni who have studied in QSS, which prior to 2015 was named the Program in Mathematical Social Sciences, have built on their Dartmouth careers with activities that cover the map, ranging from university teaching to research, law, business, medicine, public service, and a variety of individualized careers.

Below you will find narratives from program alumni, describing their post-Dartmouth activities. The variety of these undertakings illustrates the breadth of the QSS curriculum and the creativity of the Dartmouth students who have studied in the program.

Ziqin Yuan ‘18 — QSS & Government double major

Consultant

I am currently an Associate at L.E.K. Consulting's Boston office, where my colleagues and I collaborate with teams across the country to help companies and non-profits solve their business strategy questions. At work, I use the research skills I developed while working on my QSS thesis to efficiently gather data and understand its implications. So far, I have found the transition into my role much easier than it may have been, since the QSS major's coursework and my thesis had already exposed me to the imprecisions and nuances of data collection.

October 2018

Andrew Wolff ’18 - QSS Major

Business Analyst

I am starting in late September as a Business Analyst for McKinsey & Company in Dubai and will then move to the firm's Washington, DC office after one year. At McKinsey, I will be consulting for corporations, governments, and non-profits to help them with tasks such as improving operations, launching new product lines, or completing organizational transformations. I previously worked for McKinsey as a Winter Business Analyst Intern over Winter 2017. During that internship, I used my QSS experience in statistical analysis and data wrangling everyday, and was put in charge of the primary quantitative analysis for a public sector transformational study. With my QSS experience, I conducted my own statistical analyses and effectively communicated the results to my team and to the clients. McKinsey's quantitative focus was a big reason why I chose to return to the firm full-time, and I intend to use the skills I developed through the QSS major in my daily work. 

September 2018

Sam Forstner ’18 - QSS Minor

Business Analyst

I am working in Boston in the Analyst Development Program at Liberty Mutual Insurance. As an insurance company, Liberty possesses massive amounts of data, and this role gives me the opportunity to apply much of what I learned in QSS including statistical analysis, data manipulation, and data visualization. My work revolves around tackling complex quantitative questions and communicating my results effectively, and the QSS minor played a big part in preparing me for this job.

September 2018

Alexander Agadjanian ’18 - QSS major

Research Associate

Since late June, I’ve been working as a Senior Research Support Associate at the MIT Election and Data Science Lab (MEDSL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The lab focuses on collecting, managing, and disseminating election data at various levels going back decades, as well assessing U.S. election administration. I use my coding and analytical skills learned through the QSS major on a daily basis. For one project, I’ve been creating a dataset for state office races from the 2016 election, for which I’ve pulled datasets from state websites, found efficient ways to turn them into usable form, and further cleaned and prepared them for release. In other cases, I’ve analyzed and visualized data on the quality of state-level maintenance of voter lists, as well as examined over time trends in voting wait times and what might shape these experiences for voters. Lastly, I’ve begun to take/audit quantitative methods courses at MIT, for which QSS’s math, coding, and econometrics requirements have prepared me immensely. Apart from the job, I’ve continued refining several undergrad research projects in QSS-related areas, and recently presented my QSS honors thesis research at a political science conference.

September 2018

Michael Perkins ’18 - QSS Major

Technical Account Manager

I am working as a Technical Account Manager at a startup, LinkIt!, in the education technology sector in New York City. The company specializes in data warehousing, assessment solutions, and analytics for K-12 schools and districts made up of schools. Only a few weeks into the job, I am already managing over forty clients, each a New Jersey school district with between hundreds and thousands of students. My job involves providing pre-sale demo and pilot set up, onboarding clients through a customizable integration and implementation process, and serving as a liaison between clients, partners, and our product development and data teams. We use SQL to manage the data, so I spend a lot of time writing and adapting SQL scripts to overcome clients' obstacles as they arise.

QSS endowed me with the social, technical, and organizational skills needed to thrive in a professional role that is both client facing and analytical/technical. I encourage any student with an interest in QSS, startups, or living in the city to reach out to me with questions or just to chat.

September 2018

Zachary Schnell ’18 - QSS Major

Database Analyst

I am working as a Database Analyst at Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) in Arlington, Virginia. The company works with major organizations to help them understand their data and, in turn, make data-driven decisions. As an intern at APT last summer, I worked with a leading insurance provider to automate their data feeds. My present role sits between software engineers and consultants; I simultaneously work internally with databases and interface directly with clients. QSS showed me how to handle this hybrid—not only how to ingest sets of big data but also how to communicate the real-world implications of data. This attention to skillsets enabled me to serve as the lone database analyst on a client team last summer, and I look forward to further applying the skills in learned in QSS in my full-time role at APT.

Kendall Ernst '18 - QSS Major

Buisness Consultant

I’m currently working in D.C. as a Business Consultant for Applied Predictive Technologies, a data analytics software company owned by Mastercard, after interning there my junior winter. I also interned in the summer as an Investment Banking Analyst for J.P. Morgan. My role involves a combination of database coding, statistical analysis, and client communication. The skills I gained as a QSS major have been extremely applicable to my current role—having experience working with real data has given me an understanding of the challenges associated with data work and how to think about solving these problems. Studying QSS also provided me with a strong background in statistics, which has helped give me confidence when communicating with clients and answering questions about methodology.  

September 2018

Clara Wang '17 - QSS Minor

Applied Data Scientist

I'm working as an Applied Data Scientist on the health care team at Civis Analytics. I use programming languages that I learned through my QSS minor like R and Python in my everyday work, and I constantly apply the skills I learned from my QSS data visualization class to present data in an understandable format. My work mainly consists of analyzing large amounts of data to answer client questions, such as predicting who is likely to lack health insurance. The work is both challenging and engaging, and I wouldn't be where I am without my QSS minor.

February 2018

Annie Ma '17 - QSS Minor

Data reporting intern

I just started at The Oregonian for the summer as a data reporting intern. I’m still figuring out my exact project assignments, but the first few days I’ve been looking into government salary data and have felt very prepared thanks to the QSS program. I think the work overall might skew a bit more towards Python and my computer science background, but the ability to think critically about data and how it might answer and reveal certain questions has certainly been an advantage in journalism that I’ve learned from the minor. 

June 2017

Caroline Allan '16 – Economics and Engineering Sciences

Associate Consultant at Keystone Strategy

I graduated in 2016 before QSS began to grow.  I had a great experience taking Data Visualization (QSS 16) on a whim my senior year with Professor Horiuchi. I took this class because it was recommended to me by a friend, who ad told me that learning R was a great decision she made in college to prepare her for her career in investment banking.  The skills I learned in QSS 16 are by far my most used skills in my job as an Associate Consultant at Keystone Strategy, a consulting firm where I started working in 2016 after graduation.   Keystone specializes in strategy and economic consulting in the tech industry and my office is in Boston.  At Keystone, my role has ranged from valuing the user base of a social media company to analyzing the source code for a videogame publisher. Working with large tech companies in a consulting role, my Keystone colleagues and I are constantly met with the challenge of handling large amounts of data and presenting insights derived from it in a compelling way. The QSS department’s focus on these challenges prepared me well to perform in my career after graduating from Dartmouth.

September 2018

Garrett Schirmer '16

Sports Analytics

I may be a bit of an outlier here in that I neither majored nor minored in QSS and actually only took one QSS class during my entire time at Dartmouth. That one class was Sports Analytics (the first time it was ever offered), co-taught by Professor Herron and President Hanlon during my senior fall (15F). Personally, I came into the term dabbling with the thought of exploring a career in sports analytics and was hoping that this class would help me decide if that was a path I’d realistically enjoy. The course ended up providing clarity on that front and being more rewarding than I could have ever expected.

While attending the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at the end of the term with Professor Herron and President Hanlon, I was fortunate to connect with some representatives from the Cleveland Indians (MLB). After a few conversations and interviews, I was offered a business analytics position working with their Business Strategy team. A year and a half of honing my analytical skills with the Indians (and dealing with the ups and downs of a World Series loss) prepared me to pursue my dream of working for my favorite sports team, the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL). The foundational knowledge I gained from the Sports Analytics class, coupled with my experience with the Indians, allowed me to land the business analytics job I’d been hoping for. Now working as a Data Systems Analyst with the Lightning, I’m using advanced statistical modelling to aid key business processes, such as dynamic ticket pricing and sales forecasting.

Working for a professional sports team has always been a career dream of mine, but I’d be lying if I said I expected it as my first job out of college. However, I have never felt out of place. Today I’m using the same analytical techniques, probabilistic modelling, and data handling practices that I picked up in QSS. Beyond the content I learned during the ten weeks of Sports Analytics, I’m even more grateful for the doors it has opened for me. Despite having taken only one QSS class, I can safely say that the department has changed my life for the better.

Alexis Savini ’14 - MSS Major

Corporate startup team

I'm working at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP on their corporate startup team. KTS is mostly known for their IP and patent work, so it's interesting to be on a smaller team within the firm that is doing something different from everyone else. We work with a lot of Bay Area startups, mostly medical device companies that need help with forming a company and finding funding opportunities. So far I'm really enjoying it - the corporate team is pretty small, so I've been given a good bit of responsibility and am definitely learning a lot. I'm mostly doing a lot of formations (which is honestly just a lot of paperwork), but in the end I'm transforming a guy with an idea into an actual company, which I think is pretty cool. We work with a lot of UCSF and Stanford professors and grad students, so a lot of the technology we get to see is pretty amazing.

November 2014

Matthew Boyas ’13 - MSS Major

Business Analytics Associate

I did an MA in Statistics at Berkeley and am now working as a Business Analytics Associate at ZS Associates, a sales and marketing consulting firm, in their New York office.

October 2014

 

Joseph Tanenbaum '13 - MSS Major

MD-PhD student

I am currently an MD-PhD student in the MSTP program at Case Western Reserve University. My PhD work is in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics where my research focuses on the association between increased market penetration of novel healthcare delivery systems and changes in population health. The QSS program (or the artist formerly known as MSS) was instrumental in helping me develop both analytical and critical thinking skills. The encouragement to develop a strong foundation in statistical methods while simultaneously pursuing studies in social science theory and application helped prepare me for my graduate school work and for my career moving forward.

June 2016

 

Danny Kim '11 - MSS Major

Venture capital and entrepreneurship

The MSS program equipped me with a rigorous data-driven framework to think about exciting yet puzzling empirical questions in the business world. I am currently a PhD student at MIT focusing on venture capital and entrepreneurship — a career path I decided to pursue after doing a fascinating networks-based research project in a MSS class. I'm so thankful for the MSS experience at Dartmouth!

October 2014

Joe Ornstein ’09 - MSS Major

PhD Student

I am currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science at the University of Michigan. My research focuses on the intersection of political science and economics. Prior to graduate school, I worked as a Research Assistant at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC

October 2014

Anne Irvine ’06 - MSS Major

Senior Data Scientist

I had the incredible experience of teaching two MSS courses at Dartmouth in the Fall of 2011, and I recently completed my PhD in Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. I have just started work as a Senior Data Scientist at RedOwl Analytics, a Baltimore-based startup that is developing a software product that performs sophisticated social network analysis for our corporate customers. My focus is on natural language processing, but our core product is very much in line with the social network analysis research and coursework that I completed as part of my MSS degree nearly ten years ago! It's amazing how impactful the MSS curriculum has been on my career thus far.

October 2014