Business Intelligence Analyst at Cerner Corporation
Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and minor in statistics, 2016
The reason I became a math major was that it was the subject I enjoyed the most in high school/school in general. Furthermore, I never really got into any other subject – science, English, Spanish, etc. The electives I took were either for fun (P.E.) or to better my education (i.e. Physics was optional). Also, I never really had a set in stone career path, such as I knew I didn’t want to be a nurse, or a teacher, or a business whatever. Math was the topic I enjoyed, and I had stellar teachers that were able to keep and expand my interest on the topic. Once I got to Truman, well it just made sense.
My current position is a Business Analyst at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City. What led me to it is sheer luck/coincidence. My sister was getting married the summer after graduation (Summer of 16) and she was going to get married in Vegas. I knew that my family was going to be on vacation for an entire week for her wedding, as well as an annual summer trip we take. With that in mind, I didn’t try to job hunt too hard/thoroughly since I didn’t want to start work and then take time off (time I didn’t ‘have’) immediately. So, I think after Spring Break, I decided to check out Cerner. I knew them as a company since they are in KC, and I knew the general things that they did. However, I remember looking at that company in Spring of 15 for maybe an internship, and all the interns were for Software Engineering or for Business roles. So, for the next several months, I didn’t try looking there because it seemed they only hired Software Engineers or Business people, neither of which were I. Back to the point, after Spring Break 16, I saw an opening for what they called a Business Consultant. The Business Consultant role is actually a program they hire people from a variety of backgrounds into (ahead of business need), train them in various tools/processes that they will need to be successful, and then when an opening comes up in the business, there is a qualified, trained pool of candidates ready and available to ‘plug into’ the machine. The role I am currently in now was one of these openings, and I did a 6-week internship on the team (called a Lift) to see if it was something I would be interested in/liked the work/etc., and 7 months later I am in the same role.
How I use math in my job:
Don’t. Not at all. Arguably, I can do binary in my head pretty good. Where binary came into play was that I needed to learn more about IPv4 addresses and Subnets (so, networking stuff) and it turns out that a IPv4 address is a 32-bit string split up into 8 octets (which is why IPv4 Addresses, you never go above 255 in an octet, i.e. 126.96.36.199 – never go above 255 in any of the octets). As a result, I was able to catch up on that stuff really fast. Otherwise, I haven’t really used ‘Math’ beyond what I would need a calculator for.
Advice to Truman students getting ready to hit the job market:
My only advice is to make sure you enjoy whatever you end up doing. I’ve seen friends/coworkers who have left their job at Cerner after a couple months because it wasn’t just working out for them or what they wanted to do, and I’ve seen friends do the same with grad school. Thus, my advice is to definitely give whatever opportunity you have been provided a shot, and stick with it for a while. At the same time, this is a career you are building. It’s not like college where you need a major and if you switch after a year or two, then all of a sudden you are “behind.” Now, it is more we have a continuous (well next 40 year) career ahead of us, where there is no “behind” and no “finished.” Point being, give whatever your next step is a shot for a longer period of time than typical, and don’t worry about if it’s not what you wanted to do – there will always be another opportunity, and it will not hurt you in the present.