Ian McKiernan, BA 2015

How has being a Statistical Science graduate from Duke help shape you personally and/or professionally?

"My studies at Duke opened my eyes to the opportunities that are available to people who can interpret data and use it to tell a story. It helped shape how I approach my work and learning to continue to keep up with new methods and always keep an open mind when approaching an analytical problem. It helped me to be critical of my work and the work of others when using data."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Statistical Science programs?

"Learn to work with clean, organized data. While you may want to work on a project that involves an under-studies or niche topic with little to no easily accessible data, projects in a professional environment will come with databases. This is not to say that you shouldn't learn how to collect and clean your data, but in my time with the program, I was narrowly focused in an area where it can be difficult to find clean data for the average consumer (sports), but at the professional level the data is plentiful (even if it is not clean)."

McKiernan
Seasonal Assistant, Strategy & Analytics for Washington Wizards