Sophie Guo, MS 2016

Product Manager at RingDNA, Los Angeles, CA

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

"It is through one of the stats course projects I did that I discovered my interest in Natural Language Processing. I ended up taking a job as a machine learning engineer with an NLP focus, which allowed me to further develop my skills. I think Duke's statistical science program gives students a solid foundation in mathematics while allowing students to explore their interests and develop industry-relevant skills through course projects. In addition, I really appreciate the non-technical side of the projects/assignments, which involves giving presentations and writing reports to communicate data insights. As I transitioned from an engineer to a product manager in my career, my role has shifted from writing codes to communicating findings/insights to the whole team. I think my Duke experience helps me develop my soft skills."

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

"Never stop learning - one question I ask every candidate I interview is: How do you keep up to date with the industry. Don't estimate the importance of developing your soft skills. For a data role, the ability to communicate findings to stakeholders is critical."