Introduction: where I’m from, where I am, and where I’m going

amy Hello! My name is Amy and I’m a second-year biostatistics M.S. student here at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. I’m going to be blogging about my shenanigans as a student and relatively new resident in the Mitten State.

As I thought about ways to introduce myself to prospective students, prospective Ann Arbor residents, or any other randoms who happen to stop by on the interweb (hi!), I realized that my experiences, both academic and otherwise, can be summarized three ways:

1. Where I’m from: I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I received my bachelor’s in statistics with a minor in demography from UC Berkeley. I’ll admit that at times (read: when it’s -30 degrees), I hella miss California, but after living here a full year I could see how one would miss the seasons, to some degree (pun so intended).

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Amazingly colorful trees during the fall-to-winter transition last year on my way to school through North Campus

Actually, I’m convinced that since last winter was my first winter, my obliviousness to how weather really works helped me cope better than native Michiganders with the polar vortexes <- that’s what it’s always like, right?

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2. Where I am: Namely, why U of M? I picked U of M because I felt the need after going to college 10 minutes away from my home to spend some time out of state, and because it was the most reputable biostatistics program to which I was admitted. After undergrad I felt comfortable with, and also almost an allegiance to large public research institutions, and Michigan is most assuredly a big school with all the big school activities:

It’s certainly possible to get “lost in the crowd,” and I get that that may be intimidating, but one learns to navigate the bureaucracy and join organizations or social groups in which you can make yourself heard. I myself love that there are so many people to meet!

3. Where I’m going: I don’t know! The nice thing about biostatistics is that job options are wide open. Secret: I feel that this field of study was the most decisive way I could make a non-decision. Meaning, one could work in a hospital, pharmaceutical company, government agency, consulting firm, tech start-up, or in truth at any organization with data.

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The challenge for me is doing the whole applying thang.

Hopefully I’ll have good news to report come spring 2015. Until then, I’ll fill you all in on my (mis)adventures in the charmed grad school life, so stay tuned!

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