The Beauty of Numbers

The Beauty of Numbers

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The Beauty of Numbers

 

"There are three kinds of lies-lies, damned lies, and statistics."-Mark Twain

 

Well, perhaps Mr. Twain didn't see the beauty of numbers the way that I do. Because ever since grade school, mathematics has been my favorite subject.  And once I was in college and could focus on many areas of math, I realized that I had a genuine interest to applying mathematical and statistical theories to real-world concerns.  Hey, even Twain the skeptic realized the importance of balancing the cargo on shallow, difficult-to-navigate riverboats so that the port and starboardsides were equally laden-he even advised the captains to part their hair down the middle so that the weight was perfectly distributed!

 

I find a similar pleasure in seeing the numbers "come out right."  When I first entered the work force, starting out in the actuarial area, the areas of my day-to-day work that I most enjoyed were researching and analyzing data so that I could logically apply the information to the business opportunity at hand.  Consequently, I realized that the most prudent path to accomplishing this would be to further my education in the advanced studies of statistics and I have been preparing myself by taking a year of higher-level math and statistics courses at Ohio State.  I've maintained a 4.0 GPA, and am confident that pursuing a Ph.D. and later entering a career in statistical consulting or teaching is the right step for me.

I'd like to focus on two qualities that I know will help me to succeed in graduate school and in my chosen field.  First, I go after what I want and don't stop until I get it.  And second, I quite genuinely find research and analysis fascinating and enjoy doing that kind of work.  My strategy in attaining success is to identify my goal, figure out the best way to attain it, and then do it.  When I was an undergraduate, I wanted to start my own business. I assessed my skills and founded CalcWizards, a mathematics tutorial service. I developed and marketed the service to other students and taught all disciplines of mathematics, from beginning through advanced.  Not only was my business a financial success, but I really enjoyed the time I spent teaching others.  This go-get-it attitude served me well in my career at Cigna Life Insurance as well.

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Looking back, I am proud of the many professional successes I've enjoyed:  the marketing packages I developed were used by all members of the Pensions sales force; key clients who were going to leave Cigna decided to stay because of the efforts I made to provide them with the best service and information; the company created the position of __________ specifically for me because of my mastery of both the financial and personal communication aspects of the job.  My efforts were both recognized and appreciated, and I was rapidly promoted because I consistently went above and beyond the traditional responsibilities and expectations of my job.  Most significantly, I received the Above and Beyond Quality Award, which is given to, at most, one person per year- three times in five years.  But the most important aspect of my job at Cigna was the research and training that I did.  The vast majority of my time was spent researching and analyzing pension fund information and then presenting this data to our sales directors and clients. I also used the results of my research to create marketing packages, such as the one mentioned above, which was used by our sales force, and a package used by our Diversified Portfolio Management product and included equity, real estate, fixed-income and short term-funds.

 

I am eager to start the work that will bring me my Ph.D. in statistics.  I am also looking forward to continuing my investigation of how I can apply mathematical theories in the real world.  Mark Twain may despair of my chosen career, but I agree with Thomas Carlyle, who said, "Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness."
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