Alumni Spotlight

Paul Sabin 

Major/Emphasis: Statistics/Statistical Science (B.S. & M.S.)
Current Position Title: Analytics Specialist
Company Name: ESPN
Current Position Title 2: Ph.D. Student
Company Name 2: Virginia Tech

Why he picked his major:

I always found the applications of statistics useful and applicable everywhere. I wanted to study something that kept as many doors open as possible.

How schooling helped prepare him for his current position:

I use not only statistical theory and application everyday at my job but I also have to deal with projects pulling me in several directions at once which I experienced firsthand at BYU. 

His advice to those currently studying:

Don't only study and work alone and don't only study and work in groups. I wouldn't have learned the material as well if I had just stuck to one approach.

Other information or suggestions:

Pick the brains of your professors often and build solid relationships with your classmates. My professors at BYU are still a great resource to me, as are my former classmates. I talk to them often. It is only through the networking with those professors and my classmates that I was able to land a job at ESPN. When my former classmate moved on from ESPN to another job, he and another classmate of mine recommended me to my boss. Their recommendations and the relationship my boss has had with Professors at BYU gave him the confidence to offer me my dream starting job.

Neal Peterson

Major/Emphasis: Statistics with a Biostatistics emphasis
Current Position Title: Anesthesiologist 
Company Name: US Air Force

Why he picked his major:

I chose statistics after taking Stat 101 which was required for those majoring in exercise science. I enjoyed the class and did well so I changed my major. The main reasons was that I knew a (biology/chemistry/exercise science/neuroscience) major had limited job opportunities with lower paying jobs than statistics. If medical school didn’t work out for me, I wanted to have a solid backup plan. Statistics is a great degree to have for job security and increased compensation.

How schooling helped prepare him for his current position:

Statistics is a great background for medicine. With the biostatistics emphasis I was able to take some prerequisites for medical school that also counted for my major. Not only does it help you ace the epidemiology portion of medical school but EVERY journal article or paper you read uses statistics. My background gave me an edge interpreting which studies had merit and which studies were garbage. Today, as an anesthesiologist, I continue to read scientific articles and will occasionally use statistics to improve my practice by analyzing patient data, workflow, and safety areas. I also do much better than average when playing board games.

His advice to those currently studying:

My advice for those currently studying is that no matter how confusing Stat 441 is, if you stick with the program things will get better. If I had to go back to BYU and chose a major (because to get into medical school it does not matter which major you chose) I would still chose statistics.

Other information or suggestions:

I’d be happy to communicate with any students interested in statistics and medicine.