Alumni Spotlight

BJ Baldwin

Major/Emphasis: Actuarial Science (BS)
Current Position Title: 
Central Market Actuarial and Financial Leader
Company Name: Mercer

Why he picked his major:

During a career development course in my sophomore year, after returning from a mission, the professor mentioned a unique career that involved math and statistics. I had not heard of it before, but after a bit of research I thought I would give it a try and I am grateful I did.

How schooling helped prepare him for his current position:

My education at BYU helped in many ways to prepare me for what I do today. It helped me manage my time and priorities. It served in encouraging me to improve my critical thinking skill. More directly, the actuarial science program prepared me to help take and pass actuarial exams. It also helped me be well rounded which has served me well as I have worked and consulted with internal colleagues and with clients.

His advice to those currently studying:

Learn to work with and understand others and how they work. Have other interests outside of just studying during your time at school so that you can relate to others. Remember the influence you can have for good in almost any situation you encounter.

Taylor Stuart

Major/Emphasis: Statistics, Statistical Science (BS)
Current Position Title: Senior Analyst

Company Name: Nielsen

Why he picked his major:

I have always believed data is powerful and can be used to drive decision making. There is also a growing amount of data available to companies and an increasing demand to use that data.

How schooling helped prepare him for his current position:

I learned a lot in school that I am using in my current job. My job is to run marketing mix models for Nielsen's clients. Marketing mix models use linear regression to attribute sales to marketing activity. I also took the SAS certification classes and I use SAS frequently.

His advice to those currently studying:

Don't treat anything you do in school like a waste of time. Most likely you will use a lot of the tools you learn about, and even if you don't you are learning problem solving skills. Also in data analytics it is very important to have excellent attention to detail and to be methodical in your work. Any mistakes can lead to clients questioning your work in its entirety.

Seek out work experience outside of your classwork. I had the opportunity to participate in a few different internships and it made a big difference to potential employers.