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2021 Alumni Notes 2019-2020


Layla Burgan

I am currently getting my credential in secondary math education with a master’s in teaching at UC Davis. As part of this program, I’m student teaching a high school statistics class at River City High in Sacramento. I love using Rossman/Chance applets in my class! 

Matthew Hui

I am currently working on my master’s in data science at the University of San Francisco and will be finishing up the program in August of this year. As part of the program, all students get to also work with a company part time so I am currently working with PG&E. The program definitely keeps me busy, but I am enjoying it.

Mateo Ibarguen

Mateo Ibarguen in kitchen with dogOn March 14, 2020, I had to pack up all the belongings I could carry with me back to my home country in a single night. I wasn’t sure if I was going to return to Cal Poly or even to the U.S. in the near future, but I had a suspicion that perhaps I wasn’t going to return to campus before graduation. Back in Guatemala, I was in isolation in my room for 14 days, but I was relieved to find that my family was doing well if a bit shaken due to the pandemic. After graduating in June, I was able to spend a lot of quality time with my family, and I was surprised to find a data science job at a bank in my country. Even though my dream to live in the U.S. might not have been realized at the moment, I am really grateful for the incredible opportunity I had to study at Cal Poly and to learn from amazing professors and peers. I am hoping to save some money at my data science job to one day be able to afford to return to the U.S. 

Ashley Jacobson

After graduating, I started working at Sensor Tower, a tech company in the Bay, as a data scientist. I moved to San Francisco in the fall and have been enjoying the good food options and beautiful parks. 

Jenna Landy

After graduation, I started my Ph.D. in biostatistics at Harvard. Moving to Boston in the middle of a pandemic was tough, but so far I’m enjoying it here (even the snow!). I’m excited to eventually be able to go on campus and safely explore the city.

Maddie Lee

Maddie Lee with partner and two dogs in front of bare trees and evergreen treesAfter graduation, I moved back to Utah with my fiancé and two dogs, Walter and Lucy. I am currently a financial data analyst for Vivint Solar and work at a residential treatment center for adolescent girls with anxiety and OCD disorders on the weekend. I am the only R user in my entire financial department, so I have been trying to convert them from only Excel. In my free time I have taken up a love of rock climbing and have been trying to plan a wedding for September 2021.

Regina Lisinker

After graduating, I moved back home. I’ve been spending a lot of time with family and we even gained a family member. We got a puppy in August, so now we have two Great Danes. I applied to grad school and am currently weighing my options. I haven’t heard back from every program yet, but I am very excited to start this fall!

Nicolas Padilla

I think the class of 2020 might’ve had the most unusual graduation of the decade, at least until the class of 2021! Anyway, after graduating I had the long journey of applying to statistics-related jobs during a pandemic. I split my days scrolling LinkedIn and doing personal projects. I had some of my best learning days during this time, from running distributed computations across a fleet of old family computers to applying Bayesian non-parametric models in Julia. 

With the help of Cal Poly professor Rebecca Ottesen, I managed to land a remote SAS programming role at an East Coast-based CRO. Rebecca came on to the project as well and is now my boss. We conduct research with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, so I get to apply the SAS programming and statistical concepts I learned at Cal Poly to improve public health. I also do programming with R, Python, SQL, Lua and a little bit of Java. It’s a great experience, and I get to do a nice range of tasks. One day, I’d love to come back and say hello to the people I haven’t seen since the start of the COVID restrictions. Best of luck to the class of 2021! I know what’s it’s like to graduate during a pandemic, and I also know that you should be incredibly proud to make it through this year, despite it all. Congrats!

Sadie Rhen

I’m currently working as a data quality analyst at Lodestone. We do consulting work on new products for a large social media company, so while I should be on campus in the Bay Area, our current work-from-home set up means that I am instead enjoying the warm weather and fantastic beaches of San Diego. 

Megan von Sosen

Megan von Sosen outside during fallPost-graduation, I spent a lot of time trying to stay active and (safely) travel via road trip around California before I started work in October. I then moved to San Francisco and have been working at RSM US LLP as a risk consultant. I work with a lot of Cal Poly grads from various majors which has been fun (even virtually), and I’m excited to eventually be able to go into the office!


Izzy Kamrath

Izzy Kamrath professional headshotAfter graduating, I went on to earn a master’s in business analytics from Cal Poly. Then, about two months after getting my master’s degree, I got a job at AT&T as a professional in their Advanced Analytics Department. I started my position working from home in Aug. 2020 and have yet to actually work in the office, but I’m excited to eventually move to Los Angeles and work in the office when it’s safe. 

My role includes analyzing and interpreting a wide variety of data, advising business partners, and developing Tableau dashboards to support self-serve analytics. Some of the work I do gets sent to the CEO and other executives, so it’s really cool to see my work make a big difference. Almost everyday I get to tackle a new and important analytics question, and I’ve never been happier! As far as pandemic pastimes go, I’ve been doing a lot of landscape and wildlife photography. So far nothing compares to all of the amazing landscape shots SLO has to offer. I can’t wait to come back and visit soon.

Natalie Keelan

Natalie Keelan on a bridge in EuropeAfter graduating from Cal Poly, I decided I wanted to take some time to travel before starting my professional career. I spent six weeks in Europe visiting five countries and over 10 cities, visited friends in other cities in the U.S. and visited my family in Brazil. After that time off, I decided I was ready to go back to school to get my master’s degree. I’m currently in the computer science and engineering master’s program at UC San Diego with a focus in artificial intelligence. I’m also working as a teaching assistant for the undergraduate data science program at UCSD. When I complete my program in 2022, I’m looking forward to beginning my career as a data scientist!

Kien Nguyen

I just graduated from Boston University and currently live in North Carolina. I had a remote internship at Lowe’s last summer as a data scientist. It was an interesting experience and went well. I tried very hard looking for jobs in California in order to go back there, but I haven’t been able to (couldn’t even get an interview *sad face*).

However, I was lucky and got an offer from Lowe’s. If everything goes well, I’ll start my career as a data scientist at Lowe’s.

Rod Rahimi

I’ve been working at Genentech as a business analyst since graduation. My manager likes to boast that she hired the “only statistician in our 800-person department.” I’m concurrently pursuing my master’s degree in statistics (data science) from CSU East Bay and am set to finish that up in May. I’m hoping to pursue a Ph.D. in statistics/biostatistics in the fall of 2021 and am waiting to hear back from programs. I definitely miss my time as a statistics student at Cal Poly and will be forever grateful for the professors, peers and experiences. 

Jake Tierney

After graduating, I spent the summer at home in Humboldt County before going down to L.A. for an internship in the fall. I interned with National Research Group, a market research firm whose clients primarily consist of entertainment companies, and then moved to L.A. full-time to work at NRG in February 2020, the worst time in the history of mankind to move to Los Angeles. As a research analyst, I assist in the design and maintenance of a number of different ongoing tracking surveys, as well as provide analysis and reports to clients based on the data returned from those surveys. I also recently took the GRE and hope to apply to master’s programs in statistics later this year.

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