Alumni Notes 2017-18

Nearly 100 alumni from the classes of 1993-2017 shared personal and professional updates. Find out who's an actuary, who went back to school, who started a family, and more below and on additional pages .

2017

Brian Bahmanyar

I’m a data scientist at Google in Mountain View. I work on understanding user behavior on Google Search and using it to improve the relevance of our search ads.

Lately, I’ve been learning to play the piano and reading a lot of psychology. I would highly recommend Don Norman’s “The Design of Everyday Things.”

Upneet Cheema

Life and time has been moving so quickly since graduating in June. To say graduation was a whirlwind is an understatement. Such a proud moment! Now, the next chapter has started in Las Vegas. I am currently an analyst at Boyd Gaming. Since my move, I have connected with some amazing people and mentors, who have made Las Vegas feel homey. In my off time, I hang out and discover the city, rollerblade, hike and read. I had said I always wanted to test the waters in corporate America, but my true passion is teaching. I hope to transition sometime in the future and also take some time out to travel. Although my time in SLO has come to end, the amazing memories and bonds will always be with me.

Caiti Feeley

After graduation I was lucky enough to travel to Ireland for two weeks with my Dad. We did some research on Ancestry.com and actually found my great-great-grandparents’ burial site along with some of our Irish relatives, the Fehillys (the original spelling of Feeley)! Saying the trip was spectacular would be an understatement. Since then, I have started my full-time position as a data scientist at Gap Inc. in San Francisco. Ironically enough, I'm on the same team as Cal Poly Statistics alumna Jewels Lee, and we sit next to each other. We're both very grateful to the Statistics Department for it's stellar education and post-grad preparation. Sending lots of love down to SLO!

Hayley Ford

After graduation I set off for an enriching and enlightening trip around Europe. We were there for 38 days and spent time in nine total countries. While we were there, my high school sweetheart and a fellow Cal Poly graduate, proposed! The wedding is set for June 2018, and we are so excited to start this new chapter.

After the incredible travels, I moved back to San Diego, where I grew up, and found a job. I was hired in October as a digital analytics intern for a digital marketing agency called Red Door Interactive. Although my internship was intended to last six months, just last week I was promoted to a full-time, permanent position. This opportunity has been amazing, and every day I learn so many new things. The Analytics team is excited to explore predictive modeling opportunities for our clients using my unique background in statistics as a guide. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Jake Frattone

After graduating, I moved back to my hometown in Southern California and continued looking for a job.  After some time, I finally accepted a position as an associate analyst in business information at Applied Medical. Right now I am on the Commissions Team. I think it’s a great first job and a nice change of pace from being a student.

I have great memories of the SLO life. This includes everything from the late night Stat Lab study sessions, Woodstock’s Trivia nights, disc golf rounds after class and weekly beer die tournaments. I am really looking forward to and planning on coming back to SLO in the near future to visit friends and faculty.

Christina Garcia

I have been working at LBN, a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles, for about three months. I am immensely blessed and honored to be working with Cal Poly stats alumni Mat Adams and Maxwell Klingmann. Life is an adventure!

Elaina Gates

After graduation I moved back to my hometown of Pleasanton. I was lucky enough to start working in September, so I had some time off in the summer to relax. I was able to travel to Alaska and explore with friends. In September I started work at Workday as a data conversion and reporting consultant. So far I am really enjoying work and am looking forward to bringing many more Cal Poly alumni to Workday!

Jonathan Kisch

I can’t believe half a year has passed since we all graduated; I hope everyone is doing well and doing amazing statistical things both at Cal Poly and abroad! Since graduating I have accepted a business technology analyst position at Deloitte in San Francisco. I haven’t made the move yet but will soon be leaving the Central Coast for the Bay Area. I plan on attending graduate school next fall and am currently finishing my applications. If all goes well, I’ll be pursuing a master's degree in data science.

Francis Lara

Since finishing my degree, I've been working as a data analyst intern at Empyr, a marketing/tech company based in San Diego. I am currently in pursuit of full time opportunities as well.

Bradley Lubich

A few days after graduating I (along with my new bride, Marissa) helped lead a small team of Cal Poly students to Asia to bring the good news of Jesus to people who have not heard it before. We returned to the U.S. at the end of July and went straight from LAX to Riverside to look for housing while crashing with my cousins for a few days. Then, we spent a few weeks visiting family in Northern California. At the end of August, we moved to Riverside where she started with a new team with CRU and I started graduate school in statistics at UC Riverside. Graduate school has been a challenge, but it’s nothing Cal Poly hasn’t prepared me for. We’ve met some cool people in Riverside and are enjoying the start of the next phase of life. Thanks to all my Cal Poly professors who have helped prepare me — God bless!

Reina Ono

I currently work at Continental Datagraphics, a Boeing Company in Long Beach, Calif. I work within the C-17 program at Boeing as a data analyst for the C-17 Globemaster III (Air Force defense planes).

Claudia Sison

I am currently in the Business Analytics Master's Program here at Cal Poly and will graduate in June of 2018. So far, my experience in the Statistics Department has really given me the opportunity to excel in my classes. I have been applying to different types of jobs, mainly tech companies in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco area and quantitative analyst positions for Major League Baseball teams. I haven't truly experienced the post-graduate life yet as I am still a student, but I love being able to be in SLO for another year!

Caroline Yovanovich

After graduating, I spent most of the summer at home spending time with family and friends. In September, I moved to Santa Barbara to start graduate school at UC Santa Barbara. I'm almost done with my first quarter working towards a doctorate in statistics. I'm very thankful for Cal Poly and the Statistics Department for preparing me for this new chapter, and I hope to come back and visit soon!

2016

Cisco Bass

I am currently working at a digital marketing agency called Wpromote. I started here in January and am coming up on the one year mark fast. I don't use a lot of statistics. Instead my role is more marketing and strategy based, specifically managing a variety of clients’ paid search (Google/Youtube ads) accounts. I will say that I'm one of the few to have a data background in the marketing industry, and it has definitely helped me get ahead.

Patsy Garcia

I've been living in Bakersfield with my husband and two mini schnauzers for almost a year and a half now and have been working toward my master's at CSU Fullerton. Their program allows me to attend class remotely so I (fortunately) can afford to live somewhere without roommates. I've been working at Chevron (not the gas station) as an engineering coordinator for six months now and am happy to report that I've managed to impress my team with my stats knowledge and coding skills. I was able to get this job without knowing any of the programs that are used at Chevron and was able to learn them all pretty quickly, so I'm really grateful for how well our Cal Poly stats professors prepared us. As an official adult, I'd like to say that one of my favorite things about work (so far) is having an out-of-office meeting — except for the "getting lost on the way there" part, which I'll admit I did the first time. Anyway, Bakersfield is a lot better than I had previously imagined, so reach out to me if you're ever in town.

Jake Jaffe

Unbelievably, it’s been a year since I started working in San Francisco for Berkshire Hathaway. I have since become a permanent team member (I started as a temp). I work in workers’ comp so most of my time is spent organizing data in Excel and reading workers’ comp claims.

Since I work in insurance, I decided to invest in the path toward becoming an actuary. I passed my first actuary exam (Exam P) in July 2017 and my next one is scheduled for February 2018. It’s been exhausting working full time and finding time to study, but passing makes it worth it!

Isaac Layton

Since graduating, I've been working at a small company in town that makes tripods and camera support equipment, helping them manage their supply chain. Since I'm still in SLO, sometimes I'll still run into our professors, like at Woodstock's trivia night. I'll be getting married in May of this upcoming year to one of my best friends from Cal Poly. I really miss you all!

Ivan Matsiyeuski

Several weeks after graduating I began my career at Workday as a reporting and analytics consultant in Pleasanton, Calif. I couldn't be happier because things are going great. I already got promoted, and I am very close to my family who live in Sacramento.

Although the work is not as technical as our upper division courses were, the company is growing at an exponential rate; new tools are getting added every year, and it is only a matter of time before we embrace all the sophisticated statistical methods.

I remember trying to make a decision on whether to stay at CSU Sacramento for another semester and graduate or to pursue my passion at Cal Poly. That being said, I made the best decision of my life when I chose to come to Cal Poly and learn from such an amazing Statistics Department. Thank you all for everything!

Fun fact: Elaina Gates and I are now coworkers; her work station is right next to mine.

Danny Rithy

I attended WUSS in Long Beach as a volunteer coordinator. I was mainly getting responses from potential volunteers including student scholars and junior professionals and assigning them into their sessions. This job helped me learn how to manage and keep track of volunteers. Even though I’m no longer using SAS, it was an opportunity for me to being involved in a committee.

This year I’ve focused more on skills than statistics itself. I’m currently taking automotive mechanics classes to learn more about fixing cars and their systems. So far, it’s pretty fun. I wanted to learn how to use tools as well. One important thing I learned from Cal Poly is how to understand and think instead of memorize formulas. In addition, last summer, I took Microsoft Excel and Word courses to learn more about their functions, tabs and shortcuts. I feel confident about using Excel, except I’m not too good in VBA.

Other than that, I’ve been exploring more activities like cooking, fashion and concerts.

Megan Whitworth

After graduating I started a professional internship for The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Fla. During this past year, I was hired full-time by the company and will continue working as a data analyst. Being born and raised in California, it was a big move for me across the country, but I've adjusted well to Florida's hot weather and enjoy spending my weekends at Disney. Thanks Cal Poly Stats Department for giving me the technical skills that I needed to accomplish my dream of working for Disney!

2015

Boudewijn Aasman

Since graduating, I have moved to New York City to be a data scientist and work at a research group at a large hospital. Though I started off in a more 'analytical' data science role, my love for programming and all things Python has put me into a data engineering position here, where I get to work with awesome technologies such as Spark, Kafka and lots of other cool things. I could not be happier with my work and am endlessly thankful for the education I received at Cal Poly.

Jason Anderson

I have finally moved into career mode by landing a job as a data analyst with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, Wash. The institute's goal is to make population-based measurements and comparisons of the global burden of diseases, injuries and risk factors. I mainly extract relevant information from papers and study data to provide to a researcher for modeling purposes. I started in October 2017 and have learned many new things and processes. I'm excited for the journey ahead.

Leland Bailey

I feel like I graduated a few weeks ago and also like it's been 15 years since I was at Cal Poly. Adulthood does interesting things to one's perspective of time.

I'm currently living in Oakland, right on the northeast side of Lake Merritt, with two very good friends from high school. I'm working as a quality assurance analyst at Lincoln Families, a non-profit dedicated to providing mental health therapy to youth and families affected by poverty and trauma. The people I work with are so interesting, diverse and compassionate, and I really couldn't be happier that I found this company.

My goal is to transfer to Lincoln's Evaluations Department, which does more of the analytic heavy lifting. I'm keeping my skills fresh with online courses and books, and preparing for an interview that I would very much like to nail.

My longer term plan is to attend graduate school. I realized almost immediately after leaving Cal Poly how much I missed learning. I have no current plans to leave Lincoln, but when the time is right, I'm going back to school, hopefully with enough saved up to avoid any major loans.

Colton Gagel

I am currently working as a data analyst at a software company down here in San Diego, and this place is hard not to like. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is nice, and I get to continue to grow, learn, and utilize my statistics degree from Cal Poly.

I miss everyone from the department and hope the best for you all!

Julia Goll

I am in Irvine, Calif., now, still working for Compass Analytics with their new CPPE product as an investor specialist. I can't believe a year has gone by already! Hope everyone is well. I am most thankful to be back by the beach.

Amber Hanna

Hey alums! I can't wait to see how we're all progressing. As for myself, I am working in the energy industry at Sempra Energy here in sunny San Diego, Calif. I accepted a new position as a natural gas scheduler in June 2017, dealing with the natural gas market in the Gulf South and East Coast regions of the country.

Martha Mejia-Henao

I recently completed two years of working at Hyundai Motor America. Currently, I am in their Customer Operations team handling all of the call center data and the customer satisfaction model. I also entered into Hyundai’s innovative idea competition and made it to the final round, so I have a big and fun side project running. My project/idea will hopefully be launched in 2018. Stay tuned!

As far as personal life goes, I’ve just been traveling as much as possible. Most recently, I spent some time in Medellin, Colombia.

Cary Hernandez

After graduating in the best city in America, I worked at a display advertising startup called Quantcast for a little under a year. I worked as an analyst on online media campaigns for our clients. I then got recruited by Facebook and have been working there for more than a year. My role is a hybrid of an analyst/program manager working on new product testing. I guide multiple product teams on how to test new products and analyze the results to determine whether to launch.

Helen (Totterdell) Hilton

In April 2017, I earned my master's degree in public health, and my husband earned his master's in statistics. Our baby, Charlotte, joined us for the ceremony, and her graduation outfit was a big hit among everyone there. Since then, we have moved to the Denver area. I'm currently staying at home with Charlotte and enjoying every second of it, but I'm still working on publishing a few papers from graduate school research. An abstract for research I did on family problems and coping mechanisms used by adolescents on Tumblr was just accepted as a presentation for PAA 2018, and I'm hoping I'll be able to attend.

Jeremy Mulcahey

I earned my master's in statistics last year from the University of Georgia (UGA). I work for State Farm as a research statistician in Athens, Ga. I have been with the company for about two and a half years now. My current role in the Modeling and Analytics Graduate Network (MAGNet) involves mentoring State Farm interns on research projects while they pursue graduate degrees in statistics at UGA (go Dawgs). I greatly enjoy my job and department, so send me a message if you ever want to talk about MAGNet or life on The Farm.

Chelsea Obrochta

I’m currently working on my doctorate in public health, epidemiology through the San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program. I earned my MPH from San Diego State University in 2017. My research interests include cancer epidemiology, epidemiologic methodology and health disparities including racial/ethnic, social and geographic. The motivating factor for my research is the inequities in vulnerable populations’ access to health care and quality of care. As a public health professional, I believe that universal health care should be a priority and want to raise awareness about inequities in our current system.

Phillip Richardson

I recently moved to San Leandro and started a new position as an insurance product analyst for AAA in Walnut Creek. When I'm not commuting, I use SAS and SQL to support product initiatives for the Project Management teams. I am getting to use the quantitative skills I developed in the Stat Department to make meaningful decisions. I still miss late nights in the stat lab though.

Robin Tu

I’m still stuck in Central Illinois inching toward my doctorate in statistics. Measure theory is a butt kicker, and I expect large sample theory will be as well. My dissertation topic will be in bioinformatics, specifically in Methylation. I’ve recently completed two semesters interning at State Farm, first working on agent placement and then on re-evaluating debits for multiple sclerosis. I bump into Jeremy Mulcahey from time to time, since he works at State Farm (at UGA) and drops by the Research Development Center in Champaign periodically. I’m still running marathons and participating in triathlons. Recently, I did the 2017 Boston Marathon and crashed at Donna and Bradley’s place, and the 2017 Portland Marathon. I’ll be doing the Chicago Marathon in 2018!

Chris Yim

After obtaining my master's at North Carolina State, I now work as a senior associate at Ankura Consulting Group doing data analytics in their litigation and disputes department. I recently relocated to southern California, living in Carlsbad and enjoying going back to wearing flip flops on a frequent basis.

Read more updates:  1993-2004    2005-2008    2009-2010    2011-2012    2013-2014    2015-2017

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