What UROP Program(s) were you a part of?

MRC (now MRADS) 2015-2016

MRC Peer Advisor (2016-2017)

MRC Resident Advisor (2017-2018)

What made you choose UROP?

I was looking for a way to become academically immersed, and become part of a community at Michigan.

What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience?

Many things! Probably the biggest takeaway is how academia and the scientific method applies to a lot more things than I thought before (my research project was in the field of business operations, specifically ecommerce supply chain distribution strategy).

What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor?

I still occasionally catch-up with my research mentor, Dr. Amitabh Sinha. He has moved on from his faculty position at Michigan Ross and is a Senior Manager for Research Science at Amazon. Interestingly enough, we spent some time in the same general industry when I was at my last employer, Grainger (distribution for products bought through ecommerce channels).

How did your UROP experience shape or inform the next steps you took in your academic and professional journey?

My experience exposed me a fair bit to how many questions with business strategy and operations can be approached scientifically, and with quantitative rigor. Firms that are able to successfully do that will gain extreme competitive advantage. That line of thinking proved valuable to get the most value of my statistics-heavy degree, and has informed my career direction (data-oriented software development)

What advice would you give to a current UROP student?

Be open-minded. There is a good chance you may change what your post-grad plans are. There are a lot of reasons for this. Some opportunities will close or be delayed due to luck, unforeseen circumstances, or how difficult they are to obtain in the first place. Some opportunities may come up that you never knew about or did not exist before. You will grow and develop through university, so there is a really good chance your values and what you want with your post-grad life will evolve - and that is going to change what kind of opportunities are more or less attractive to you. When I matriculated to Michigan, I thought I was committed to Investment Banking or Management Consulting, and wanted to focus on that for my academic, extracurriculars, and professional development. I ended up instead pursuing an Informatics degree, having a very rewarding tenure in student government, and I am now a Machine Learning Engineer helping make innovative and ethical Software-as-a-Service products at Crowe. I am very grateful for how all that turned out.

What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of?

I am excited about my professional growth so far.  I learned and contributed a lot during my time as a Software and Data Engineer within Grainger's Engineering Development Program, and hope to sustain that momentum and add value in my new role as a Machine Learning Engineer at Crowe.

Is there any other advice you would like to impart to current or future UROP students?

The biggest takeaway I have from my experience are the relationships. I have kept in touch with a lot of people from MRC, and some of them are my closest friends, and I consider them family. Get to know others in your labs, research groups, and advisor groups - there are a lot of extremely talented people with diverse backgrounds and interests in our research community. The impact this can have on your social and professional networks is probably the most profound part of the value proposition of getting involved with UROP and its affiliate programs.