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From Training for Triathlons to Training Models: Why Laura Mathews Chose NC State’s Online Master of Statistics Program

Laura Mathews’ day job involves training and racing as a professional triathlete. When not actively training, Matthews set out to prepare for her next career. With a strong interest in mathematics and research, she knew a graduate degree in statistics would open up career opportunities in many different areas.  

Due to her busy travel schedule, she knew an online program would best fit her lifestyle. “I travel frequently to races and spend weeks at a time away from home at training camps. When looking at master’s programs, I almost exclusively looked at online programs because it would be more flexible around my work and travel schedule,” Mathews says.

She chose NC State’s Online Master of Statistics program and hasn’t been disappointed. Mathews says, “I would definitely recommend this program, and the online learning experience to others. I had great teachers through this program who made themselves very accessible to online students. I feel that my instructors have provided an excellent statistical background for my future studies. There were always scheduled office hours for each class, where any questions I had were answered and further discussions could be had with professors. In addition, I really loved being able to do schoolwork when it was most convenient for me, which was often very late at night.” As with her athletics, she has excelled in the program and is set to graduate in December 2021 with a 4.0 GPA.

Although she isn’t entirely sure what her next career will be, she knows she has gained valuable statistical knowledge, honed her problem solving skills, and learned a great deal about programming.  

“After I retire from professional triathlon, I hope to go to vet school and have a career in veterinary research. I have a solid understanding of statistics from this program. I am very surprised about how much programming I have learned! Prior to this, I had never done any kind of programming. I have really been surprised by how much SAS and R I have learned… I have already been able to use this new skill to write small programs for my part-time job as a research coordinator,” she says.

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This post was originally published in Department of Statistics.