STEM Career Series: Science Majors
This week we’re going to Boston College for a STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) focused Career Fair. At Comlinkdata, we have quite a few STEM majors so we wanted to catch up with them to see how their majors have played a part in their careers.
For the first part of the series, we’ll start with the Science majors, Rick Katz, CFO and COO, and Kyle Cornetta, Director of Data Operations.
Where did you go to school and what was your major?
Rick Katz: I went to Tufts for a BS in Chemical Physics and then SUNY Stony Brook for and MS in Physical Chemistry.
Kyle Cornetta: I went to UCONN. I started in Biomedical Engineering and then switched to Economics.
Why did you pick your major?
Katz: Other than being a masochist, I was truly interested in fundamental science and understanding how things work. I started in Physics and developed an interest in Chemistry as well.
Corny: For biomedical engineering, I was interested in the health field and I had a strong skill set in math and sciences. After a couple of years I had a choice between bio, math, economics or bio med and I ended up moving to economics because it’s widely applicable to the future and there were numerous different career paths.
How have you incorporated your major into your career and current role?
Katz: A background in science gave me an ability to analyze data, draw insights and come to conclusions. This ability has served me well throughout my career in consulting and all the way up through today.
Corny: There is a direct relationship between my major and current role. I learned a particular set of skills, specifically hypothesis testing and how to solve problems. It’s important to know how to structure the correct process of problem solving, to understand what results people are looking for, and how to communicate those results. It shapes your critical thinking and that’s what’s important.
What advice would you give to current science majors?
Katz: If you’re in science, don’t feel like that narrows down the possibilities for the future. You can work in science in academia or on the commercial side. You can also branch out into other careers because the analytical skills you gain give you a good foundation for a lot of other paths.
Corny: Don’t take the little things for granted. And don’t get bogged down in a particular theory or process. Think more holistically about what doctors and professors say. You might not understand everything they talk about, or the theories they present, but think about what they tried to accomplish as a whole. Don’t lose sight of the big picture.
What is a funny/strange/weird way you’ve used your science major at CLD or in life?
Katz: It helped me argue for Tom Brady about the Ideal Gas Law. It also helped me with my daughter’s science project. We had to calculate the density of different Shopkins.
Corny: I used econometrics in a project on what contributes to PGA tour wins.. and then I used that methodology to develop KPIs for Comlinkdata. I also use it for my daily fantasy line-ups.