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Alumni Profiles

Below are profiles from Statistics alumni who have shared what they have been up to since completeing their degree. Perhaps you have some great experiences or advice to share? If you are interested in being featured on our websie, then we would love to hear from you! Contact d.padalia@lse.ac.uk for more information. 

 
.... each class offered by the Department is uniquely challenging and interesting. The student community is very diverse and the alumni network is widespread within London and internationally.

Yuanchen Wang

Rahee Ambani - MSc Financial Statistics, 2018

 

Rahee Ambani

Rahee Ambani
Programme: MSc Financial Statistics  
Year of Graduation: 2018
Job title: Associate, CDC Group plc
LinkedIn 

Tell us about what you do 
I work with the Chief Investment Office of an asset management company based out of London. My role involves a significant amount of analytics, strategy and building a top down view of the investment portfolio. 

What made you choose LSE Statistics? 
The wide range of courses offered by the Department and the diversity of the class every year encouraged me to join LSE. This course also opened up a large avenue of exciting job and research opportunities ranging from media analytics, risk analytics and strategy to quantitative research.

What was the main thing you learned from studying at LSE’s Department of Statistics? 
The coursework challenges you to take up theoretical concepts and apply them to real world problems. The Practitioners Challenge held at LSE with Apsara Capital was an exciting opportunity to make use of learning from the Time Series classes.

What are some of your key memories from your time spent here, and why do you think it is important to remain connected to LSE? 
Looking back at the long hours spent in group study at the library and the George IV (in that order!), I realise what a close knit and collaborative community I was a part of at LSE. Even after starting to work, I continue learning by working on investment research projects with former classmates. 

Do you have any hobbies or projects outside of work? 
I grew up playing lawn tennis at a competitive level and continue to pursue it even today. I have also been working part time with a textile manufacturer in India to set up a production unit that employs disadvantaged women. All profits from the sale of products go to funding of education and housing for these women.  

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at the Department of Statistics? 
I would say that each class offered by the Department is uniquely challenging and interesting. The professors are extremely engaging and helpful even outside the classroom. The student community is very diverse and the alumni network is widespread within London and internationally. 

What is the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome? 
As someone looking to start a career, with so many options out there post a degree from LSE, I found it particularly challenging to be able to make a decision on which path to follow. For instance, while studying at LSE I always thought I would be a quantitative researcher at a financial institution. It was only after interviewing and meeting more people did I realise that what sounded good in theory would not be right for me in practise.

What has been the best experience in your career to date?
I am currently running point on two projects and working directly with several senior professionals to obtain the end objectives. The first project entails creating a new risk tool and presenting it to the company board later this year.  I am also working on creating a macroeconomic strategy framework for a key region for my current firm. This has been a great learning opportunity both in terms of project content and developing my soft skills.

 

Marion Brethe - MSc Statistics, 2012

 

Marion Brethe

Marion Brethe 
Programme: MSc Statistics 
Year of Graduation: 2012 
Job title: Business Analyst 
LinkedIn 

Tell us about what you do 
I worked as a Business Analyst at Google for the last few years but I left in 2019 to focus on my next project. I love art history so my aim is to become a researcher in the field and apply statistics to the study of artworks. I am working towards that goal by starting an art history course at Oxford.

Where have you worked previously?  
I have worked in a number of marketing analytics roles since graduating from LSE. I find the application of statistics to marketing fascinating. As an analyst, my aim is to bring life to raw data, build a story to understand which products customers are most likely to buy, what their shopping patterns are, and which segments of the population we should target for our marketing campaigns. It is a mix of social science, decision science and statistics!

How did you get into the field you currently work in?  
As a teenager, I would read the national surveys produced by the government to better understand the population - I suppose I was then trying to figure out the world for myself! Only later did I discover that these reports were most and foremost “just” statistics. I then decided to do a degree in statistics. I wasn’t even really good at maths - but this is where perseverance came in handy!

What made you choose LSE Statistics?  
After my bachelor degree, I worked in Ireland as a Risk Analyst for a few years. I soon felt I needed to study a little bit more to hone my statistical skills. A masters also gives you better recognition in the analytical field and I knew LSE, a world-class university, would give me the best experience in terms of teaching and environment. 

What are some of your key memories from your time spent at LSE?  
I loved writing my thesis. Exams were over, we had 2 months to write it over the summer. I have really fond memories of the summer days, where a few of us would meet at the library, study together and wrap up early so we could enjoy a few drinks at the nearby pub.   

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at the Department of Statistics? 
Studying stats at LSE not only gives you the strong statistical background you need to get a fantastic job, it also gives you the opportunity to be part of a dynamic and exciting School - assist at conferences and events, make friends from all over the world and learn from incredible teachers.

I loved the fact that you can pick and choose the modules from the programme, so there is something for everybody, from someone looking for highly-technical statistic theory to someone, (like me), who is interested in the real-life applications of statistics. 

What is the greatest challenge you've had to overcome?Going back to school after a few years working in a company was not easy. I needed some help with calculus at the beginning and I was not used to preparing for exams anymore, - but this taught me that it is ok to ask for help, from fellow students and teachers.

What's the best piece of advice you ever received? 
Keep it simple! We often tend to overcomplicate things. Thinking too much, complicated dissertation topics, wordy presentations, complex modelling. But in my opinion, even complicated statistical concepts can be explained in very simple terms, business problems can be solved with simple models... and stakeholders will love you for it! 

If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? 
Nothing! I found the course challenging and the technical skills learnt during my year at LSE are now extremely useful in my work. The course helped me gain the confidence I needed. And I met incredible people while studying there, both within the Department and wider School.

 

Michal Heydel - BSc Statistics with Finance, 2017, MSc Data Science, 2018

 

Michal Heydel

Michal Heydel 
Programme: BSc Statistics with Finance, MSc Data Science 
Year of Graduation: 2017 (BSc), 2018 (MSc) 
Job title: Data Scientist at QuantCo 
LinkedIn 

Tell us about what you do  
I currently work as a Data Scientist at a Smart Data Analytics company, QuantCo. We specialise in data science, engineering, and economics to help organisations turn data into decisions. My work ranges from harnessing big data using scalable machine learning, through designing and evaluating experiments, to leading key strategy meetings with clients. 

How did you get into the field you currently work in?  
The education provided by the Departament of Statistics gave me a strong advantage in the job market and I landed a fantastic job. I met QuantCo through the LSE SU Machine Learning Society, in which I was involved in.

What made you choose LSE Statistics?
The Department of Statistics offers a great balance between the theoretical modules and more practical ones. I believe it is one of the few course that provides you with tools and methods that are used on a day-to-day basis in a workplace / professional context. Personally I use 90% of the knowlegde gained during my studies in my daily job. 

What was the main thing you learned from studying at LSE’s Department of Statistics?  
I would say generally critical thinking and getting exposure to real-life problems in the professional world. For example, during my Master’s Capstone Project, I had the opportunity to work alongside data scientists from Facebook Research. 

What are some of your key memories from your time spent here, and why do you think it is important to remain connected to LSE?  
Ohh, there are many! Organising one of the largest stundent-run conference at LSE, the LSE SU Polish Economic Forum, attending interesting talks, conferences organised by the faculty or other societies, staying late nights with my collegues at the library and having interesting conversations. I think it is important to continue building a strong alumni community. It is always interesting to meet alumni, share LSE experiences, and see other career paths that people have taken. Just recently, I met an alumni group in Germany and Singapore, it was cool to recall the memories from LSE!

Do you have any hobbies or projects outside of work? 
Yes, I try to devote my spare time to sports. In winter I go skiing, whereas during summer I try to find time to go windsurfing and surfing. In the evening, I often listen to podcasts, audiobooks or have a call with friends around the world.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at the Department of Statistics? 
I would have definitely done it again! The advice I would give to someone is to take advantage of their time at LSE and being in London. LSE offers not only a great education but also the possibility to explore various career opportunities and learn about interesting things by attending different conferences and events. Be sure to enjoy your time as a student!

What has been the best experience in your career to date? 
The feeling that you directly impact a companies’ performance and solving problems using state-of-art methods gives you a unique experience. I always look forward to A/B test results to see the impact we can create and that keeps me extremely satisfied with my current position.

What's the best piece of advice you ever received? 
I once heard that everyone has their own pace, especially in their career. That encourages me to avoid comparison to others, and just focus on self-development. 

 

Yuanchen Wang - BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Business, 2016

 

Alvin Yuanchen Wang

Yuanchen Wang 
Programme: BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Business 
Year of Graduation: 2016 
Job title: Data and Analytics Senior Associate at PwC 
LinkedIn

Tell us about what you do 
I currently work as a Senior Associate at PwC’s ever-growing data and analytics practice. We provide data oriented solutions, ranging from descriptive data analysis to prescriptive machine learning predictions, to solve some of the biggest global challenges for our clients, predominately in the financial services industry (Banking, Capital Markets, Asset and Wealth management). The work ranges from short proof of concepts to demonstrate the benefits of harnessing big data using scaled Machine Learning, all the way to long term regulatory based data projects such as GDPR and MIFID II. I’ve been fortunate enough to have driven and implemented several machine learning initiatives, using Python and PySpark, for two global banks in this area.

Where have you worked previously? 
Prior to PwC, I worked for Accenture’s AI practice for just under two years. My role was very similar to that at PwC – using advanced analytics and machine learning drive value for our clients in the financial services industry. I helped a global bank develop a Machine Learning Classifier that can substantially reduce costs for one of their Financial Crime domains using SAS. I also worked with an external vendor in implementing customer and counter-party clustering using topological data analysis.

How did you get into the field you currently work in? 
At LSE, I was heavily involved in the LSE SU Consultancy Society, which ultimately led me to join Accenture as a graduate. After the first three months at Accenture, I realised that traditional management/strategy consultancy wasn't for me, as I personally wasn’t able to fully maximise my statistics knowledge and skills gained from LSE in that area. I quickly capitalised on the great opportunity to move into Accenture’s AI practice to set foot upon the exciting Data Science and Analytics sphere!

What made you choose LSE Statistics? 
I chose LSE Statistics for two main reasons. The first reason being LSE! LSE is truly a diverse, international and global university where you can experience over 150 nationalities and cultures within a few blocks concentrated in Holborn. Being an ethnic Chinese growing up in the suburbs of London, this was truly an eye-opening experience that wasn't to be missed. Secondly, the Department provide courses in Statistics which contain the right balance on theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge (e.g. group-work). The theory taught in first and second year give you the foundations to becoming a well nurtured statistician. During third year, the flexibility of modules ensure you can choose those that will prepare you for a statistics career of your choice, whether it is academia or industry!

What was the main thing you learned from studying at LSE’s Department of Statistics? 
The doors and opportunities that a degree in Statistics at LSE can open for you given we live in a world full of data, (which is growing exponentially).

What are some of your key memories from your time spent here, and why do you think it is important to remain connected to LSE? 
Honestly, too many! Inviting speakers and organising the annual consultancy conference for the LSESU Consultancy Society, meeting people who grew up on the other side of the world, and having deep conversations with friends in the library at 1am in the weeks leading up to the exam season, just to name a few! It's crucial to remain connected with LSE because you just never know when and how the LSE network (e.g. alumni network, former coursemates) could suddenly help you in your career again!

Do you have any hobbies or projects outside of work? 
Watching basketball (NBA) and football, going for a run in the gym, and staying on top of the news in this ever-changing world we live in. Always got to have hobbies outside work! More recently, I have also undertaken a part-time evening MSc in Data Science whilst working at PwC. 

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at the Department of Statistics? 
Try to always think about the practical and applicable side of the statistics modules, as opposed to purely learning the theory, (e.g. where would systematic sampling be beneficial in the real world?). It would make things much more relevant to reality. Statistics aside, I would recommend just making the most out of what LSE can offer you and try step out of your comfort zone – change and growth happens outside this area!