L1020515.jpg1/29/17 Update: I am joining Crisis Text Line’s Data Science team. I’m thrilled to see my passion for Data Science intersect with my dedication to Crisis Text Line’s mission. I’ll be spending two weeks in New York in our main office before returning to San Francisco to be a part of our growing West Coast team.

I am grateful to have this tremendous opportunity to drive impact as both a volunteer and a full-time employee at this life-saving organization. I worked tirelessly to earn this position. Now, with a heart full of warmth and a mind brimming with curiosity, the real work begins.

9/18/16 Update: I am nearing completion of a 13-week Data Science Immersive program at Galvanize in San Francisco. Following three rounds of technical interviews, I was accepted into the August 1st cohort. It has been incredible learning how to combine the worlds of statistics, machine learning, linear algebra, and programming to perform powerful analyses. Last month I wrote in more detail about one of my main motivations for entering the field of Data Science. “Using Data to Save Lives” explores how Crisis Text Line is using data to drive a new approach to crisis intervention. Insights from this data corpus have the potential to force a rethinking of how we most effectively support those in need.

This data is already being used to save lives, and the full potential of its impact has only just started to take shape.

My learning rate from USC to Galvanize has only continued to accelerate. I am eager to find an opportunity for continued learning and impact in the workforce following completion of this immersive program.

College Experience: 

  • Policy Work (Cato Institute): My first summer after freshmen year I interned at the Cato Institute as a Research Analyst. I worked with a foreign policy scholar to craft research and topics for policy papers and OP / EDs. This policy-oriented experience was a real-world application of my IR studies.
  • High-Tech Startup (StackSocial): The next summer I worked at a high tech startup in Venice beach called StackSocial on the Sales and Product teams. Among other tasks, on the Sales team I single-handedly closed 40K of new business and on the Product team I analyzed 6,000 past promotions to provide strategy insights.
  • Investment Banking (Stifel Nicolaus): In my final summer of college, I joined Stifel Nicolaus as an investment banking analyst. I interacted extensively with excel and performed various tasks to support deal flow operations. One of my largest projects was assisting with a $2B private placement for an electronic gaming company.

The policy framework from Cato, the multi-functionality at StackSocial and the rigorous analytical approach at Stifel Nicolaus each taught me different ways to view problems and creatively find solutions. These disparate fields gave me the opportunity to develop a more adaptable mindset.

In my final year at USC, I explored two more defining experiences that taught me incredible lessons. Late into my fall semester, I came across an exciting non-profit named Crisis Text Line. Since training and joining the team in December of 2015, I have spent more than 240 hours volunteering as a crisis counselor. Read more about my experience with this life-saving organization here.

In December of 2015, I decided to begin chronicling my thoughts on technology and my personal developments. With no direction or coercion but my own, I have crafted this website that now boasts 21 unique pieces of content and over 3,500 unique views in 13 months. My article “Does Uber Have an IPO Problem?” won 2nd place and a $500 cash prize at USC’s Undergraduate Writers’ Conference. What began as a hobby has turned into a rewarding medium of expression and self-exploration.

Each of these experiences has taught me something different about my strengths, weaknesses and where I find fulfillment. I feel empowered to be both directed and maintain heathy-skepticism toward where I go next.