I am a Statistical Analyst at the Gallup Organization for both their consulting division and their World Poll. Gallup is a research-based consulting company that uses survey research as their data collection method. Within the consulting division I work with commercial, government and healthcare clients to help them better engage their employees and their customers. I also work on customized projects for them involving social and economic research.
The World Poll surveys citizens in more than 140 countries, representing 95% of the world's population. For the first time in history, it is possible to consistently access 6 billion opinions on a global scale. What the world is thinking about all subjects all the time. I am a member of their methodological team specifically within the Latin American region.
My duties overall include exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. Some of the analyses I perform are multivariate regression, index creation, factor analysis, data mining and structural equation modeling. As we collect our data via survey research, I also engage in sampling design and weighting of the data.
The MPS program in Applied Statistics at Cornell prepared me well for my position at Gallup. The program's extensive use of SAS was invaluable as this skill is truly a hot commodity in the workforce. The year-long final project is very similar to the ongoing collaborative projects I work on daily at Gallup.
The program's emphasis on application and "real-world" scenarios were very realistic. There is no "right answer" in statistics so I was taught to trust myself to assess the trade-offs and find what I thought was the best answer in a given situation. I use this every day at work.
The program really gives you a little bit of everything. It was in-depth on certain topics but broad enough that I was at least exposed to a host of statistical theories and analyses. Thus very few things have come up in my work that I wasn't at least aware of beforehand.
I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to work in statistics immediately after graduation but doesn't want to teach or do research. It gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to get the job I wanted. It was an extremely worthwhile endeavor!