Three reasons I love studying statistics at UIUC

LAS student poses for photo in downtown ChicagoLavanya Srivastava is a senior studying statistics in the College of LAS.

Statistics are important in the real world

Statistics are everywhere. One of the things that drew me to studying statistics in the first place was that everyone has some sort of understanding about it and that it can be applied in any field. It’s extremely fascinating how many conversations are had where we casually bring up some sort of data to make a point. The best example of this is the global pandemic that we’re currently facing. Whether it’s a discussion about the number of positive cases or positivity rate in a region with family or friends, or experts determining the efficacy of a vaccine during clinical trials, it can be applied everywhere at different levels. When it comes to career opportunities, the options available to a Statistics major are endless. You can be a Data Scientist at a popular social media platform or an analyst at an insurance agency, it’s up to the students and their own personal interests.

The major requirements and structure

The University of Illinois has an elaborate list of classes required to be a successful Statistics major. In my opinion, these courses are planned and structured in the most effective way possible. Students are allowed to build a strong foundation with Calculus and introductory level statistics courses in their initial semesters and then the concepts gradually get more advanced with every course you take until we’re ready to apply our learnings at full-time jobs, internships, or graduate schools. Being a senior myself, I’ve taken a fair number of Statistics courses, and I find that the way each course is structured allows you to process and fully grasp each concept before moving on to the next and is exactly what I need and appreciate about statistics at Illinois.   

A great community

This year, I have had the amazing opportunity to be a Statistics Student ambassador. This allowed me to not only form greater connections with other statistics majors but also with other faculty members and advisors in the Department of Statistics. It truly is a great feeling to be surrounded by those with interests similar to yours and it really paves the way for some engaging conversations. Being an ambassador gave me the chance to recognize the positive environment in the department and made me realize that your advisors really do have your best interests in mind while guiding you to make important decisions.  Workshops, events, and seminars are frequently organized by the department that I find extremely beneficial and are a great way to raise awareness among students about the different opportunities and resources available to them.  

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Lavanya Srivastava