panel discussion

Career Panel: Mathematicians in Industry

Career panel at Mobify


On the evening of August 16th, BC Data Science workshop participants gathered at Mobify headquarters for a career panel and social event. The panel discussed non-academic career options for mathematicians; how mathematicians should prepare for industry jobs and job interviews; and what differences to expect in industry. More broadly, the panelists discussed career success, personal values, and strategies for achieving career-oriented goals.

The panel included recent graduates in mathematics/statistics now working in industry, as well as a senior manager at Amazon who interfaces with — and hires — mathematicians and computer scientists. The Q&A session was followed by a lively social with complementary food and beverage.

Our panelists

  • Lilian Wong, Ph.D. Mathematics (CalTech)
    Research Scientist at Amazon Vancouver
  • Roger Donaldson, Ph.D. Mathematics (CalTech) Technical Consultant at Midvale Applied Mathematics Inc.
  • Bernard Chan, Ph.D. Applied Mathematics (Western University) Data Scientist at BuildDirect Technologies
  • Megan McCorquodale, M.Sc. Statistics (SFU)
    Data Scientist, Absolute Software
  • Zak Islam
    Sr. Manager, AWS Messaging at Amazon Web Services

Career panel takeaways

A collection of resources mentioned by the panelists that could be useful to those contemplating industry.

  • Data for Good (Vancouver Chapter)
  • The Lean Startup was recommended by Zak as a good book for business-related material important for consultancy and startups.
  • Brian Wetton offered resources to IAM students for new indepedent group projects.

For a very useful and developed (esp. for UBC students) list of takeaways and other notes, see Curt da Silva’s BCDataTakeaways readme.