Soft Skills Are Important: Video Transcript

Cathie Spino (BS Mathematics and Statistics, Miami, 1983) [Research Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan's School of Public Health]: For students who are studying mathematics or statistics here at Miami or elsewhere, the world is your oyster. And that sounds like a little bit of a hyperbole, but I think like right now there's a lot of hype with Google and Big Data right now. So people with quantitative skills are necessary, whether it's in government at the FDA at EPA, so FDA — Food and Drug Administration — Environmental Protection Agency. We're becoming a more quantitative world, and so if you've got those quantitative skills, and you could go and incorporate that with really good soft skills, the ability to speak, the ability to cooperate with other people, that, you've got so many different avenues about where, where you could go, whether it's academic or government, or not-for-profits, it's really fun. It's a great. And also for parents. It's a good return on your investment, you get a lot of opportunities, and you're solving really interesting problems.

For mathematics and statistics majors at Miami, who are looking past Miami days, past Oxford, when you know when you're heading on out on 127, I think the things that you should be looking for is thinking about networking and relationships, because at the very end, whether you're trying to get a grant, whether you're trying to get a job, while you're, if you're trying to influence people working on important problems, it really is your ability to connect with people. I think that makes you successful, and also makes you feel good, right? Because I think that many times, many of the graduates, or the people that are often successful in math and statistics or more of the quantitative fields, you know, you study so much about that discipline, about the technical aspects that you leave behind the personal aspects, those soft skills that people speak about. Those are really, really important. Many many of the jobs, many and just life in general, those are the things that I think that are, you know, make life, make life fun and will make you more successful in your career.

[October 2015]