What’s Next for the Class of 2013: Michelle Nolan

Michelle Nolan, MPH ’13 in Epidemiology

Michelle_NolanI’m working as a data analyst at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. I’m using the statistics knowledge I gained at the Mailman School to analyze different datasets that are coming in on a real-time basis to identify trends in prescription painkiller misuse.

My new job is giving me the chance to develop a surveillance system, which is an incredible responsibility given to someone who is just out of school. I’m also loving the opportunity to work with datasets that are real-time. Every morning when I come in, I’m the first person who has seen that data and the first person to run an analysis. It’s pretty exciting.

The Department of Health wanted someone with mapping skills, statistics, and experience with mortality data; it seemed like a perfect job for me. I thought it would take six months to hire me, but they wanted someone to start immediately. They were willing to work with someone who was attending school at the same time so I started in January.

I had fantastic professors while I was at the Mailman School, particularly in the Biostatistics department. Professor Martina Pavlicova and Professor Roger Vaughan gave me the skillset that I needed to do the type of analysis that I’m working with on a daily basis. In my interview, they grilled me on statistics and they tried asking me trick questions. But, because of the in-depth work faculty put into making their students successful, I was able to answer those questions. And that’s what ultimately got me the job.

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