Loyola University Chicago

Mathematics and Statistics


What did you do this summer?

What did you do this summer?
 From Left to Right: Alicia Kantor, Nicholas Marey, Shayna Milstein, Madison McCallister


  1. How and where did you spend your summer? What was your position? And for some context, what level of college study are you currently pursing?
    • Alicia: I had an internship at Nokia in Naperville, IL this summer. I was an intern in the quality planning department doing data analytics. I am currently a junior pursuing my Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Statistics. 

    • Nicholas: I spent my summer working for Allant Group as an Analytic Solutions Intern, imputing values for missing data based on the type of data that was missing, as well as creating customer waterfall data visualizations in Power BI. I am currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Applied Statistics.

    • Shayna: I spent my summer as an operations intern at Riptide Autonomous Solutions, a underwater robotics company located in Boston, MA. We manufacture micro-UUVs, or micro-unmanned, underwater vehicles. I am currently a senior pursuing my Bachelor’s in Mathematics.

    • Madison: I spent my summer researching Temperley-Lieb algebras. I was a research assistant under Dr. Emily Peters. About once a week, we would meet on campus to discuss the material and exercises I was studying. I am currently in my senior year of my undergraduate studies.

  2. How did you get the position? Where did you find it? Did someone offer it to you? 
    • Alicia: I added some adults from my neighborhood at home on LinkedIn and one reached out to me asking if I had an internship for the summer. I did not have anything lined up yet so said I would be interested in working in his department at Nokia. After this initial introduction to the position I was given a phone interview with the man who would be my direct manager and I got the job!

    • Nicholas: Similar for me, I found the job through LinkedIn. After going through several interviews, I received an offer to work for Allant Group.  

  1. Describe your average day on the job.
    • Nicholas: On an average day, we went through different SAS or SQL code and talked about how it applied to the problem I was working on. It was tricky because the data set was very large. Thus, it took a long time to find out whether what I coded was correct and if not, where the problem was. 

  2. What was your favorite part? Were there any difficult or challenging tasks? 
    • Madison: My favorite part was that I was researching a topic of mathematics that has a lot of unanswered questions. It was exciting to think that I was helping produce more knowledge in an area so unfamiliar to most. And even influencing what these findings could be used for in the future. The most difficult task was working through the exercises Dr. Peters assigned me. One problem took an entire month to solve. After writing up the solution neatly, it was nearly 17 pages long. Every week I would have more questions, locate and correct my errors until finally I found my desired solution.

  3. What did you get out of it? Did you learn any skills or something about yourself? 
    • Shayna: The environment was just astounding!! The smartest, most ambitious people I have ever been around. I loved working so closely with such remarkable engineering and businessmen, getting to see and understand how our vehicles are created and further built.  I asked so many questions! I took every single opportunity to learn more and grow. That was how I was able to be successful. 

  4. Did you use any programming language(s)? If so, what language(s)? Did you already know them, or were you trained?
    • Alicia: I primarily used Excel. I had not taken any Excel classes yet but I did have some previous knowledge about it. I learned a ton about excel functions and capabilities by teaching myself what I needed to use for the job. I don't know where I'd be without Google! I also was vaguely introduced to R and I helped a few other people with Python on occasion but that was it. I was able to do some statistical modeling, which I had not done a ton of before. I applied basic statistical concepts and even used matrices on occasion.

  5. Who did you work with? Did you make any new connections? Did it reaffirm or lead you to re-evaluate your career goals?
    • Shayna:  Riptide was housed in a sustainable tech incubator, so I was surrounded by dozens of young millennials who were mostly recent graduates of top-tier schools like Harvard and MIT. I had never been surrounded by people like that, more specifically motivated, intelligent, engineer type people. It completely changed my life and set me on a new path to want to return to that atmosphere for graduate school in Mechanical Engineering. 

    • Alicia: I had two direct managers - the R&D engineer and engineer manager - who I did most of my work for but I worked frequently with the data management director. There was also another intern who I worked with to help implement automated metric targets. I was able to meet many other people in the department as well who were working on finance or robotics. This made me want to pursue actuarial science instead of data analytics. I found myself very intrigued with the financial projects of the company as opposed to my projects so I think actuarial science is the best route for me. 

  6. Which Loyola courses prepared you the most for summer experience?
    • Alicia: The courses that best prepared me for this internship were STAT 305 (Probability and Statistics 2) and MATH 212 (Linear Algebra). INFS 247 (Business Information Systems) would have been really beneficial to have taken before the internship. 

    • Nicholas: I utilized SAS and SQL programming languages. I was taught SAS by Dr. Perry in STAT 403 , but SQL I learned through free, massive open online courses.  

  7. How soon did you start looking for summer opportunities? Do you have any advice for undergraduate students when looking for a similar summer experience?
    • Nicholas: I started looking around September/October for a summer position, but I put the most effort into it around the start of the new year. I would advise other students that they should be persistent if they would like to find a summer internship. 

    • Alicia: I started looking for internships in February. I realized that for any actuarial internship you really need to have one test under your belt so this year I am going to apply hopefully with one under my belt. I think you need to apply by 2018 to find any good internship without connections.