The Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science (MPSDS) has been a place to allow me to grow, professionally, academically and as an individual. From my first visit to the program when preparing to apply, staff and faculty were very generous with their time and when I was accepted had a couple of professors even reach out welcoming me to the program. These experiences stood out and made the decision easy to come here because of how welcomed you were made to feel.
The academic rigor of this program at first shocked me, even with previous graduate school experience. The structure of the program gives you a broad range of skills and useful hands-on experience. Faculty want you to succeed and they take a lot of time to make sure you understand the material but can also apply it. They are very encouraging and willing to assist with various things outside their course and willing to connect you to those in the field or helping you apply to various conferences.
As a recipient of the Achievement Fellowship, I work with Dr. James Wagner and Dr. Brady West on a project with the NSF. This is a unique experience because of the hands-on work I was able to work on from the first week I was here. It is also a fantastic opportunity to network and work with others in the field while also learning those professional skills that will be useful later. This position allowed me to really apply the coursework to real world application and even start learning more advanced topics that I will learn later in the program.
The program also makes efforts to connect you to alumni including inviting them to various online events. The program is very well known across various industries, and Michigan alumni are excellent resources willing to connect you to colleagues or even give you tips on resume polishing.