Samuel Hellman, Statistician at the Department of Biobank Research with a Master’s of Science in Statistics degree from Umeå University
Which year did you graduate with a Master's of Science in Statistics from Umeå University? I graduated spring 2016.
What do you do now? Right now, I work as a statistician at the Department of Biobank Research at Umeå University. I am part of a project team responsible for a register of regional blood samples and associated data, e.g., answers to health questionnaires, and to assist researchers with data retrieval from the register. The work contains programming and quality work with the register, but also to help researchers with statistical questions and to obtain statistics about the register. I got the job almost immediately after taking my Master's degree.
Which knowledge or skill that you acquired during the master courses do think you have been most useful for you? To practice programming in statistical programming languages, mostly in R, over the course of several courses, has been most useful to me in my work life. In addition to this, it has been useful to be able to provide statistical results and concepts in a manner that people can understand, and to have insight into a large number of statistical methods.
Tell us about the master courses you took? Which did you find most interesting? Programming in Statistics is probably the course I have had most use for in my work, but the course in Causal inference is the course I thought was most interesting. I wrote my Bachelor's thesis within the area of Causal inference and it was interesting to learn more about it.
What was the best with your studies in Statistics and Mathematical Statistics at Umeå University? For me, the best part of the studies was the opportunity to continue to develop what I learned from the Bachelor's program, and to take a course in the area of statistics that interest me the most: causal inference.
What was most difficult with your studies in Statistics and Mathematical Statistics at Umeå University? A couple of the master courses in statistics required quite complicated math. Since it then was a while since I read pure math courses, it took a little while before I could catch up within those courses.
How did the contact with the teachers work? It worked really well! The teachers were dedicated, and welcomed our comments and questions.
How is the student life in Umeå (social activities and so on)? I might be the wrong person to ask. I was not so involved in student activities but I know that the student unions and student pubs often organize events in the evenings and weekends. And then there are bigger events like Brännbollsyran of course. Brännbollsyran is a cup of Brännboll (rounders) at daytime with lots of student teams participating and a large music festival at night and takes place in the end of May or begin of June.
Do you have any advice to students thinking about coming here to study? Try, already early on, to find someone to study with. Two heads are better than one, and when you get stuck it is great help to be able to discuss ideas with someone else. Working together also gives you the opportunity to review each other's work before submissions of larger assignments and so on.