Success Story: Zhe Wang 

Zhe Wang received her Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Statistics from UConn in 2020, and she is now an Assistant Professor in Data Analytics at Denison University, in Granville Ohio. Wang advises students that career preparation is the key to success and to start early in their planning process.  

Career Coaching Sessions were Extremely Helpful

When applying for jobs, Wang arranged for Career Coaching sessions at UConn for the preparation of her documents. The Center of Career Development assisted in polishing her application documents and helped her prepare for interviews. Wang recalls that as an international student and a woman in STEM, she was nervous and felt helpless at the start of the process. Wang recalled that “after three months working with my coach, we were sitting together and negotiating the offer. She was more than a mentor. She helped me know myself better.” 

Wang discussed her experience during the interview process and encourages authenticity. “Behave in the interview as closely as possible to how you behave every day, and how you would behave on the job.” 

Utilize Faculty as a Career Resource

In addition to working with the Center for Career Development, Wang utilized her professors in her job search. “The faculty in my department were super supportive. They wrote recommendation letters and kept sharing the job information. There was a time when five professors forwarded me the same job! I was so grateful!” 

Leverage Your Teaching

Being the primary instructor in the classroom was instrumental to her success in teaching today. “Being an instructor is totally different from being a teaching assistant. I learned how to be creative and responsible. It helped me to include more details and thoughts in the teaching statements. Additionally, “I was one of the graduate consultants in the Statistical Consulting Service. I learned how to communicate with non-tech clients, to understand their needs, and to work in a team.” 

Find Ways to Improve your Soft Skills

Outside of the classroom Wang continuously worked to improve her soft skills, “time management was the biggest problem, especially in my third year. I was teaching two different courses, taking two advanced courses, preparing for the general exam, and working on the dissertation at the same time. My life was full of “urgent but unimportant” tasks. Believe it or not, my very first attempt was being an early riser. Just to be more confident and prepared for the day, and have a short uninterrupted time to work (of course night owls also have this privilege). I was feeling like I got extra hours for the day.” 

By Desirée Martino   

By Desiree Martino
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