Brian Williamson | Mathematics
From: Mercer Island, WA
Pomona Days: Class of 2014 | Mathematics
Current Employment: PhD Student in Biostatistics at the University of Washington, with a Research Assistantship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Past Employment: Mentor/Grader at Pomona College
Your professors are both an excellent source of knowledge and great people to know. Make meaningful connections with them, and ask for help with everything from summer research opportunities to on-campus employment to applying to graduate school. My career trajectory has been significantly improved thanks to their efforts, and helping students is why they teach!
Pomona's commitment to student jobs on campus is a great way to be involved in the community. Give back to your department by grading or mentoring for a course, TAing for a lab, or becoming a liaison. These experiences will help not only in academia but also in any job you have post-graduation, and can also help you make a decision on your next steps.
Last, take advantage of all of the wide variety of courses that the 5 C's have to offer. Don't get stuck in the trap of taking only classes for your major - some of the best courses I took were completely unrelated to mine, and gave a breath of fresh air to a semester. A healthy balance of courses from different disciplines gives you a unique viewpoint in all of them, and is a strength of Pomona and of the 5 C's in general.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about applying to graduate school, careers in Statistics or Biostatistics, or anything else that strikes your fancy!