Statisticians in the Consumer Products & Biopharm Industries Highlighted in Virtual Career Fair

William Brenneman (P&G) describes career tracks for statisticians at P&G.Junshui Ma (Merck) reviews qualifications for statistical positions at Merck.Wei Shen (Eli Lilly) describes open positions at Eli Lilly.Ying Ding (University of Pittsburgh) forwards a question to the panelists Junshui Ma (Merck), William Brenneman (P&G), and Wei Shen (Eli Lilly) to respond to.

The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) sponsored yet another virtual career fair, the tenth in a series of webinars that aim to assist graduate students or individuals interested in a career change to get an inside look into the role of statisticians in a variety of application areas.  This session is a good example of NISS’s ability to leverage the professional connections it has developed over the years both through NISS’s Affiliate institutions but also through other contexts to identify experienced senior statisticians who have a broad understanding of the field as well as an intimate knowledge of the day-to-day requirements and opportunities for statisticians within their organizations.  

This second career fair this fall featured career opportunities at consumer products and bio-pharmaceutical industries Procter & Gamble, Merck and Eli Lilly.  The panelists for this session included: William Brenneman, a Research Fellow and Global Statistics Discipline Leader within the Statistics Department at Procter & Gamble Company; Junshui Ma Senior Principal Scientist at Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc. and Wei Shen, Senior Director, Statistics, Data and Analytics at Eli Lilly and Company.   Ying Ding Associate Professor from the University of Pittsburgh served as moderator for this event.

All three speakers began their presentations providing a quick overview of their company, the business their company focuses on and then the role that statisticians play within this mission.  From here each panelist followed up by providing lots of good advice regarding the qualifications and skills that will make a difference in your application, specific information about available career paths, and most importantly each of them reviewed the positions that each company is trying to fill!  Any students looking for positions in the near term learned lots about the future opportunities!

Moderator Ying Ding was busy throughout the session forwarding questions to the panelists to address, such as, “For entry level statisticians, where does your company find talent typically - Indeed, company website, school job posts, somewhere else?  Where are the best places recent grads can go?”, “To pursue a technical track, would you recommend getting a PhD degree, or would self-learning through online tutorials, etc. suffice?”, “Can you tell us how you decided to do a PhD and what were the reasons?” and “I was wondering if doing a postdoc in biostatistics after a PhD in statistics would be considered a plus for a career later in biopharm, or is it better to just join a team in a company after graduating?”  

Good questions! And even better answers.  If you are, or soon to be on the job market, this is a session you will definitely want to view.  Below, you can find a recording of the session as well as the slides used by each of the panelists.

Keep an eye open for the next virtual career fair! NISS career fairs highlight opportunities for statisticians working in all types of different sectors in academia, industry and throughout government.  These online sessions are free!  Plus, you get to hear from experienced professionals who can give you an inside look into an area you may be interested in!   Be sure to register early!

Event Recording

Slides used by the Speakers

William Brenneman (Procter & Gamble) 

"Practicing Statistics and Data Science at P&G"

Junshui Ma (Merck)  

"Statisticians’ Jobs in Merck"

Wei Shen (Eli Lilly)  

"Life of a Statistician at Lilly"

Friday, October 15, 2021 by Glenn Johnson