Lulu Yan graduated from Cornell University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biometry and Statistics. After spending a decade as a data scientist in several industries, Yan is currently developing a healthcare startup in Silicon Valley. "Cherish your time at Cornell and strive for a career with fulfillment and passion," she offered to current students, "no matter what you do or where you work in the future."
What do you remember most about your time as a student in Ithaca? The moments before certain exams and project deadlines; the friendships in and outside of the classroom; my performances for PREPARE program and for class at Schwartz Center; starry summer nights after my part-time job in a library; and climbing up the hill in the snow.
Where do you work now, and what do you do? I am currently working on my healthcare startup in San Francisco. During the decade prior to June 2018, I had been working in the space of statistics and data science across a few industries - multiple sectors in healthcare, internet (shortly), insurance, and finance.
How did your Cornell education prepare you in your current role? Technical courses for the academic major provided basic skills and a solid foundation for continuous learning during my work as a statistician/quant/data scientist, regardless of industry. The liberal arts education prepared me to follow my heart and take calculated risks. Common Cornell experiences have brought me closer to alumni in both organizations and geographical locations.
What advice would you give to current statistics students about working in the industry or academia? I believe that current statistics students should not worry about finding a good job in demand: Statistics is such a widely applicable subject and the academic rigor of Cornell Stats prepares you well. Instead, cherish your time at Cornell and strive for a career with fulfillment and passion, no matter what you do or where you work in the future.
Anything else you’d like to add about your education and/or your Cornell experience? I am very grateful to the people who made an impact during my Cornell career and afterwards. If any of you can see this, I want to thank you again.