The Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science (MPSDS) has an extraordinary place in my heart and memories. The program helped me to expand my knowledge in quantitative methods and statistics and gain a more holistic perspective about survey research.
During my first year, I worked with Dr. Brady West and Dr. James Wagner in a project that investigated the impact of financial incentives in the probability of someone completing a survey. That was a rewarding opportunity as I learned a great deal, especially about applying logistic regression models to solve real-world problems. Brady and James are brilliant, well-known researchers, and they treated me as an equal in their team. Once that project was completed, I was afforded the opportunity to present the results of our work at the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) Conference in 2017.
Overall, the research assistantship offered to master students is an outstanding feature of the program and a very unique opportunity to work closely with the faculty. Also, for someone who comes directly from an undergraduate program, being a research assistant is particularly interesting, because it helps to expand your curriculum via hands-on projects.
Another outstanding feature of this program is the leeway that students have to select their electives and to take courses that will contribute to their own career goals. For instance, I was able to take three courses in the Ross Business School in the domains of marketing research, big data analysis, and consumer behavior.
Currently, I am a doctoral student in Media and Information at Michigan State University. The knowledge and experience I acquired in the survey methodology program have been instrumental to my academic pursuits.