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Junior Lisbet Zepeda Explores Career Possibilities During Summer Internship

September 11, 2018
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From when she first arrived at CNR to study mathematics, SAS junior Lisbet Zepeda expected to pursue a career as a math teacher after graduation. But an internship this summer has opened up her eyes to new possibilities for her future career.

“I always thought that math and education went hand in hand,” says Lisbet, who is double majoring in math and education, double minoring in Spanish and women’s studies and is also a member of the Honors Program at CNR. “But as I took higher level math courses, I realized there's so much more I can do with this. So I reached out to my advisor, and told him that I wanted to find an internship this summer strictly in the math field."

With some help from her advisor, Dr. Michael Gilliam, Lisbet landed an internship with MeritDirect, a data-driven marketing company. Working three days a week in their local Rye Brook office, Lisbet worked as a data analyst on several large projects.

One of those projects involved a deep price analysis for a company in France to help them determine why some products were selling better than others.

“I looked at their top 100 products and compared them to their top competitors. I did the research and compared product names, the ratings, etc. And I was able to report back to the client what products were similar, what products were very above what their competitor was offering and what items were below. Then the company can take that data analysis and determine if they need to change the pricing on certain items.”

Another project Lisbet had the opportunity to work on at Merit involved developing a Google Adwords campaign for a client to improve their search results for hundreds of products.

“I’ve seen sponsored ads when I Google a search term, but I didn’t really understand the work behind it until now,” says Lisbet. “It was amazing for me to be able to go in there and determine that ‘hey, someone would want to read this,’ or ‘someone would want to see this if they’re googling paint.’ It was really exciting.”

Now that the internship is over, Lisbet, who has also been honing her experience in the education field since freshman year running STEAM-oriented workshops for school-aged children, admits to being somewhat confused about her future career path.

“I always thought working in the math field was looking at spreadsheets all day,” she says. “The reality is you're working on real life problems. It's really interesting.”