Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Meet Perla Molina '23

USF Data Science Student

She talks about her major in data science, her internship, and how her education helps her in the working world.

Why USF?
I chose to study at USF because I truly admired the qualitative education the school provides on top of a really diverse student roster. I come from a suburban white town in northern Nevada and growing up, I never felt like I belonged. I often was in classes in which I was the only Latin American student. While the area had a good number of Latine people, it was still very hateful towards marginalized communities in many ways. But both USF and the city of San Francisco felt welcoming and I've never felt more at peace with who I am ever since I came to USF. I've discovered a lot about myself and other cultures, on top of getting a well-rounded education. My major is also super fun and well-structured. The professors in my department are really great at what they do and they truly care about their students. USF simply has a great curriculum with great professors and a supportive faculty.

Where have you interned?
My first internship was last summer with DaVita Kidney Care. I was on the clinical outcomes research team. I got to do research on caregiver stress of the caregivers of the company's dialysis patients. I definitely feel that my classes prepared me for this internship in terms of analytical and numerical skills which helped me when doing my analysis and presentation of the project I was working on. I also felt that my professors' guidance on how to act and process an internship setting was also very useful as it prepared me for how to approach my supervisors and other coworkers. 

How did USF prepare you for this internship?
Since this was an internship where I used more of my analytical skills rather than my mathematical skills, the internship did somewhat enhance what I learned in class. What I learned at USF was more enhanced when I got to view and give feedback on the research projects of the other employees in the team, in which they were creating algorithms for integrated kidney care and other more confidential health care research. The knowledge I had gained from classes allowed me to partake in conversations about other projects in which I wasn't a part. I was even able to give advice to senior-level employees about things I learned in class that they had never heard of. Through this aspect of my internship, I was able to properly witness real-world applications of what my professors teach in lectures.