Jovanna Baptista 2000

jbaptistaName: Jovanna Baptista

Major and year of graduation: Actuarial Mathematics, 2000

Life post graduation: I received my MS in Biostatistics from Harvard School of Public Health and began my career as a Biostatistician at a contract research organization (CRO) in 2002. In 2006, I became the Associate Director of Biostatistics and Data Managment at AMAG Pharmaceuticals. In 2008, I was the Director of Biometrics and Data Management at Altus Pharmaceuticals. I joined Shire in 2010 to support a clinical development of treatments for rare genetic diseases and am currently a Director of Biostatistics and Biostatistics Team Lead.

Why do you believe it is valuable to complete IQP abroad?

I believe it is valuable to complete IQP abroad because it teaches you how to work within a team in an unfamiliar environment with very little instruction on how to solve the technical problem presented. It allowed me to experience how my analytical training in mathematics could be applied to solving real-life problems beyond what is tested in the classroom. It is an opportunity for students to challenge themselves and build essential skills that will allow them to thrive beyond their education at WPI.

What is the most valuable takeaway from your IQP in London?

My IQP experience allowed me to understand the larger application of my technical education, which directly impacted my career path and helped me find an interesting and rewarding application of statistics in clinical development. In addition, it forced me to become comfortable with public speaking which is a skill that has allowed me to advance my career.

Why would you recommend the London Project Center to students applying abroad for IQP?

In particular the London Project Center affords students with the opportunity to work collaboratively with professionals in environments which will be quite similar to what students will be in after graduation.

How did completing your IQP in London open new doors for you academically and professionally?

Our IQP team was nominated in consideration for the President’s IQP Award and selected as one of three teams to present in front of judges, students, faculty, and family. Ultimately, we received the President’s IQP Award. That experience tested my ability to perform under pressure and gave me the confidence to take on any challenge without fear – academically and professionally. It provided me with a forum to showcase my contributions to a wide audience and forge connections outside of those that I had gained through my course work.

What was your favorite aspect of your IQP experience in London?

My favorite aspect was getting know and work with students outside of my major discipline. It was a very positive, unique experience that cultivated a strong sense of community.

What was the most interesting place in London you visited?

The Natural History Museum was definitely the most interesting place we visited.