People are complex -- which fascinates me. If I drop a pencil, I know it will fall down. If I heat water, I know it will boil. But but with people, it's not so simple. We're an amalgam of experiences, contexts, and values, and this mix influences how we interact with the world and behave in different contexts.

I can't pinpoint my interest in User Research a specific moment in life, but I can say my experiences at Oberlin College and the Texas iSchool have solidified my passion for it. With the various psychology research classes I took in undergrad, I had the ability to learn more about what makes us tick, and what motivates our behavior. More so, my classes at the Texas iSchool have given me the foundation to explore how we interact with technology, and understand ways user research and positively impact our everyday life. Overall, both programs have given me a strong foundation in both qualitative and quantitative methods, and an understanding of how to explore a variety of problem spaces and scenarios using these methods.

Currently, my interests have been expanding to include data science and broader quantitative methods. Companies currently collect a plethora of data on a variety of consumer and usage metrics, but user research has historically been considered a heavily qualitative field. I believe there's ample opportunity to weld qualitative and quantitative methodology to yield more robust, insightful results. Outside of my previous experience with survey design, learning more development skills (data scraping, machine learning, pre-processing) has given me a better understanding of the relationship between quantitative and qualitative methodology, and the ways in which they can work together


Statement of intent.In 500 words or less, specify your professional goals. Discuss how your iSchool education, your undergraduate degree, your volunteer efforts, prior employment, and/or similar events and experiences reflect and helped shape your professional interests and how they will aid you in achieving your goals. Think of the intended audience as a recruiter, hiring manager, or potential employer. Articulate your goals at a high level to demonstrate how your abilities might translate to multiple environments. For example, the characteristics that enable success as a reference librarian in a public library—ability to refine research questions, identify appropriate sources, and determine strategies for evaluating the value of retrieved materials—also enable success in domains such as market research, competitive intelligence, and so on. Similarly, the skills that enable success as a library cataloger are equally good preparation for digital asset management.