When she arrived at USD as an undergraduate, Jensen said she was initially drawn to medicine. “Looking back, my professors knew before I did that I belonged in science,” she said.

Math and chemistry became her dual undergraduate majors, and a master’s degree and doctorate in computational chemistry at USD immediately followed. Jensen now works as a consumer data scientist at Dollar General, the national chain variety store.

A headshot of Stephanie Jensen.“I look at ad campaigns through various channels and help measure whether they are successful or not, look at ways we can make them better and research different data science models that could be useful,” she said. “On a daily basis, it’s a whole lot of Python and SQL, putting out fires, trying to revamp processes to make everything more efficient and automated, and figuring out how to implement data science solutions to set us up for success in the future.”

Her experiences at USD, in the classroom and the lab, provided Jensen with a strong skillset in her field while also giving her a broad liberal arts education valuable in her corporate job. The former Honors Program student said she continues to draw upon what she learned in classes, which ranged from science fiction to international relations.

“So many classes covered topics I normally wouldn’t be able to engage in, which helps me connect to my coworkers in different ways,” Jensen said. “The courses on math, chemistry and biology, computer science, etc., all have set me up to having and maintaining a strong, relevant skillset, but I believe the liberal arts aspects of my education and early engagement in research is what has helped the most in the corporate world.”

Read more about how the USD College of Arts & Sciences is preparing students for careers in data science and artificial intelligence.

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