Meet a Graduate Programs in Software Student

Graduate Programs in Software students come from all different backgrounds, cultures, and walks-of-life.

Meet Alyssa (Peterson) Toay, one of over 3,900 students who have graduated from a GPS graduate program. She experienced success in our master's program in Data Science. As of May 2018, Alyssa is currently employed as a Data Scientist for a Fortune 500 company.

Alyssa Peterson right pose 550w with vertical crop

Name: Alyssa Peterson
Graduate Degree: M.S. in Data Science - December 2016
Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in Economics, University of St. Thomas, May 2014
Who inspires her:  “My parents- especially my dad who is a software engineer. Also, successful women in software and engineering. They give younger generations someone to look up to and aspire to be like.”
She's a fan of:

“HGTV and the Food Network; Watching ‘Friends’ reruns; Coffee; Time spent with family and friends.”

On a Sunday afternoon you will find her:  “Studying at a coffee shop or out on a nature walk.”
Why she chose to study data science:  “I worked with a large data set of entertainment revenue in my undergraduate econometrics class. I found it fascinating to run a statistical analysis and discover the story behind the data.”
Best thing about her graduate program:

“The class content and hands-on lectures. It’s also so exciting when you have been working on a project and you discover something new about the software you’re using or the data set you’re working on.”

Why she chose St. Thomas for her graduate program:

“The UST community. Our professors work hard to make class content interesting and they really want to see their students succeed. The other students in the program have helped me feel welcome and included even though I didn't have programming experience before I started my master’s classes.”

Advice to others thinking about pursuing a software/IT/data science major:

“At first it may seem intimidating, but once you dive in, you can do it if you bring your determination. Software is learnable if you work hard.”