What Elizabeth Does:
- Looking throughout the company to find ways to have the operation run more efficiently
- Six years
- Prerequisite jobs held before this job - Advanced degree (MS, PhD) in Operations Research or related field
On the job:
- Creating mathematical models to improve operations; using statistical analysis to analyze the effectiveness of the models; meeting with people in other departments to understand what they do create new ways to help them do their job more efficiently.
- Topics Used: Regression Analysis, basic statistics, Design of Experiments
- Fleeting Planning Study: helps the airline determine which markets
to place new aircraft in as well as which type of aircraft and how many.
Multiple runs are made by using a Fleet assignment model, and their results
are analyzed. To run the model, historical data needs to be pulled and
formatted with a complete list of soft/hard constraints. Determining the proper inventory that needs to be on hand for aircraft
maintenance. Balancing the cost of storing the inventory against the cost
of an idle aircraft while the part is being ordered. Developing more accurate methods to control seat inventory. This determines
the number of seats made available for each price range. (This is increasingly
critical post 9/11, with never before seen high oil prices and the competition
against low cost carriers)
- BS Mathematics (NCSU, 1997), BA Spanish (NCSU, 1998), MS Operations Research (Georgia Institute of Technology, 1998)
- Statistical Analysis (Regression Analysis, Design of Experiments). Overall: math trains you how to think, how to approach any problem logically and how to use this logic to work towards an answer. No one single class prepares you for this, but rather the entire discipline.
- Good communication, presentation skills. An open mind to new thoughts, an ability to approach problems from new perspectives. Final “skill”: a love to travel, as working for an airline opens up an entire world to explore!
- (As is true for every job….) A drive to succeed and a passion for your job. When you figure out which industry you wish to pursue, choose class projects that use data and examine problems in that given field. Not only does this give you a taste of the work and help you determine if you’re on the right path, but it also gives you a leg up when the time comes to apply for jobs.
- Colleges generally offer theoretical or applied math programs. A
good balance between the two is critical in any industry. Find an application that really interests you. It’s easy to go to
work when your job motivates you and you enjoy what you are doing. Be open to new experiences, as they present you with the opportunity to
see things in new perspectives. This in turn helps you to think “outside
the box” and solve the “unsolvable”.