Early Career Profiles:
Recent bachelors-level graduates in the mathematical sciences
North Carolina State University
Information Services Professional
Milliken & Company
What Renee Does:
As a software developer, I help develop and maintain systems to support
Milliken’s business practices. More specifically, I am part of the
Order Fulfillment team which has responsibility for systems including order
entry, allocation of inventory to orders, shipping, and invoicing.
Prerequisite jobs held before this job - N/A
On the Job:
I am involved in various phases of project work depending on the needs
at any given time. My job involves tasks such as project design, writing
program specifications, coding and testing programs, and following up on
installations. I also interact with customers to gather requirements and
ensure customer satisfaction.
The primary application of mathematics in my job is the use of logical
thinking and reasoning skills, especially in considering various combinations
and permutations of data a program must be able to handle. Some projects
require specific skills such as optimization, statistical analysis, and
One of my first large-scale projects was to help interface Milliken’s
first direct-to-consumer website directly with the existing order entry
system. More recently, I converted a seven-step, two-person task to prepare
an order for the shipping process into one seamless behind-the-scenes process
that is automatically initiated when the inventory for the order is available.
Peace College – Associate of Science Degree, May 1997. NCSU – Bachelor
of Science Degree, December 1999.
In general, logical thinking and reasoning skills gained in proof-based
classes such as Mathematical Analysis. Specific projects have called for
skills such as optimization, statistical analysis, and financial analysis.
The ability to communicate ideas to various audiences, such as peers,
managers, and customers. The ability to manage and prioritize various projects
and tasks. The desire to understand business practices and the ability
to apply them to determine the “best” solution to a business
An internship with the National Security Agency the summer before I graduated
helped me gain a better idea of what I wanted in a career and how math
is applied outside of the classroom. It also demonstrated to potential
employers that I could apply my skills beyond the classroom.
Keep an open mind about career options because your perception of what
a career is like might be far different from what it is like in reality.
As a college student, I thought a career in software development would
leave me sitting at a computer writing code all day long. After interviewing
at Milliken I began to realize there was far more involved, and after I
started working I realized that software development is quite a natural
fit for me. I’ve always enjoyed solving puzzles, and software development
involves solving real-life puzzles and ensuring the solution fits into
the overall business picture. I would also recommend getting hands-on experience
through internships or part-time employment to help refine your career
goals and minimize misperceptions