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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

McNair Scholars

Aimée Petitbon

Ursuline Academy of New Orleans
Metairie, Louisiana
Statistics with Actuarial Science concentration 

My UofSC journey taught me as long as you stay true to yourself, every moment will be profound in ways you never could have imagined.

Impactful experience: 
Changing my major sophomore year to Statistics was the one of the most impactful experiences both inside and outside the classroom. While students change their majors constantly, as a perfectionist who did not handle changes well, I had assigned illogical meaning and pressure to the idea that if I were a part of the prestigious International Business program at UofSC, I would figure out my life and everything would be ok. I was on one of the best paths I could be on. How could it not work out? The truth of the matter is, I did not know what I wanted to do. By sophomore year, however, I knew that that major path was not for me. I missed quantitative analysis and problem-solving. While I still do not exactly know what career path is for me, I have a better idea now that I have switched to Statistics. Something about it feels right, just like choosing to come to UofSC. Both intuitive decisions have been some of the best choices I ever made. I enjoy my classes more and can see myself enjoying it beyond college. Changing my major was very hard on me, but I am more comfortable with the unknown now. I try to look at life, not as a rigid plan, but a flowing outline that can be adjusted step by step. 

Enjoy most as a TS: 
Top Scholars gave me my first community, friends, and family at UofSC. From being recruited four years ago to graduating in May, I have always felt that I have someone to turn to, that I matter, and that I belong here, whether faculty and staff or peers, roommates, and best friends. I have shared so many wonderful experiences with my scholar 2021 class starting from the Honors Residence Hall to classes to birthdays to vacations and beyond. 

Taking MGSC 291 sophomore year with Dr. Whitcomb exposed me to my love for data analytics and quantitative career goals, which inevitably led me to change my major from International Business to Statistics. From meeting with Dr. Hitchcock spring of my sophomore year and getting to know the rest of the Statistics department, I finally found an area of study in which I could see myself pursuing a career. I am very grateful with each class I take that I decided to make this switch—even though I never foresaw this as my path—and I will be proud of my choice to do so and the opportunities that result from it for the rest of my life.  

Post-graduate plans: 
Aimée has accepted a position with Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic as part of the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy, where she will be doing analytics and intelligence work for the United States Navy. She plans to gain valuable experience in industry before seeking a masters or PhD in an analysis related field to further her career opportunities across various industries including consulting, tech, finance, and intelligence and defense. 

Career goals/professional aspirations: 
I am still in the process of figuring out what type of career I want. I am constantly thinking, questioning, wondering. I enjoy quantitative and problem-solving applications, but I also enjoy working with people and learning about new cultures, experiences, and various subjects. My goal is to test different industries and discover what type of career best contributes to my personal fulfillment and comfortably supports me. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.