Lisa Kirch

Graduate Student and Stay-at-Home Mom
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Originally from the U.S. east coast, I have also lived in Switzerland, Belgium, Malaysia, and the U.S. west coast. A woman of many interests, I have studied economics, mathematics, art, design, and other languages and cultures over the years. I have had the opportunity to work for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Charles Schwab, and BusinessWire to get a feel for research, design, development, programming, and production issues. At the moment I am a part-time graduate student and a full-time stay-at-home mom, teacher, event and logistics coordinator, and household CFO.

What initially attracted you to the Master of Information and Data Science?

I love that UC Berkeley’s Master of Information and Data Science is very hands-on with cutting-edge topics and technology. Here was a brand-new, cutting-edge program that combined my favorite interests — finding data patterns, understanding behavioral economics, analyzing, visualizing and communicating complex ideas and concepts, applying new technology in unique ways, and making science and design accessible to others. The idea of working with people with similar interests is very exciting.

Why did you decide to pursue the Master of Information and Data Science?

I have taken the past few years off from paid work to be a stay-at-home mom. The online aspect of the program provides the flexibility I need. This is the perfect transition to take my
interests and skills to the next level before returning to the paid work force.

What surprised you the most about the program once you started taking classes?

The professors, students, and classes are amazing. Due to the variety of backgrounds, there are so many interesting perspectives brought up during the online class sessions that really stimulate my brain and inspire me to investigate new areas of data science. The level of collaboration is amazing.

What do you hope to accomplish upon graduation?

Providing people with useful information has always been my passion. Once I finish my Master of Information and Data Science degree, I plan to apply my skills to redesign user experiences, promote sustainable design and smart technology, and find new ways to more effectively provide services and logistics to consumers.