Alyssa Miller

Class Year

’14

Hometown

Maplewood, Minn.

Major(s)

Mathematics

Minor(s)

Business Administration, English, Psychology

Alyssa Miller likes to be challenged, so she’s majoring in mathematics with plans to go into actuarial science. But she also wanted a supportive college community. She’s found both at Carthage.

Carthage’s small size means Alyssa has gotten to know her professors. In fact, she lined up a summer internship thanks to a professor who passed her name to another faculty member with connections in Alyssa’s hometown.

“It’s that sort of personal connection that can only happen in a small school like Carthage,” Alyssa said.

In the future, she plans to work as a consultant in the actuarial science field. “I’m in the Actuarial Science class right now, and it is not only helping me prepare for the first actuarial exam, but it’s teaching me how to self-study, which is imperative for success on future exams,” she said.

Alyssa has been working with Prof. Mark Snavely to make sure she’s on the right track. “He is readily available for any help you may need, and really knows his way around the exams,” she said. “He also has an extensive prep website with practice exams that he wrote, which is an excellent supplement to outside study materials.” 

Alyssa said she’s inspired by the excitement and passion her professors in the Mathematics Department have for their subject. “I have one professor in particular, Prof. Erlan Wheeler, who gets so excited about combinatorics that his voice seems to go up an octave,” she said. “These professors have been teaching the same thing over and over for years, so for someone to be that excited about Pascal’s Triangle or recurrence relations is pretty inspiring.”

“There’s just nothing like having professors and faculty who know your name — and more importantly, have you on their radar.”

Alyssa Miller, ’14

Career goal

“I am going into actuarial science after graduation.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“I’ve never had a math professor at Carthage that I didn’t like. If I have to choose a favorite, though, I would have to say Prof. Snavely. He is an invaluable resource for my field — not to mention, he is an all-around great guy who takes a sincere interest in his students.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has also been my hardest so far. I took Differential Equations my sophomore year. After a year off of math while deciding my major, I jumped right in. It was rough at times, but I enjoyed the challenge. It was one of those classes where if you got the right answer, you felt very accomplished, and I loved that. I do not suggest taking it first thing after a year off though. It is challenging enough without simultaneously re-learning calculus!”

Campus involvement

“Currently, I am the treasurer for Finance and Investment Club and I am in Math Club.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite moment happened at work. I work in the Business Office, and I was sitting at a computer when I got a call. I saw who it was, jumped up, and ran to the hallway to answer. The call was from a firm that I had just interviewed with, offering me the internship. I ran back in the office to tell everyone, and got a huge round of hugs.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I find myself spending a lot of time in the lobby of Einstein’s. It’s perfect! Everyone seems to pass by, it smells great, and it’s the perfect location for when you’re scrambling to eat between class and work.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I’ve been surprised by how much campus is constantly being improved. First they added the Oaks, then the new Student Union, then they remodeled the Caf, and now they are going to remodel Straz. That is a lot of improvements for the two and a half years I’ve been here!” (Read about Carthage facilities)

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Do it. If you’re even considering it, you know you like numbers. Math is an excellent degree to have, and the Math Department at Carthage is absolutely wonderful. You will not regret it.”