Richard Costello

Seeing how statistical analysis underpins our understanding of the world—from science and economics through to philosophy—drew Richard to Applied Statistics.

Richard Costello in front of mirrored windows

“My primary take-away from my major has been gaining the understanding of how to apply statistical tools to questions about the world around us,” says Richard. This gives him the confidence to enter the workforce with flexible expectations and the ability to do a wide variety of jobs. “I’ll be applying for roles in government and at Statistics New Zealand. From there, I’ll see where my professional career takes me.”

His favourite course so far has been STAT392, which covered the planning and proposition of a statistical survey in a real-world setting. It was the culmination of his analytical, survey design, and hypothesis-testing knowledge developed over his time at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. “Statistics is incredibly rewarding and understandable, and I believe that is what has maintained my interest and enjoyment of the subject.”

The clear structure of the course has made course progression straightforward for Richard. STAT193 was the first course introducing him to the field. He then progressed on to two courses in his second year and four in his final year. “Much of the statistics programme builds on top of knowledge you have gained previously,” he says. The clear structure allowed Richard to dedicate his time to keeping on top of the delivered material. “It is incredibly important to stay on top of the content. I definitely spent a good amount of time reviewing the course notes, recorded lectures, and assignments, to make sure I am up to date.”

“I have enjoyed statistics because it requires a combination of mathematics and analytical thinking. Mathematics is critical to finding the relationships and patterns within data sets. Analytical thinking is necessary for producing relevant and useful inferences from those relationships.”