MINERVA VOICES

A Conversation with Minerva Graduate Alumna Claudia González Leal

Introducing Claudia, a Master in Decision Analysis alumna.

August 24, 2023

​​This is part of a series of profiles introducing alumni from Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA). If you would like to learn more about our programs, please visit our website.

Originally from Mexico, Claudia Gonzalez Leal has completed two Master degrees concurrently—Minerva’s Master of Science in Decision Analysis and the Master of Science in Molecular Biology at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands. Pursuing two degrees at the same time gave her an opportunity to explore her passion toward biology, as well as an interest in the technical side of applied analysis.

Claudia finds the biggest value of Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis in the diversity of topics covered in the program’s curriculum. Having read and analyzed a number of articles and papers in a variety of contexts, Claudia appreciates the effect of being constantly exposed to new ideas and novel ways of thinking in developing her creativity.

“When applying to Minerva, I was not 100% sure in which field I wanted to work in the future. Minerva gave me a chance to acquire skills that would be valuable regardless of the career path I decided to choose. I felt like I was learning concepts and then choosing in which context I wanted to apply them.”

Claudia also particularly appreciates Minerva’s diverse student body, which made learning from her classmates’ experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives even more valuable. 

“All the professors and my colleagues were truly inspiring and I genuinely admire everyone involved in the program. Even though all the classes were held online, the human component of Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis is something that I truly cherish and value.”

This diversity was present in all aspects of the program. During the last semester of the degree, Claudia was amazed by the variety of choices of the thesis topics her classmates worked on, as everyone customized their thesis depending on their professional interests, even though all students took the same classes.

“It was beyond exciting to see the diversity of applications the same tool can provide. I think Minerva is great at keeping a very broad horizon and letting you extrapolate concepts from one field to another, and that is not something that is commonly taught in the institutions I have been a part of before.”

Working under the supervision of Minerva’s Provost Vicki Chandler, Claudia’s Master’s thesis was focused on analyzing a transcriptomic dataset to understand the effects of singular and combined therapies for rheumatoid arthritis. While also being in a wet lab, she could conduct experiments to test the hypothesis driven from the dataset analysis. In this way, she was able to combine the skills learned in both Master’s programs to reveal new insights with potential therapeutic applications.  

“Minerva equipped me with statistical and analytical tools that helped me to generate a hypothesis, assess its significance, and perform the necessary calculations to validate the hypothesis. Together with the knowledge I gained throughout my degree in Molecular Medicine at the Erasmus University, I was able to touch on both the scientific and technical side of the project.”

Claudia’s thesis work had a significant impact on her future career as she discovered a deep passion toward science and research and it became clear to her that she wanted to explore this field from an even more academic perspective. After graduation, Claudia decided to pursue a PhD in Molecular Biology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. 

Currently, Claudia’s work focuses on exploring the molecular mechanisms of cancer and researching the behavior of cells in pursuit of rebuilding themselves following DNA damage. Aside from her scientific knowledge, she utilizes a number of concepts she learned at Minerva in her everyday work, such as experimental design, hypothesis consolidation, and result analysis, especially when working with the use of microscopic techniques.

According to Claudia, analytical skills are crucial in every industry. When it comes to the scientific field, carefully analyzing the relevance of research findings is necessary to drive reliable conclusions. On the other hand, understanding the importance of insignificant results is crucial for scientists not to miss the potential to lead research toward new directions and discoveries.

“I think that having the ability to perform a statistical analysis gives you a framework on how to approach a problem and utilize logical thinking to support the decision-making process. An objective way to solve problems is crucial to be embraced not only by leaders, but people in charge of decision-making in every industry.”

Quick Facts

Name
Country
Class
Major

Natural Sciences

Social Sciences

Cognitive Science and Economics & Political Science

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Economics and Society

Cells and Organisms & Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Applied Problem Solving & Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

​​This is part of a series of profiles introducing alumni from Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA). If you would like to learn more about our programs, please visit our website.

Originally from Mexico, Claudia Gonzalez Leal has completed two Master degrees concurrently—Minerva’s Master of Science in Decision Analysis and the Master of Science in Molecular Biology at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands. Pursuing two degrees at the same time gave her an opportunity to explore her passion toward biology, as well as an interest in the technical side of applied analysis.

Claudia finds the biggest value of Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis in the diversity of topics covered in the program’s curriculum. Having read and analyzed a number of articles and papers in a variety of contexts, Claudia appreciates the effect of being constantly exposed to new ideas and novel ways of thinking in developing her creativity.

“When applying to Minerva, I was not 100% sure in which field I wanted to work in the future. Minerva gave me a chance to acquire skills that would be valuable regardless of the career path I decided to choose. I felt like I was learning concepts and then choosing in which context I wanted to apply them.”

Claudia also particularly appreciates Minerva’s diverse student body, which made learning from her classmates’ experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives even more valuable. 

“All the professors and my colleagues were truly inspiring and I genuinely admire everyone involved in the program. Even though all the classes were held online, the human component of Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis is something that I truly cherish and value.”

This diversity was present in all aspects of the program. During the last semester of the degree, Claudia was amazed by the variety of choices of the thesis topics her classmates worked on, as everyone customized their thesis depending on their professional interests, even though all students took the same classes.

“It was beyond exciting to see the diversity of applications the same tool can provide. I think Minerva is great at keeping a very broad horizon and letting you extrapolate concepts from one field to another, and that is not something that is commonly taught in the institutions I have been a part of before.”

Working under the supervision of Minerva’s Provost Vicki Chandler, Claudia’s Master’s thesis was focused on analyzing a transcriptomic dataset to understand the effects of singular and combined therapies for rheumatoid arthritis. While also being in a wet lab, she could conduct experiments to test the hypothesis driven from the dataset analysis. In this way, she was able to combine the skills learned in both Master’s programs to reveal new insights with potential therapeutic applications.  

“Minerva equipped me with statistical and analytical tools that helped me to generate a hypothesis, assess its significance, and perform the necessary calculations to validate the hypothesis. Together with the knowledge I gained throughout my degree in Molecular Medicine at the Erasmus University, I was able to touch on both the scientific and technical side of the project.”

Claudia’s thesis work had a significant impact on her future career as she discovered a deep passion toward science and research and it became clear to her that she wanted to explore this field from an even more academic perspective. After graduation, Claudia decided to pursue a PhD in Molecular Biology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. 

Currently, Claudia’s work focuses on exploring the molecular mechanisms of cancer and researching the behavior of cells in pursuit of rebuilding themselves following DNA damage. Aside from her scientific knowledge, she utilizes a number of concepts she learned at Minerva in her everyday work, such as experimental design, hypothesis consolidation, and result analysis, especially when working with the use of microscopic techniques.

According to Claudia, analytical skills are crucial in every industry. When it comes to the scientific field, carefully analyzing the relevance of research findings is necessary to drive reliable conclusions. On the other hand, understanding the importance of insignificant results is crucial for scientists not to miss the potential to lead research toward new directions and discoveries.

“I think that having the ability to perform a statistical analysis gives you a framework on how to approach a problem and utilize logical thinking to support the decision-making process. An objective way to solve problems is crucial to be embraced not only by leaders, but people in charge of decision-making in every industry.”