Jonathan Huntley ’21 knew early on that he loved math. “I like being able to solve problems,” he notes. He chose Bryant because he knew the University would teach him how to solve real-world problems on the biggest stages.
“Bryant prepares you so well for the future, in so many ways,” says Huntley, who recently accepted a position with MassMutual Life Insurance Company. “Whether it's learning about design thinking in the IDEA program, or the group work you do, or practicing your presentation skills, all the different things that you do here are going to help you after graduation.”
“When it comes to preparing students for the professional world, Bryant is leaps and bounds ahead.”
A mix of academics
Part of that preparation involves exploring new situations and experiences, such as designing and building a working, game-playing robot in his Artificial Intelligence and Robotics course. “I came into class with no experience in coding and was able to build something that actually works,” Huntley says. “It was a real challenge to get there – but that’s actually a good thing because when a challenge pays off it definitely feels like you accomplished something.”
Making connections and trying different things in his studies has proven invaluable for the Actuarial Mathematics and Finance major, who also decided to add a concentration in Applied Analytics. “I’ve seen first-hand how pairing business courses with my actuarial studies makes them both a lot more valuable,” says Huntley. “When it comes to preparing students for the professional world, Bryant is leaps and bounds ahead.”
“I love Bryant and I love sharing it with other people.”
His Honors thesis, conducted with the guidance of Assistant Professor of Mathematics Alicia Lamere, helped sharpen his analytical skills by developing new statistical measures to examine how social media sentiment affects the careers and decisions of major league baseball players. He was excited, he says, to get the chance to use science to better understand human behavior – an important skill to have in the actuarial field.
Huntley was excited to be able to mix his analytical skills with his favorite sport and apply science to better understanding human behavior. Most current sports analytics only measure performance, he notes. “One of the important things they’re finding is that you can’t go too far into the math that you forget the human element,” says Huntley
"You are learning how to be detail-oriented and organized and communicate with a variety of different people. Those are takeaways that I'll be able to apply to other situations throughout my entire professional and personal life.”
In fact, the “human element” has been a big part of his time at the University. “I love Bryant and I love sharing it with other people,” he states.
Through his work with the Student Programming Board, Huntley helps organize events that bring the community together. “I'm learning how to be a project manager,” he says. “With big events, it takes a lot of planning. You are learning how to be detail-oriented and organized and communicate with a variety of different people. Those are takeaways that I'll be able to apply to other situations throughout my entire professional and personal life.”
There are other perks as well, like getting the chance to interview Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley and former Boston Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara for programming board events. “That was pretty amazing,” he says.
“I think Bryant students stack up with anybody.”
As the President of the Student Alumni Association, which helps students connect with Bryant graduates, Huntley notes that Bryant’s alumni network is invaluable for students just starting their careers – and that Bryant alumni are always eager to assist, whether by serving as a guest speaker, mentoring, or making introductions. “The connections you make don’t just help you find job opportunities,” he points out. “They also provide you with important support.”
One of the best
The mix of analytical, interpersonal, and professional skills Huntley has developed helps him stand out in internships with high-level companies like MassMutual. “There were other interns who might have had strengths in particular places, but I think Bryant produces graduates who are more well-rounded,” says Huntley. “They might have had strong technical skills, but Bryant equips us with those technical skills, as well as presentation, communication, and teamwork skills.
“I think Bryant students stack up with anybody."