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Q&A with Rohit Thakur, MS in Operations Research

Why did you decide to enroll at Northeastern University and pursue an advanced degree in mathematics?

I’ve always been passionate about mathematics and its fascinating applications within the data science community. However, during my undergraduate degree in computer science, I lacked the in-depth knowledge needed to understand intricate details underlying machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. Thus, I decided to pursue an MS in Operations Research at the College of Science to develop my mathematical thinking.

What was your favorite part of the program and, why?

My favorite part of the program was smaller class size. I was able to ask questions and interact more frequently with faculty
and staff, which is impossible when you have more than 100 people in the same class.

How did your classes enhance your co-op experiences?

My classes at Northeastern provided me with the in-depth knowledge and hands-on skills required to excel in my co-ops. The professors are industry experts who keep an outstanding balance between application and theory when teaching any course. In addition, the academic/co-op advisors keep up to date with the constantly changing job market, thus giving out the best of the information we need.

Did a COS faculty or staff member help you excel in this program?

I had the opportunity to connect and learn from many professors during my coursework, but I would like to thank Prof. Nathaniel Bade, our previous program director for MSAM/MSOR programs. He helped in academics and during more difficult moments during the COVID-19 pandemic by creating research opportunities. My co-op advisor Patricia Corrigan is also a phenomenal mentor. She has been an excellent resource for my co-op search and helped me excel in the job industry.

Tell us about your co-op experiences.

I had the opportunity to work at Rue Gilt Groupe and Nestlé USA for my co-op experiences. For someone who had no work experience before these, the two co-ops turned out to be most valuable experiences of my professional career.

Tell us about your co-op at Rue Gilt.

My co-op at Rue Gilt Groupe was six months long, and I worked as a data scientist in the retail industry sector. As a result, I was exposed to building end-to-end machine learning solutions and various stakeholder meetings for multiple projects.

You’re now working at Nestlé, tell us about that. 

I experienced my second co-op at Nestlé. Working for the world’s largest consumer packaged goods company has added invaluable experience to my professional threshold. The complexity of the problems, innovative ways to handle them, and scale of operations make it one of the best opportunities available for recent graduates like myself. In addition, the company offers tremendous support for new employees who want to take their careers to the next level.

I applied through LinkedIn (which is crucial for any job seeker nowadays). After three amazing months, I’ve decided to join them after graduation as a full-time employee.

Do you have any advice for graduate students looking for work experience in similar fields?

  1. Start early when searching for opportunities to know where you stand and what skills you need to develop in order to get an interview and stand out from the crowd.
  2. Use all the resources Northeastern offers: career advising, resume reviews, co-op search, math tutoring, and more.
  3. Try to explore as much as you can!


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