I think that meeting new people and starting new friendships are some of the most exciting events in life. However, establishing initial connections is not necessarily spontaneous or particularly easy, especially if information (such as general life background and interests) isn’t readily apparent or available. Fortunately, we happen to have a snapshot of our class – a scouting report of sorts – that captures a basic overview of the wealth of interesting personalities, varied experiences, and vivacious spirits that make up the incoming MSA Class of 2018.
As this year’s new class entered into the program, we were all added to a Google-based forum. An “introductions” thread was posted in mid-March and, since then, has been populated with over 30 responses by various classmates. These responses were full of fantastic information about experiences, passions, hobbies, and leisure activities but they were, well, a long list of text responses.
With this thread at my disposal, I did what any data-lover does: visualize the information in the form of fun charts! For the sake of facilitating connections based on shared interests and prospective interests, I read each individual post response and recorded every distinct mention of background and interests as a category, adding new categories as needed, and added up basic counts of who-does-what and who-likes-what per category. These counts were separated into two charts respectively representing academic/work background and personal interests.
Here are those two charts, and I hope that they’re a helpful and enjoyable visual representation of a slice of this year’s class. Happy scouting!
Columnist: James Kuo