INFORMS Open Forum

What's Your StORy? June 2018

  • 1.  What's Your StORy? June 2018

    Posted 06-27-2018 11:36

    Happy summer! Please enjoy our June What's Your StORy? interview with longtime INFORMS member, Sharon Arroyo. 

    Read the Q&A below and feel free to ask more questions on this thread. If you are interested in participating, please contact me or Mary Leszczynski (

    What's Your StORy?

    Sharon Arroyo
    Technical Fellow – Applied Mathematician, The Boeing Company

    INFORMS member for 25 years, starting as a student member 

    Which INFORMS event are you most looking forward to this year?
    Every year, I try to attend the Annual Meeting or the Business Analytics Conference. Both events include presentations on new analytics theories and methods for solving business problems and provide an opportunity to network with colleagues.

    How do you define "analytics"?
    At Boeing, analytics is defined as the transformation of data to reveal insights that empower a world with limitless possibilities. In my work, I find it valuable to utilize descriptions of four categories of analytics: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive.

    How could we promote analytics careers to high school students?
    I think it is important that we continue to spread the good news about the exciting careers in analytics to high school and even middle school students. I frequently give overviews of Boeing Applied Mathematics Group projects at events including Expanding Your Horizons, Boeing Engineers Week presentations, and even math club meetings. The more we connect with students before they start college, the better.

    If we were sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it's been for you, what would we be celebrating?
    A key measure of success is completing work that provides significant value to Boeing. Each year, I also find it very rewarding to watch those who I have mentored make progress toward their career goals.

    What are the current O.R. issues/trends/challenges at Boeing?
    Boeing is working on a wealth of challenging and exciting O.R. issues in areas including autonomous systems, manufacturing, production, sales and marketing, and supply chain.

    What do you think are the most significant barriers for women in OR/MS careers? How could they be remedied? 
    I think a common challenge is balancing career and outside interests. Finding a remedy for this challenge is an on-going question for me that I hope someone can answer! Spending time on my career typically means less time than desired with outside interests. Overall, I make sure I am focused while working to maximize my productivity and, thus, my time available for outside interests.

    What interest do you have outside of work that might surprise us?
    My family and I have an interest in helping to make our environment a better place to live. We recently joined the "Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network" ( where we record daily rain, hail, and snow measurements collected in a meter in our back yard to aid scientists who utilize weather data.  

    Any advice for recent graduates?
    Be true to yourself when establishing your career goals. Be flexible in how you achieve them and engage in continuous learning along the way. Finally, enjoy the journey!

    Kara Tucker
    Assistant Editor/Marketing Content Specialist
    Catonsville MD