CCHS Students Learn about Careers in Mathematics

woman presents in front of class

Colonie Central High School welcomed guest speaker Miriam Aboul-Seoud to our senior high school mathematics classes. Miriam has both a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics and Statistics from the University at Albany, and has worked in the restaurant Industry for more 10 years. She has served in numerous roles in the industry, including wait staff, general management, and business management and recently helped start up both the Black and Blue Steak and Crab restaurant in Albany and Dukes Chophouse in the Rivers Casino in Schenectady. She is currently employed by the Rivers Casino and Resort as a Labor Analyst. Miriam spoke with five classes of senior in their Elementary Statistics and AP Calculus classes with high school math teacher Douglas Rosenberg.

Like many high school students, Miriam was not sure of what she wanted to do after graduation. She knew she had an aptitude in math, but at that time did not anticipate she would go into a mathematics field. In fact, when she first began college she entered as an English major and thought she might enjoy a career in journalism. However, she quickly realized that she really loved and excelled in her college math classes and continued to take several of them. At the same time, she was also working full time waiting tables at Sage Bistro in Guilderland to pay for her tuition.

“And that is where I fell in love with the restaurant industry,” she said.

Throughout the rest of her college career, Miriam continued to work full time and advance her career in the restaurant industry. She has now worked for Sage Bistro, Siro’s Restaurant in Saratoga, Black and Blue Steak and Crab in Albany, and Dukes Chophouse in the Rivers Casino in Schenectady. It was her most recent position working at the Rivers Casino where Miriam’s manager noticed her using spreadsheets to record data, identify trends, and improve efficiency that landed her a position as a labor analyst.

Miriam shared with students, “If you have an aptitude for math, don’t hide it. It’s a great ‘wow’ factor. All of you are in a college-level math class now. You may not realize it, but you have an aptitude for it. If you can be comfortable working with numbers, speaking about them, presenting them, that can set you apart.”

At the end of her presentation, a student asked Miriam “Do you love your job?”

Without hesitation, she answered “Yes, I love my job. It takes into account enough math where I’m looking at numbers, using them, and understanding them. But I’m also interacting. I meet with the managers, learn about the casino, and understand the inter-workings of it. It’s not the end all be all — you always want to be learning and growing. But at this point in my life it is perfect for me.”

“We are very excited to welcome Miriam to our school and listen to her share her business savvy with our students,” said Associate Principal Lindsay Tresansky. “Many students leave high school believing that an aptitude in mathematics can only benefit you in the field of education. They are often unaware of the competitive edge it gives you in the business world. Miriam’s story was personally very moving and served as a great example that made that connection very real for our students.”

“We were very fortunate to have Miriam visit our classes today,” math teacher Rosenberg added. “Miriam’s message to students hits the nail on the head with regards to how having a knowledge of mathematics, coupled with disciplined work habits, can lead to unimaginable opportunities and pathways to success.”

Miriam continues to enjoy her role a Labor Analyst and hopes to one day open her own restaurant consulting business.