Brian Cannon

What do you do professionally?

Brian works for comScore, a Washington D.C. based business intelligence and analytics company that works with Microsoft and Google among others.  Brian analyzes data on digital transactions, site visitation and digital advertising to provide insights to media, technology and ad agency clients.

How did your Sociology degree help prepare you for your work?

“I would definitely say my methods and statistics courses have been a tremendous benefit for me.  I am immersed in data all day, and I need to make sense of all the numbers for our clients.  I have to think about how the data was collected, analyzed, and report meaningful findings for our clients, and these are all skills I started to develop at Western.  I also learned how to write in the major, and I think this skill sets me apart sometimes in my work.  I work in client services, so I need to be able to communicate effectively with our customers and also as a bridge with our technology staff.  My time serving as a Teaching Assistant in Sociology also prepared me for dealing with people interpersonally.  It was fascinating to see things from the instructor’s side.”

Did you have a favorite class in the Sociology Department?

“I had an advanced statistics course taught by Jim Inverarity that was so valuable for me. I think that course prepared me more than any other for my graduate program at Penn State.”

If you could go back to Sociology at WWU all over again, would you do anything differently?

“I wish I would have known how heavily my career would be embedded in statistics, methodology and data analysis.  Learning to analyze data was not particularly easy for me, and while I am very happy with my education and what I learned at Western, I could have challenged myself a little more in learning stats. I think it is important to get out of your comfort zone, and I wish I would have a little more.”

What career advice would you offer for current Sociology majors?

“I would encourage students to take advantage of the wonderful resources provided at the university.  Things like the writing center, or the career counseling center are really helpful services, and also very expensive when you are no longer a student.  I think students should take advantage of these, and it will also give you a boost over your peers since most of them will not take advantage of the services.  I would also advise people not to limit yourself to employment fields that are close to your major.  I work for a tech company, and I think people should have an open mind about what career path suits them, even if it has little in connection with your major.”

What are your favorite ways to spend time when you are not working?

“I enjoy going to see the Sounders and Mariners play.  I also do a lot of reading.  I read all kinds of genres, and just finished Colbert’s new book which was a compelling and fun read.”