Ben Vugteveen

Ben Vugteveen

What he does

  • Position: Technical Services
  • Company: Epic Systems
  • Industry Sector: Healthcare/Information Technology

Epic Systems develops software for use in the healthcare industry. The company writes software for EMRs (Electronic Medical Records) that eliminates paperwork and improves consistency and care through use of electronic data. Ben is assigned to (at most) four different customers and assists them with any problems they encounter with the complex software. He also helps them with installs and upgrades. When he is not supporting his customers, he also works on software development – getting a portion of the software ready for the next release, fixing bugs in the software, performing quality assurance on the software, and helping out colleagues as they need it.

Math on the job

Ben uses the problem solving skills he learned as a math major daily. The rigor and precision that a demanded by his mathematics studies prepared Ben for the demands and the exactitude that his job requires. Ben reports that filling out a claim form is similar to filling out a 1040 tax form – however the instruction book for filling out claims is 10 times as thick! The majority of people that Ben works with in Claims have degrees in mathematics and statistics.

Background

Ben has a B.S. in mathematics and did not do any graduate work after leaving GVSU. However, having an advanced degree (M.S., Ph.D.) in any science (especially mathematics, statistics, or physics) is looked highly upon. Approximately 20% of the people employed at Epic Systems have at least a master's degree.

Advice for students:

"Pursue this degree if it's what you love. Don't let anyone tell you that mathematics is useless in the "real world". There are many jobs out there for those in mathematics, but don't be discouraged if you have to look harder than others for a job. Jobs for those holding a mathematics degree are incredibly rewarding. And ultimately, you will be working at a job you love and using your degree."