By Matt Nixon
Claire Smith came to Georgia State University ready to dive in.
Her “all-in” approach helped Smith excel at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology in Conyers. She swam competitively year-round since she was a child and was a member of her high school’s swim team throughout her four years there. The 100-yard backstroke was her specialty, and she became captain of the team her senior year.
Marching band was Smith’s other extracurricular focus. During her first three years of high school, Smith played trumpet—an instrument she first picked up in middle school. Then during her senior year, Smith was named co-drum major. She had ever been a drum major before, but by the end of the season, Smith and her partner led their band to placing first in every category in a competition against other schools.
Inside the classroom, Smith was most passionate about math. A specialized course—math in industry and government—inspired her course of study at Georgia State.
Smith will major in math with a focus in managerial sciences with the plan to pursue a career as an operational research analyst.
“I really like that operations research is needed in most fields, so I’ll get to do something I’m really interested in without being tied into any one industry,” said Smith. “My interests change a lot, so I know I wouldn’t want to be limited to just one type of business my entire career.”
The metro-Atlanta native is also looking forward to exploring Atlanta.
“While I’ve lived my whole life close to Atlanta, I’ve never had much of a chance to explore it myself,” said Smith.