Time to meet our latest Science Cheerleader. Taylor cheers for the San Francisco 49ers, a team that’s become a regular gold mine for locating science-minded cheerleaders. Taylor holds a degree in math and applies her mathematical mind to finance. Read on to find out more!
What turned you on to math and when?
Taylor: I can remember really noticing my aptitude for math in high school and was positively influenced by my teachers at the time. Getting positive feedback and praise for my work from my teachers and, even my peers, had a lasting impression on me and encouraged me to continue studying math in college.
What’s a typical day like for someone with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics who’s also a cheerleader for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers?
Taylor: A typical day for me starts when I head off to work where I am a financial analyst at a derivative accounting firm in the Silicon Valley. My company specializes in outsourced accounting and consulting for major corporations around the world and it’s my job to help make sure those companies are given accurate information. My job involves a lot of number crunching and attention to detail and without my math background I wouldn’t be where I am today. After work and on the weekends is when I spend my time practicing with the Gold Rush and working out at the gym. I am lucky enough that I didn’t have to choose between pursuing a career and being a professional cheerleader—something that I am grateful for everyday.
Do you find that stereotypes about cheerleaders helped or hindered your professional experiences?
Taylor: Stereotypes about cheerleaders have only made my character stronger and made me more confident. Whether at first glance I am taken seriously or not, once I open my mouth I think all the stereotypes are put to rest.
How do your fellow cheerleaders accept your interest in science/engineering?
Taylor: Luckily, I am on a team with several other amazing young women pursuing careers in science and engineering and everyone is extremely accepting of our talents and differences.
What advice would you give your 12-year-old self?
Taylor: I would advise my 12 year old self not to underestimate herself and to persevere through the hard work and all-nighters—it will all be worth it.
What are your plans for the future?
Taylor: In the future, I plan to go back to school to get my teaching credential in secondary education with the hopes of becoming a high school math teacher and positively influencing generations of high schoolers in the same way I was influenced.
Best cheerleading experience?
Taylor: Thus far, the best memory I have of cheering for the 49ers is being on the sidelines in Candlestick Park as Vernon Davis made “The Grab” to win against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs this past season. The energy in The Stick at that moment was unimaginable; it was like a movie.
Best science/engineering-related experience?
Taylor: Graduating college with my degree in-hand was the best moment as of yet. Knowing my hard work paid off as I set out to begin my career filled me with an unbelievable sense of pride.
What’s one thing people might find especially surprising about you?
Taylor: I can be very shy in small group settings whereas in front of thousands of people on game day, I am not shy or nervous at all.
If you could rewind the clock and change your degree, would you? If so, to what and why? If not, why not?
Taylor: I wouldn’t change my degree. I have been given many amazing opportunities and met wonderful, unique individuals because of the path I chose.
Why do you want to be a Science Cheerleader?
Taylor: I want to be a science cheerleader so I can be a positive role model for other young aspiring science cheerleaders!