The Makings of a Cellulite Analyst

 

Melissa

In the early days of the Cellulite Investigation, your trusty cellulite analyst was a lonesome, anonymous blogger.  I prefer to work behind the scenes.

But you, dear CI readers, have been so welcoming and supportive that I decided to go ahead and properly introduce myself, first by using my real name (baby steps) and now with a profile picture.

I hope seeing the face behind the blog will give our little investigation a more personal feel.

 

How I Got My Start as a Professional Analyst

I’ve always been drawn to the analysis of complex scientific subject matter.  As an undergraduate student at Georgetown University, I chose a major at the intersection of  Science, Technology, and International Affairs.  I was intrigued by the ways we choose to develop our scientific understanding, why certain technologies take hold and others do not, and how technological advancements affect the way we interact on a global scale.

I attended Georgetown on a military ROTC scholarship, so after graduation I was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy.  I served for five years in various roles and continued working for the government after my military service was complete, all the while focusing on my niche of analyzing complex problem sets with a strong scientific or technological aspect.

It takes a distinct type of personality to work in this field.  I admit, I am an unambiguous introvert who doesn’t mind spending long days in my windowless cubicle wading through technical jargon.  Even worse, I actually think it’s fun.

 

Why Quality Analysis Is More Difficult Than It Seems

Analysis involves more than just collecting “the facts” and assembling them into a finished product, as if putting together the pieces of a puzzle.  Real analysis is more like trying to assemble a puzzle when half the pieces are missing and you don’t know what the picture looks like on the top of the box.  Then, for reasons that may or may not be malicious in nature, someone mixed in random pieces designed to look like they belong to your puzzle but they actually don’t.

One of the main reasons proper analysis is so challenging is because it deals with ambiguous, ambivalent, and incomplete data.  When the human brain confronts this type of information, it usually relies on certain subconscious mental processes to interpret the info at hand.  These mental models are essential for making sense of the world, but they also lead to common analytic traps.  Professional analysts spend their careers trying to develop specialized skill sets to help them avoid these cognitive pitfalls.

 

What’s Cellulite Got To Do With It?

In the midst of my government service, I won a Fulbright award to further study the art of analysis in the United Kingdom where I earned a master’s degree from the University of St. Andrews.  It was in this academic setting, with my head swimming in dense theoretical essays, that my professional interest in analysis and my personal interest in cellulite first came together. (To be completely honest, it was a cliche dressing room encounter that sparked the whole thing.)

At St. Andrews, I focused on a branch of International Relations theory that involves uncovering hidden assumptions and exploring alternative scenarios —skills I’ve called on throughout the investigation thus far.

My research into cellulite altered my understanding of fat, exercise, nutrition, genetics, and so much more.  Since launching the Cellulite Investigation, nearly everything I thought I knew about health and wellness has changed.

For me, studying cellulite opened up a level of wellness I did not think was possible.  I hope it does the same for you.

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