How did you hear about WeCloudData (WCD)?
Some time back, I was an Uber driver driving my customer to his destination. The person was a learned person and I opened up communication with him by introducing myself and my academic/professional qualification. I told him that I am eagerly looking for entry into the analytics/data science domain in Canada. He was kind enough to listen to me patiently and strongly recommended me to WCD’s program. Later I found that he was the head of a big analytics/DS team for one of the largest consumer electronics brands in Canada.
What made you decide to choose WeCloudData’s Data Science program over other companies? Was there something that stood out to you about our program that solidified your decision?
There was a very strong recommendation coming from an analytics professional who himself was heading the analytics division of a consumer electronics company. Before joining the program, I reached out to some of the graduates of the WCD program and found them to be well placed in the industry. All of the graduates with whom I talked to were highly satisfied with the program. I also talked to some of the other big names in the industry including reputable universities but WCD came out to be a clear winner overall.
I was seeking a program that was focused on applied knowledge and WCD met all of the criteria.
What was your career background before enrolling in our Data Science program?
Engineering + MBA with 13+ years of industry experience at the time of joining the course. In most of these years, I was a part of the Supply Chain Analytics consulting and operations environment.
What made you want to pursue a career in Data Science?
While I was already carrying some Analytics experience/knowledge, I wanted to up-skill myself in Data Science and Data Engineering as well. Needless to say, the importance of data in today’s world is very prominent and therefore I leveraged my previous experience and built upon it.
Your story is very unique and would undoubtedly be an inspiration to others, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your journey to where you are today?
As a new immigrant to this country, the journey was not so smooth. I had my set of highs and lows. While I had a very well-paid job in my home country and was very satisfied with my career progression, I had to start over when I came to Canada.
Before my current job, I was either doing basic clerical jobs or survival jobs here. I was very frustrated as I was unable to get a good job. I decided to go back to where I came from and restart from where I left. Then the story in
point 1 (the first question) happened and the rest all is history.
What did you find most enjoyable or interesting about the Data Science program at WeCloudData while being a student? Was there any aspect of our course curriculum or teaching style that stood out to you?
The curriculum was well balanced with enough time was devoted to each section. I certainly enjoyed doing the practical assignments after every lesson which helped in further strengthening my knowledge about the subject.
How did the Instructors and Teaching Assistants (TA’s) support you during the program? Did you find their knowledge and expertise helpful?
The teaching staff at WCD was very helpful and knowledgeable at the same time. I did not have any moment when my random abrupt questions were left unanswered, partially answered, or not answered to my satisfaction. The instructors always promoted a dialogue. Also, the instructors had a good idea of the needs of the industry and made us ready for the practical problems we would face in the real world.
Based on your previous education experience, how did online classes compare to learning in-person? Do you have any tips for current students on how to be successful in online classes?
Before joining the program, I was inclined towards the in-person mode of learning. Certainly, it did not happen because of the COVID situation and I ended up in a live-online class.
To my surprise I loved it.
I could focus more in the online class, have a crystal clear view of the instructor’s screen/whiteboard, and could clearly listen/communicate to the instructor at the same time. Now I prefer virtual classes more than in-person classes in most cases.
How do you feel the real client projects helped you when it came time to find a job?
The client projects were hugely welcome. I knew that I was working with real data, a real-world problem, and my deliverables were certainly going to impact my client’s business in some way. The client projects gave me a peek view into the industry, the nature of problems, and most importantly the project management cycle.
The client project helped me in integrating/implementing various tools and systems in a single solution that were learned in the due course of time. The result was that I was more aware of the system architecture side and also became more confident during my interviews.
How long did it take you to find a job after graduating from WeCloudData?
Within the first 60 days of the last lecture.
Finding a job during the pandemic has been a challenge for most, what aspects of your resume and portfolio do you believe helped you secure a job so quickly?
A couple of factors in combination played a role:
- Prior experience in basic analytics.
- Having some prior exposure to statistical principles and other statistical/programming tools like SAS, SPSS, Minitab, R.
- Strong exposure to corporate business processes. I had 15+ years of business
analytics experience before joining this course.
Can you give us some insight into what the Data Science interview process is like?
My interviews were a mix of functional and technical know-how. I was accessed in my understanding/knowledge of various business processes along with my knowledge on project management and change management. On the technical side, the interview focused on SQL skills (particularly around joins, filtering, date-time, and mathematical functions). The interviewer also focused on ETL, and DW part. The other focus area was around the usage of various Business Intelligence tools used for the purpose of real-time dashboarding and storytelling.
What sort of impact do you feel your Data Science diploma from WeCloudData made on
The potential employers whom I got interviewed with were at the stage where the leadership was showing keen interest in building a service platform around AI and ML. To me, it looked like the companies had not yet explored the full potential of these technologies and were in an early stage of adoption.
Do you have any words of advice for current or future students planning on pursuing a career in Data Science?
I recommend students focus on a couple of things to start with:
- Understanding of database/dbms, data warehouse, data lake.
- Should be good in ETL and SQL coding.
- Should be good in handling large datasets.
- Should be good in dealing with numbers/Analytics (even if the student is eyeing DS positions).
- Should have knowledge working in any of the BI tools like Tableau/PowerBI.
- Should be good in base Python (and associated AI/ML libraries depending upon the job requirements).
- Communication skills and ability to understand business problem/needs quickly.
How has your life changed since you graduated from WeCloudData and got a job in the industry?
Yes, my life did change for the better. Now I am much more confident, satisfied, and a happier person.