I hold a B.com degree, with honours in Accounting and Finance. I had graduated in 2006, with no clue of what I wanted to do next. Money was scarce at home, and I needed a job quickly. I started working at a call center. The next 5 years saw me moving to other call centers, with hits and misses at some other jobs, which finally landed me in a marketing role. It was here where I had my first taste of working with data. The beginnings were humble – excel spreadsheets and MS PowerPoint fulfilled most of my data analysis and presentation requirements. In the succeeding 5 years had built solid experience in Marketing and Strategy, using customer data in the Real Estate industry. However, by now I had started to get curious about Big Data and grew a hunger for working with Python and SQL to manipulate data. As fate had it, I immigrated to Canada in 2018. I’ve done my share of part-time jobs and general labour jobs to put food on the table. All this while, I continued to do my research on how to enter the tech domain in Canada, when I finally came across WeCloudData’s Data Science Diploma program in 2020.
What Made You Interested in Data Science and Data Engineering?
I had always been working with Data since the start of my career, owing to my association with the marketing team while working as a Marketing Analyst/Data Analyst in the Real Estate industry back in India. However, my work was limited to working with Excel spreadsheets for data management and MS PowerPoint for presentations. With Data Science taking the world by storm, I was growing more and more intrigued about switching careers and entering the hardcore data-driven world of tech. It was never about the big paychecks, which a Data Science/Data Engineering job gets you, but more about me planning and waiting to enter the tech industry for a very long time. I just had to take the next step of going back to school and preparing myself in Data Science.
Before the Bootcamp
I had, in the past, worked on advanced MS excel and knew a thing or two of data manipulation. However, as my interest in Data Science grew, I delved deeper into the traits that make a successful Data Scientist. Turned out that I needed to learn at least one programing language along with skills in SQL too. I got right into it with short-time online courses in Python and SQL. I needed this as a foundation to prepare myself for the exhaustive diploma program ahead of me. I spent about 2 months preparing myself on foundation-level Python and SQL skills, before joining WeCloudData’s Diploma in Applied Data Science and Big Data.
Why a Bootcamp and why WeCloudData?
Waiting for a good 2 years to enter the DD domain, I had copious amounts of research. I wanted to ensure that the program would get me where I wanted to be in the tech world. I was looking
for a program whose syllabus encapsulated key skill areas to become a Data Scientist yet did not take 2 years to complete. I was a career switcher, had over 11 years of work experience, a new immigrant to Canada and a family to provide for; clearly, I did not have the kind of time or bandwidth that a Master’s degree demanded. That’s when I narrowed down my search to Bootcamps – a route that didn’t require me to invest a massive amount of time, not to mention money, at the same time acquiring relevant tech skills that are sort after by employers.
Of all the Bootcamps that I had researched about, WeCloudData was clearly a cut above the rest. What made WeCloudData the clear winner was their exhaustive syllabus covering only the most relevant tech skills that employers look for, and the fact that I would get the opportunity to put those skills to the test by solving real-world business problems by working on Client Projects.
It was around the time when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, and my cohort was the first to switch to an online learning experience. It worked wonders for me as it only meant that I could view class recordings whenever I wanted, for as many times as I wanted.
The syllabus was very exhaustive yet engaging, as is normally the case while studying at a Bootcamp, as it is meant to upskill you in 3 months, on topics that take 2 years in a regular Master’s degree.
There was never a day when I felt left out or behind the class; thanks to the stellar teaching style of our facilitator Vinny, and the support of my TA, Parry. Frequent guest lecturers by Top industry leaders in Banking, Consulting, AI, and tech provided incredible exposure to skills that recruiters look for and what it takes to be an accomplished Data Scientist. To top it all, Shaohua Zhang, the co-founder and chief instructor, a veteran in the field of Data Science, ensured an academia-industry interface by providing us students with multiple client projects that empowered us with real-world corporate working experience.
Job Search Experience and Challenges
My job search process was overwhelming, as is always the case during job hunting. However, with the constant support from instructor/counselor Shan, I managed to pull it off with ease. Right from resume and cover letter preparation, to optimizing my digital presence, she had been there for me every step of the way. Furthermore, Shaohua relentlessly leveraged the job search of the students of WeCloudData regularly with several job referral opportunities. It took me about 3 months of intense job search before I landed my dream job.
How has the Beamdata Experience Helped?
Beamdata provided me with the all-important academia-industry interface. The industry exposure that I received while working on client projects, solving real-life business problems, is the greatest takeaway that the student of a Bootcamp could ever ask for. Working on these projects was like working an actual 9-5 tech job – sprint meetings, client interface, working with advanced analytics teams and experienced Data Scientists/Data Engineers, weekly scrum meetings, collaborating using Agile methodology (Jira, Confluence), it had all the right ingredients prepping me for the actual job market.
As a career switcher, I had no actual relevant experience in the field of Data Science field. I was always wary of companies taking my candidacy seriously. Thanks to my association with Beam Data, I was not just able to clear my interviews with confidence, I also didn’t have to settle with an Entry-level job – I actually secured an intermediate position with a compensation package, way beyond my expectations.
Job Search Timeline:
I had interviewed for close to 3 months. I had given it my all – applying to about 4-5 jobs a day, creating job trackers, scripting unique resumes and cover letters for each job that I applied for, optimizing my digital presence, following up with recruiters and staffing companies, I had to put in a lot of honest efforts before they bore fruit!
I had my share of hits and misses – sleepless interview preparation nights, getting ghosted by HRs and hiring managers after seemingly good interview rounds, failing interviews, and being told that the company would get back to me and not hearing back from them ever. From June when I started my job hunt, till August when I finally received an offer, I relentlessly kept at it. My stubbornness of not giving up, backed by WeCloudData’s constant support, finally saw me succeed.
Suggestions for New Students
If It’s a career in Data Science that you want and you are looking to entrust your career with an institution that gives you a bang for your buck, look no further than WeCloudData. it’s a well-crafted syllabus suited to take on the biggest Data Science challenges in the real world, condensed into a 3-month Bootcamp, and the invaluable work experience you gain through client projects is all that you’d ever need to set you up for success and to go on to enjoy a fulfilling Data Science Career.
I wish you all the very best in your Data Science journey!