student story

Saif Rahman

Data Analyst @ Medcan
Data Science Bootcamp, 2021
Diploma Program

Data Science Bootcamp

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How did you hear about WeCloudData?

Using websites such as SwitchUp and CourseCompare, I was able to see the top Bootcamp programs in Canada. After looking thoroughly, I discovered WeCloudData and they had great reviews!

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?

When choosing the right data science program, I did extensive research for each Bootcamp. I messaged alumni from various Bootcamps on LinkedIn about their experience. I noticed that alumni from WeCloudData had many positive experiences to share. WeCloudData’s curriculum also impressed me. I felt that it best incorporated the tools and skills I wanted to learn. The aspect that stood out to me the most was the experience with client projects I’d get to work on. The students had the option to work on practical projects with BeamData, and that was exactly the type of experience I was looking for.

What was your career background before enrolling in our Data Science program?

Before WeCloudData, I was a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, where I majored in Psychology and double minored in Computer Science and Mathematics. After graduating, I took a contract role as IT Support for Trillium Health Partners.

What made you want to pursue a career in Data Science?

I’ve always been extremely interested in artificial intelligence. After researching a bit more about the field I discovered the full spectrum of data science. With data science, you’re able to tackle unique problems and come up with unique solutions using a variety of tools such as data visualization, machine learning, AI, cloud computing, etc. I fell in love with the endless opportunities that are possible with data science.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your journey to where you are today?

After getting my HBSc from the University of Toronto, I felt extremely lost. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career yet. I knew I loved technology and wanted to help people live their best lives. I realized that data science was the best way for me to make an impact on the world. After completing the Bootcamp program, I got a job as a Data Analyst at Medcan, a private health clinic. I’m extremely excited about this opportunity, as I’ve always wanted to start my career in the healthcare industry. This position will allow me to work with like-minded individuals and help make the world healthier.

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?

Although the program was online, I really enjoyed working with the other students. We all came from different backgrounds, and all had our own unique stories. It was amazing to collaborate with the other students and see their own points of view for data science problems. On top of that, it was exciting to learn the theory behind machine learning and work on ML projects, it really showed me the power that machine learning can have. The aspect that stood out to me the most was the projects WeCloudData allowed us to work on. They provided us with great datasets and practical problems to work on. Each project made me even more comfortable using new tools and helped me better understand the topics.

How did the Instructors and Teaching Assistants (TA’s) support you during the program? Did you find their knowledge and expertise helpful?

The TA’s at WeCloudData were great. During lectures, they were always willing to answer tough questions and were open to discussion. It really helped my learning process by being able to ask as many questions as possible, and it made me feel even more comfortable knowing I could ask for help/feedback through our Slack channel or office hours as well. I knew I could rely on their expertise.

Based on your previous education experience, how did online classes compare to learning in-person?

I’ve never been a fan of traditional in-person learning. My learning style has always been re-watching videos, working on practical problems, and collaborating with others. Being online gave me so many options. It allowed me the option to ask many questions without feeling nervous or embarrassed and go over any sections I missed through the recorded lectures. The one benefit I’ll give to in-person learning is the human interaction. It would have been amazing to meet the students and TAs in person and would’ve made me feel even more connected with the program. However, WeCloudData did a fantastic job at creating a culture for the students online.

Do you have any tips for current students on how to be successful in online classes?

Ask as many questions as you can. With the online platforms, Slack and Zoom, you’re able to message anyone and get responses instantly. If you’re ever stuck, talk to a TA and your fellow students. Additionally, take advantage of the recorded lectures, the ability to re-watch lectures and go over sections that may have been confusing is extremely valuable. The last tip I’ll give is to collaborate and talk with other students as much as possible. Try to network and learn from the other WeCloudData students, it’ll make the learning experience much more enjoyable. 

How do you feel the real client projects helped you when it came time to find a job?

Being in many client meetings, handling expectations and presenting my own work was extremely nerve-wracking, but it only grew my confidence. Additionally, it helped me organize myself, having deadlines to hit, and the added pressure to impress motivated me to work harder. Finally, it helped me improve my team-working skills, as I worked with other Data Scientists. I got the opportunity to see their skillsets, workflow, and implement some of those behaviours in my own work routine. The client projects were an experience I’ll never forget. 

How long did it take you to find a job after graduating from WeCloudData?

About 4 months.

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?

I believe my Beamdata experience and portfolio projects helped me secure a job. Employers were intrigued by the vast number of tools I used during my projects. Additionally, I was extremely aggressive in the job market. I treated my job search like a full-time job. I constantly made edits to my resume, cleaned up my portfolio website, and consistently practiced my interview skills.

Can you give us some insight into what the Data Science interview process is like?

The data science interview process may take a few steps, depending on the company. It typically starts with a screening call, asking you questions about yourself and why you’re interested in data science. Next may be a technical assessment, ranging from SQL, Python, Excel, or other tools. The final interview typically results in a meeting with the hiring managers and/or team members. They’ll ask you questions about yourself, your work ethic, and your passion for data science. The whole process for my current position took about 2 weeks. 

What sort of impact do you feel your Data Science diploma from WeCloudData made on potential employers?

I think my DS diploma will allow me to bring versatility to potential employers. WeCloudData gave me the opportunity to use many modern DS tools and work on interesting projects. This experience will allow me to bring stronger expertise to problems I may face as a Data Scientist in the future.

Do you have any words of advice for current or future students planning on pursuing a career in Data Science? 

Data science is a vast and fast-growing field. It’s important to know which aspect of data science you’re interested in and which industries you want to work in. Be prepared to constantly be learning, as new tools and technologies are always being developed for data science. It’s an extremely fun and exciting field to be a part of, but you have to be ready to put the work in.

How has your life changed since you graduated from WeCloudData and gotten a job in the industry?

After graduating from WeCloudData, I worked on two client projects with Beamdata. This experience helped me land a job at Medcan as a data analyst. I feel much more confident in my technical and personal skills. I made some great friends that I still speak with and learn from. I’m not only extremely excited for where my career may lead me, but also for the potential in data science as well.

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