student story

Sally Li

Full-Stack DA @ PartnerStack
Data Science Bootcamp, 2021
Diploma Program

Data Science Bootcamp

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How did you hear about WeCloudData?

My friend referred me to the program (she had taken it in the previous cohort).

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?

I got excited about the program since my friend told me about her experience. I didn’t have much experience working with data but I did my undergraduate studies in Political Science (with some quantitative research, SPSS).

I went on to work as a scheduling coordinator (in a data team) and then worked in a data analytics position for almost 3 years. I had to do dashboarding and also learn SQL. However, I still wasn’t sure at the time if I wanted to focus my career on data.

Hearing my friend’s story gave me the confidence to make the switch to data too!

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?

I liked the overall design of the program as it was not just focused on exams and exercise, and we did presentations to show our findings (from beginning to end). Doing presentations regularly helped me overcome my fear of public speaking. There was also flexibility in what topics we could choose for assignments.

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

I really appreciated all of the TA’s help during and after the bootcamp; they were always there when students needed help and we could reach out if we had questions.

I liked that answers weren’t given directly (but more so to guide and encourage working independently). Since the TA’s had office hours every day, I relied on them a lot for help.

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

Pre-pandemic, I preferred learning in person due to more interactivity in classes and the fact that it was easier to pay attention in class. However, when Covid-19 came along, all courses were moved online. This opened my mind to this method of learning and I also had many benefits. For example, being about to review the recordings helped me a lot. Even when I finished the bootcamp, I would review lectures when I worked on my real-client projects and when I prepared for interviews.

I also had a new computer which I wouldn’t have been able to bring to class if it was in person!

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

One of my suggestions would be to have a bigger screen to work on (mine is about 20-23 in). This makes it easier to watch the lecture and take notes at the same time. Another tip would be to get to know the features of your laptop/computer (e.g. you can split-screen to view multiple windows side by side).

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

The real client projects gave me an overview of what the real world would look like and the type of work I would do. The projects were useful since they were like an internship/real job (rather than just a project). During my projects, I used Spark and did some self-study for Airflow with the resources that the project leads shared.

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

I graduated from the program near the end of Aug 2021 and my first interview was in Nov 2021. Note: I did just start sending out resumes more recently as I planned to apply for jobs after finishing my real client projects.

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?

Here are my tips for job searching:

  • Put keywords on your resume
  • Search for examples of job descriptions (specific to your job) and add it to your resume
  • Do networking on LinkedIn, this will give more exposure of your portfolio to others!

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

  1. HR phone call -> During this call, the HR representative asked questions about myself
  2. Onsite technical interview -> To prepare for this, I practiced coding on leetcode
    • Don’t be afraid even if you don’t know how to answer question – if you come across this situation, you can explain how you would approach the problem and suggest how you would solve it
  3. Take home assignment -> This was similar to the python/sql practice we did at the end of the bootcamp
  4. Behavioural questions with the director of the team

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

  • Be sure to follow along with the classes
  • Bootcamp can be intense (but worth it), be sure to stay on top of things!
  • Attend the afternoon TA sessions -> I would recommend to join these sessions even if you don’t have questions, so you can learn from others who might have questions

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

Before joining the bootcamp, even though I was working full time, it wasn’t interesting (some of the work was repetitive). I really enjoyed bootcamp because I learned a lot and was happy when I could deliver results.

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