From Entomologist to Data Scientist
An interview with Hayley Hubbard, Applied Data Science Bootcamp graduate, and how she transitioned into a job as a Data Scientist.
What were you doing before you enrolled in the Bootcamp?
I was an Insectary Manager at an agricultural research institute. The role did not suit me but I didn’t know where to go in my career path. I looked at the skills I had and what I enjoyed, which led me toward Data Science. I wanted to learn more about the subject before making a huge jump into a new career path and this led me towards a part-time course in Data Science and I found Cambridge Spark.
What challenges or friction did you encounter with your existing skillset?
I didn’t have a lot of time to learn python before the course. I was a late applicant and had the choice of starting early with little knowledge of python or wait three months and learn more. I decided to dive into the deep end, especially due to my previous experience with R.
I didn't want to study online and didn't want to attend lessons straight after work. The weekends suited me well."
Why did you choose Cambridge Spark as your learning provider?
I liked that I could continue with my Insectary Manager job, whilst working out which career path I wanted to take. I didn’t want to study online and didn’t want to attend lessons straight after work. The weekends suited me well.
What did you enjoy most about the Bootcamp?
It was great to meet other people also looking to change their career. We’ve been in contact since the course finished to keep up with how the interviews are going. I also meet alumni at Data Science Meetups and it’s expanded my networking circle.
How would you sum up your overall experience of Cambridge Spark?
Intense but worthwhile. The course helped me to decide about my career path and it helped me to get a job in Data Science.
What advice would you give for those considering the Bootcamp?
Try to finish the homework before the next weekend. It helps with understanding the concepts fully.
During the interview, I mentioned the homework and the different topics taught during the course, which was a key reason for me receiving an offer".
What are you doing now? How did Cambridge Spark help?
Towards the end of the course, I managed to get a job offer as a Data Scientist. During the interview, I mentioned the homework and the different topics taught during the course, which was a key reason for me receiving an offer.
What does the future hold for your career?
Hopefully a successful Data Science career!
Could you sum up your perspective on the data science field?
Compared to my previous industry, it’s booming. If you put the extra work into learning Data Science and show you’re able to complete projects, then you’ll have a variety of companies to pick from and be able to mould your career to your personality and technical strengths.
You recently undertook a Data Science interview, could you share with us what the process looked like and what was involved?
The interviews I went to were mostly competency-based but there was always a practical element. This ranged from showing my Python skills to just being able to interpret graphs. Make sure you know the basics but also be able to describe previous projects e.g. the Cambridge Spark Capstone Project.
It’s never too late to change your career. I’d recommend data science and Cambridge Spark."
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