The Data Science Society (DSS) and Women in Big Data (WiBD) jointly sponsored a flash mentoring event to discuss career development opportunities for the DSS members. The event was held virtually on March 21st from 7:30 – 9:00 PM PST. The participants had the chance to learn about different paths and choices in the Data Science industry through a panel discussion, networking with peers and professionals, and learning from Mentors’ experiences.
Soumyasree Vinod, the co-director of the WiBD Bay Area chapter, gave opening remarks emphasizing WiBD’s mission to cultivate tangible opportunities for women in data science and technology. More specifically, Soumyasree highlighted WiBD’s effort to unlock women’s potential through accessible training, acting as a catalyst for advancement with thought leadership promotion, and empowering equity allies of any gender with inclusive mentorship programming.
The panel discussion with WiBD panelists Deborah Sgro , Apoorva Joshi, and Emiko Sano shared experiences and advice on their career opportunities and changes. Suparna Kompalli from DSS moderated the questions and discussions for panelists to go in-depth about themselves and their careers in tech, where Apoorva shared insight on Data Science in cybersecurity space, Deborah gave guidance on successful networking, and Emiko spoke about altering one’s career path and overcoming the challenges in unfamiliar industries.
The flash mentoring event followed the panel discussion where DSS participants were invited to join any of seven WiBD mentors to discuss topics such as AI and Data Science industry trends, Data Science career options, career roadmaps, and cultivating resources for career growth. Thanks to the WiBD Mentors, Srabasti Banerjee, Rupa Gangatirkar, Apoorva Joshi, Sampada Regmi,, Emiko Sano, Deborah Sgro, and Stuti Patel, for sharing their experience. Participants left the event feeling inspired and motivated.
“WiBD was very enthusiastic and sincere in their efforts while collaborating with us to organize this flash mentoring event! The mentors were extremely helpful and provided insightful advice on concerns that our members had. It was a rare opportunity to speak to such experienced mentors and receive thoughtful guidance. We really enjoyed working with them and look forward to furthering our collaboration with WiBD!” – Angeline Lee , President of Data Science Society at Berkeley (Spring’23 term).
“I had a really great conversation with Srabasti about the importance of communication and speaking up as a woman. I got her contact info afterward and ended up finding out that we’re both from the same town! Since the mentoring event, she’s actually been helping me out with refining my resume, suggesting different career paths based on my strengths, and even gave me a referral to the company she works at!” – Nikki Trueblood, Project Manager of Data Science Society at Berkeley (Spring’23 term).
“The Women in Big Data mentorship event was extremely helpful and answered a lot of the questions I had about what an internship as a data scientist looks like. The mentors have a lot of experience in the industry and were able to provide realistic and reassuring advice. I found myself very engaged and took notes on what everyone had to say!” – Kristen Vitolo, Data Analyst of Data Science Society at Berkeley (Spring’23 term).
Both DSS and WiBD look forward to future collaborative events later this year.