I’ve just got my first job in the Machine Learning field, and here’s a big “THANK YOU” to WiBD for helping me during my career transition.
About five years ago I moved to California from Russia with my husband and my two-year-old son. Inspired by the Silicon Valley vibe, I decided to get my Bachelor Science in Computer Science.
In Russia I had worked as an Education Support Specialist for a university, where part of my job was to analyze student performance data, so I was already interested in Data Science and Data Analytics. I took related classes at University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as some on-line classes, and participated in all the WiBD workshops that I could fit in my very busy mom-wife-student schedule. “Machine Learning with Python and Scikit-Learn”, “Just Enough Python,” hosted by Cloudera, and a meetup on Apache Spark at MapR were most helpful and relevant for my job and job search.
I graduated in March 2017 and started looking for an entry level job in Machine Learning, Data Science, or Data Processing. With no “real world” experience (just academic projects), I was having a hard time during interviews. Then, in May, I participated in “How to Interview So That They Hire You” Meet Up with career coach Bob Loftis. Bob helped me understand how I could explain my lack of experience, and how I could talk about my academic projects. It was exactly what I needed to have more confidence in myself and my abilities.
The following week, a friend I had met at WiBD told me about a career fair for women in tech. There I talked with a very nice person from Stanford University, explaining my projects (just as Bob taught me!). The result: I landed a great internship at Stanford in their SLAC National Accelerator Lab, where I’m working on a picture classification problem using unsupervised learning. The position is exactly what I wanted, and I love it!
Thank you again, WiBD, for your support and your very useful workshops!!!
And thank you, Bob Loftis, for your advice!