A Journey from Data Science Student to Manager | Pfizer & American Water

Pranjali Galgali
Posted on Nov 14, 2019

According to Switchup’s latest rankings, NYC Data Science Academy has been the best Best Data Science bootcamp for its top-notch curriculum, reputation, and above-average successful job placements. NYCDSA prepares students to attain their dream jobs not just by teaching them the skills in demand but by connecting them with companies looking to hire qualified people through dedicated hiring events and strong industry networks. Over time, the students have found themselves coming back to the Academy to recruit solid candidates and to hire for their data science teams.

The students work through all the technical skills involved in data science and are challenged to apply what they’ve learned to solve real-life problems through their capstone projects. That contextual capability is prized by organizations that want to hire problem-solvers, especially if they also have the ability to communicate the narrative of the data with their stakeholders. This is true in the case of Kyle Gallatin, data scientist at Pfizer, who found a solution at scale to make a difference in his first global project.

“NYC Data Science gives you a wide range of tools from Python to Spark to R,” notes Gallatin. “It’s such a rapidly changing field, you need to be exposed to all the framework  out there.”

Gallatin, who works as a data scientist at Pfizer, defines his job as “basically a problem-solver.” Learning applications of AI and natural language processing (NLP) to software engineering at the bootcamp prepared him to work on an ambitious project for the company:  creating a search engine using NLP. He finds it extremely gratifying to “the solution at scale helping real people.” He notes that there were 100,000 searches on it in just the first day. 

Since NYC Data Science Academy prepares students with the foundational knowledge of most preferred industry frameworks and helps them excel in R, Python, Data Analytics and Machine Learning, students are able to work on real-world projects and transition their career in just three to four months. 

Hayley Caddes, alumnae of the in-person immersive bootcamp believes that her projects with Amazon Web Services and Redshift made stand her out as a candidate for job interviews. She was able to say that because her group had used it for the bootcamps’s capstone project. The school’s resources proved valuable to her job search not just for what she had done during the bootcamp itself but also in completing assignments companies would give as a follow up to the initial interview. Though she felt confident she had the skills to complete them, “it was also great to have instructors on hand to work out the code and work out the kinks and offer guidance on how to present the data’s story.” 

That ability is what made a positive impression, Hayley recalls. The reaction of people who reviewed her assignments was: “She has clearly learned how to take a data set, and she not only can visualize it and analyze it, but she can say something about it. She can generate insights.” Hayley obtained her dream job largely because of her success with the web scraping assignment. It was “the thing that set me apart from the other applicants,” she said, “I was able to tell the story with the data.”

There are many students at the bootcamp, who transition into data science from another career path. In the case of Danny Bub, Data Scientist at American Water, the bootcamp was a way to move outside academia where he had worked in applied physics for 17 years. Now, as a Principal AI Researcher at American Water he is immersed in data and believes that “everything we do is about data.” As “the utility sphere is very data-centric,” he gets to experience being “a data scientist every day at work.” He appreciates the fact that what he learned at the bootcamp enabled him to understand the applications of data to the business world.

Pfizer and American Water are one of the few reputed brands featured on the list of  NYC Data Science Academy Hiring Partners. With 500+ reputed hiring partners such as Google, IBM, Samsung Ads, JP Morgan, Citi Group, UnitedHealth, Spotify, Publicis Media, Vice Media, Maple Health Group, Mars, Petcare, Beeswax, PepsiCo, Morgan Stanley, Interactive Brokers Group, Solomon & Page, Impact, Pfizer, Biz2Credit, Verizon, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Ipsos Averity, Discovery, Bloomberg, Havas Media, NYC Data Science Academy. 

Representatives from these companies take part in the exclusive Data Scientist & Employer Networking events scheduled once every quarter. The next event is on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Bootcamp alumnus Katie Critelli also credits the event she attended for the potential job leads she got from the event, as well as for the interview experience. One of those offers led to her job offer as a Data Scientist at Deutsche Bank.

Perhaps in the future, Katie will return to one of these networking events in search of new candidates for her company. Some alumni of the bootcamp are already doing that. Bernard Ong, AVP, Lead Data Scientist, Advanced Analytics at Lincoln Financial Group believes that the hiring event is the best place to find a perfect candidate for his next hire. He considers his connection to NYCDSA to be a significant advantage. As the demand for qualified data scientists continues to grow, “the truly good ones hard to find,” he says. That’s why he appreciates being able to draw on graduates of the bootcamp to find the skills he needs on the data science team. He explains it this way: 

It’s almost like getting recruiting for free. The school’s network is an invaluable service not just for graduates finding their opportunity but also for a company like mine. When I tap into this resource, I’m already familiar with what I can expect, thanks to my personal experience with the school. 

From the thoroughness of the training that extends to projects with practical applications to the connections established with companies in need of innovative solutions to their business challenges, all the components of a successful data science career come together at the NYC Data Science Academy.

About Author

Pranjali Galgali

Pranjali Galgali

Pranjali Galgali is a Marketing and Communications Associate, NYC Data Science Academy. She is a Master's in Digital Media and Strategic Communications from Rutgers University. She enjoys reading and writing about data science, upcoming technologies and loves interviewing...
View all posts by Pranjali Galgali >

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