Alumni Spotlight: Claire Keser, Senior Analyst at Casper

Posted on Nov 1, 2017

Claire Keser is currently a Senior Analyst on the Data Analytics team at Casper, a startup that disrupted the mattress industry. Keser went from working at an A/B testing agency, spending only 50% of her time working with data to her current position, which entails being responsible for driving the marketing strategy and budget allocation through modeling and analysis.

Keser worked in A/B testing for five years, leading a team focused on turning data into products, actionable insights, and meaningful stories. However, after this time, she decided to shift her career “to be fully immersed in data.” Keser notes that while at the A/B testing agency, her most valuable time was spent analyzing data to identify important insights for clients, and she wanted to transition to a position that focused more on data.

To make this change, Keser weighed her options, ultimately deciding to enroll in a bootcamp to help fulfill her goals. She notes:

I was not expecting online courses to help me land a job in data science; I needed a support system where my code could be reviewed and my questions answered. Plus, I needed to follow a curriculum that would be recognized and valued by future employers. I was not ready to spend years studying data science either, so the bootcamp was the best option.

Keser chose NYC Data Science Academy because of the great reviews and the fact that it is ranked as one of the top bootcamps in New York City by SwitchUp. Furthermore, since NYC Data Science Academy had a selection process, she was surrounded by other inquisitive, creative minds eager to learn about data. She notes, “NYCDSA only focused on data science while other bootcamps didn't have a specialty and seemed to run like factories.”

At NYCDSA, Keser appreciated the small cohorts and personalized support system offered by the program. During the bootcamp, she worked with three other students to create a live streaming app that helps marketers identify the top Twitter influencers for a specific keyword. Keser explains, “We worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS), NLP, and the Twitter API. Showcasing this project on my resume (above all the AWS part) helped get more traction in my job search.”

After graduating from NYC Data Science Academy, Keser applied for two jobs, was asked to interview for both, and received an offer from Casper within two weeks. The NYCDSA hiring event helped her to bypass steps in the hiring process and talk to managers right away. “Also, the DSA has a big catalog of coding challenges to get you prepared,” she says. “It helped me a lot once I had moved to the final step of the interview process.”

Keser saw a real return-on-investment from the bootcamp. After completion, she was offered a more senior role that paid 50% more than her previous position. She now works in a fast-paced environment on an analytics team of nine, using skills she learned at NYCDSA such as data analysis, visualization, and machine learning, all in a marketing context.

This is an interview originally posted on SwitchUp.

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