As I approach the conclusion of my four-month training at the data school, I find myself taking a moment to reflect on an extraordinary and surreal experience. This journey has taken me through a rollercoaster of emotions, exposing me to levels of anxiety and the sense of achievement I had never before experienced. Each day spent at the data school has been filled with a series of unforgettable firsts – from my first venture into full-time employment to my initial taste of project leadership and teaching. Along the way, I even encountered the challenges of burnout during the intense dashboard week.

In this blog, I aim to share some of my personal experiences over the past four months, hoping that they will prove helpful to those curious about the training program. Join me as I recount the highs, the lows, and everything in between during my time at the data school.

“What is Your Story?” Has Always Been the Main Theme

In my application form for the data school, I vividly remember writing, “I am someone passionate about storytelling with data.” Little did I know that this statement would come back to me during my last round interview. As part of the interview process, the first two rounds required applicants to deliver a 10-minute presentation. It was during these presentations that I truly grasped the importance of telling a compelling story as a data analyst, even before joining the data school.

However, I soon realized that translating my passion for storytelling into the development of dashboards presented its own challenges. My mind would often be consumed with concerns about data accuracy, functionality, and design, making it difficult to effectively convey the story behind the data. Reflecting on more than 20 presentations, I have come to a valuable realization – the first step in this process is always defining your objectives.

Having a clear understanding of what you aim to analyze sets the foundation for a successful story. Once your objectives are defined, you can then leverage the appropriate tools to assist you in crafting a narrative that resonates. It’s this realization that has become my biggest takeaway from those numerous presentations I’ve delivered. Storytelling with data begins with clarity of purpose, paving the way for impactful and meaningful insights.

The Best Way to Overcome Imposter Syndrome is to Remember, You Are Here to Learn

If you’re someone like me, who often feels inadequate about your abilities, I’d like to share some advice with you. It’s important to always remember that you are here to learn. Not only can you learn from experienced coaches who are always ready to provide valuable feedback, but you can also learn from your fellow data schoolers.

Our cohort consists of nine individuals from diverse backgrounds, each with their own strengths and expertise. Don’t hesitate or feel intimidated to reach out to others because everyone is incredibly helpful and supportive.

I’ve found that adopting a growth mindset is particularly beneficial when facing adversity. Believe in your ability to develop your skills and talents through hard work, employing the right strategies, and seeking guidance from others. In the data school, no one will judge you for making mistakes. Instead, view every failure as a valuable learning opportunity and a step towards progress.

Work Hard, Play Hard

From the moment I joined the data school, my days have been filled with an array of activities, spanning from cooking challenges and mini golf to a memorable three-day off-site event in Sydney’s Hunter Valley. Previously, I held a misconception that a successful career and a fulfilling personal life were mutually exclusive. However, witnessing the enthusiasm and zest for life displayed by my colleagues quickly dispelled that notion. Engaging in these activities has instilled in me a greater sense of belonging within this community. If you are seeking a place that values work-life balance, prioritizes both career development and personal growth, then the data school is undoubtedly the ideal place for you.


The Data School
Author: The Data School