As Week 1 of a 16 week training program came to conclusion, I have decided to write this blog to highlight what makes the experience with the DataSchool so far a unique, fun, and an educational one right from the second you apply.
Learning from Day 1
Note: Becoming a DS’r could’ve been a blog on its own, but I thought putting events so far in a timeline was also worth sharing.
I think that it is very rare that day 1 of a job starts the moment you apply. The DataSchool has a very peculiar recruitment process where one submits a Tableau visualization of a data of his choice and is then critiqued and pushed towards improving it to secure a place with the school. The process takes around 3 weeks, and you almost feel that you hit the ground running with all the improvement that you’ve already made. I remember that for the first version I submitted, Craig (our Head Coach), replied with an email which had 20 very constructive comments. When I saw the email I first thought that “Wow, this is the best rejection email I have ever received.”
The first day was orientation day. We were introduced to a very vibrant community at our workplace in WeWork, and we were able to network with the different startups and offices next to ours. Day 1 was also an opportunity to get know the people at MIP; the mother company of the DataSchool. They were extremely supportive, excited, and they made sure we felt that we were welcome. The intensive 16 week program actually commenced on Day 2 when we were introduced to Peter G., our Alteryx Guru and Trainer.
At the beginning of Day 2, Pete asked us to start getting “the picture of the day” with us; something we can put up on that big LED screen when we are in presentation view. Pete’s was taken on a mountain side in Canada. Beautiful!
Us lost in that picture of the day, Pete would slip in a 100 page book to each and every one of us. My first thought was “how nice, a gift on the first day.’ , but then I immediately read the cover page, and it had a blank “Alteryx Day 1” Cover Page on it. Shocker.
I am a bit of a geek myself, so I really enjoy learning new tools.With alteryx the learning curve was very steep at the beginning, but we soon caught the hang of it, and for me personally I became very fond of the visual aspect of it. I am a big fan of visualization, but with alteryx I was astounded with Data Preparation Visualization, which makes a lot easier to keep track of one’s workflow and saving them for later use.
Ultra Competitive Environment
Week 1 ended with the Friday project presentations, in which guests from the MIP joined in both physically and on the phone. They were a very nice audience, and they tried to blend us in into their culture in the celebration we had afterwards. Before we hit home for the weekend, we also connected to our symmetrics in the UK, the DSUK cohort, and exchanged thoughts, concerns, and questions. That was very productive given that they are ahead in their 16 week program. Excitedly looking forward for next week !