4 months later. 7 Clients projects completed. 2 external software certifications attained. 1 Christmas Party. 1 conference attended. Plus much more!
After spending a good part of the last 5 years living abroad, I had not considered ever undertaking a career in data analytics. In fact, I don’t even think it was a career path in 2011 when I first started University!
I came across the Data School searching on Google. I decided to apply for the Data School without having any background in data analytics. The program ticked a lot of boxes: paid position, on-site training, 4 external placements. The practicalness of the job and future job security in a sector that is booming. It was a no brainer.
What did the 4 months training look like?
It has been intense! it has been unlike any other form of education I have undertaken. It was hands-on, informative, eye-opening, and well delivered.
Most days, I would have to go home and nap to consolidate all the new material I was learning. Most of the coursework featured Alteryx and Tableau heavily. And, rightly so! These two heavyweights are awesome products to start analysing and visualising data.
But many more hard skills and soft skills were taught along the way. We had training in SQL, Agile project management, presentation skills, Power BI, Coding languages, consulting 101, and much more.
To become a great consultant we were working day in and day out put the theory into practice. Feedback was always coming in from all angles to shape our development. Every Friday we presented to our cohort and anyone else who wanted to join in.
There were plenty of late nights during the client project weeks but we also got to go out and ‘play’.
A couple of examples:
After Friday presentations, everyone from the office gathered around for social Friday drinks. A company Christmas party was organised out on Sydney Harbour. Santa Claus was the theme. We like to keep things serious at the Data School.
Part of our job as consultants is to go out to engage and educate businesses about the power of both Alteryx and Tableau. We were lucky enough to attend the Alteryx convention at the ICC in Sydney. It was a great opportunity to network, and get to know the product a little more. There were also user-groups and other social event opportunities that we took advantage of.
What was the Biggest Challenge?
Quite simply, it was time-management. How to cover all the aspects of having a healthy life. The social side, physical activity, and commitment to work.
Luckily, we are groomed well to handle this challenge and have a lot of support to call on. It was especially helpful to talk to the other Data Schoolers who had previously gone through the training and made it out the other side.
In hindsight, I would offer that it is smart to plan your days and weeks and prioritise banging out a minimum viable product rather than going above and beyond. Understanding the scope of any task is essential to focus when having limited time. It also helps to set a timeframe and keep other options available if your chosen route becomes too difficult. And, as always make use of the wealth of knowledge available from your peers and coaches.
Imposter Syndrome, ever heard of it? I can speak for myself and was wondering how are we going to be able to deliver results on our client projects? Especially, for our first week which commenced only after 5 weeks of training.
Now comes the highlight!
The response and feedback of the clients when our cohort presented our first project. They were stoked at what we produced and how we achieved such great results in a short amount of time. We provided real value to our clients and wowed them. Through their data, we became subject matter experts to some degree in a very short amount of time. BY analysing their data, meeting with the client, asking questions frequently, we were able to overcome any doubts that we wouldn’t be able to meet the needs of the project.
This became the trend for the rest of the training period. We just kept delivering sound result and we worked so well as a team.
I’m very proud of how far we have all came after just 4 months. I love talking about my new career with people and the doors that has and will continue to open.
If I could start my education journey all over again, I would have opted out of university and sought after a program like the Data School. Most times, it feels more like being with family rather than work. This has been one of the smartest and greatest decisions I have made. I look forward to putting my newly developed skills to the test in my upcoming placements in the ‘real-world’.
Joining the Data School at the age of 27, I feel incredibly grateful to the whole team at MIP, the Data School Australia and the UK for helping me with my career change. It has been a formative experience thus far, and I have confidence in everyone in our Cohort at delivering in their client placements. I look forward to moving into my own placement knowing that I have the support of MIP and The Data School should I need any aid on my continued journey.