How I Got My First Job as a Data Scientist
After hundreds of applications and rejection emails, I finally landed an interview with my current boss, Eric. During the interview, he asked me if I knew anything about BERT, a robust natural language processing algorithm developed by Google. Unfortunately, I had to tell him “No.”
I was disappointed but excited. This interview was the turning point in my job search. The field of data science is broad, and I was applying to various roles with little focus. But after my interview with Eric, I decided to focus on sequence models and natural language processing. I needed to learn about BERT.
Over the next two weeks, I completed the Udemy course Learn BERT-most powerful NLP algorithm by Google, and two guided projects from Coursera: Fine Tune BERT for Text Classification with TensorFlow and Sentiment Analysis with Deep Learning using BERT. I was so excited about what I had learned that I sent Eric an email to tell him how much he had motivated me. I told him about the projects I completed, and he was impressed. As a result, he scheduled a second interview with another team member.
During the second interview, I talked about my projects and my newfound knowledge of BERT. I was offered the job!
There are a few key things that I believe contributed to my success:
First, refrain from allowing rejection emails to discourage you. You only need one “yes!” Keep applying, and don’t give up.
During your job search, keep learning. I didn’t let my initial lack of knowledge about BERT hold me back. Instead, I took the initiative to learn about it and demonstrate my enthusiasm for the field.
Complete some guided projects from Coursera and apply the knowledge you gain to your projects. Projects are a great way to showcase your skills and show potential employers what you can do.
In conclusion, my experience showed me that persistence and a willingness to learn could go a long way in the job search. So keep going, and keep improving your skills. You never know where it might lead.
About Me I walked away from a 20-year high school math teaching career at age 40 to become a data scientist. I am passionate about helping other professionals, especially those with non-technical backgrounds, switch careers to data science or other data analytics professions.
I provide career coaching and resume reviews. If you want to schedule a session, please visit www.datasistah.com to book an appointment.
I post content daily on LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.