AI Insights

Changing My Profession and Gaining Experience as an ML Engineer – by Omdena Jordan Chapter Lead

October 24, 2022

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Brandon Copeland completed several Omdena Challenges. Now, he is the Omdena Jordan Chapter Lead. Through Omdena, he switched from teaching English to data science and made his dream a reality.

“Omdena gave me the opportunity to work on real-world AI projects that use AI for altruistic purposes.”

Brandon, what is your background?

I am a United States citizen. At 44 years of age, I went back to school to earn my MSc. in computer science, which I successfully finished in May 2022. I wanted to make data science and machine learning my specialty, and I was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship in applied artificial intelligence at the International University of Applied Sciences located in Berlin, Germany. Additionally, I have more than 15 years of experience in ESL. I am a machine learning engineer, Omdena Jordan chapter lead, and collaborator. Moreover, I am a product owner and agile project manager who’s had the pleasure of working on ambitious artificial intelligence projects that utilize AI for social good.

When and why did you decide to join Omdena?

I found Omdena through an active participant via LinkedIn back in February 2022. I really enjoyed the idea that Omdena gives junior engineers the opportunity to work on real-world challenges. Also, Omdena believes in promoting AI for social good rather than only focusing on profits. Finally, I was encouraged to get involved in helping gain experience as an ML engineer as I am a career-changer.

Could you highlight some of the projects you took part in?

My first project was creating a fake news detection system with the LATAM chapter of Omdena. My second challenge came when I was chosen to work on the Radmol AI Cancer detector The Omdena team developed and deployed two machine learning-enabled applications, one for lung cancer prediction and one for colorectal cancer (CRC) prediction.

Application Screenshot

Application Screenshot

Most recently, I have had the pleasure of working on Hanson Robotics Sophia by working on creating an ethical consciousness in an AI robot. Finally, I am working on a conversational AI to help clients who need mental health support in conjunction with the Litha Group.

What are your future plans for career work?

I am currently hoping to make a career jump. However, I believe that Omdena is growing my technical skills by allowing me to work on real-world projects while also sharpening my soft skills, leadership, and communication skills. I am confident that I will earn a position in the near future as an ML engineer.

What was your biggest challenge?

The data science and MLengineering industry is constantly changing. Finding new and innovative methods to provide the optimal solution during each challenge can present some difficulties. Additionally, data curation can be a bit of a difficulty as well. I really do respect more experienced data scientists when they constantly mentioned that this industry is 80% data curation and wrangling and 20% modeling. I finally found out what that truly means.

What kind of technical and soft skills have you learned?

Omdena has not only provided me opportunities to sharpen my coding skills, but they have also helped me to hone my communicative skills and learn some leadership skills having led tasks as a newly-designated chapter lead for Jordan. I will now gain valuable technical experience as well as valuable skills as a product owner.

Brandon at work

Brandon at work

How has Omdena changed your worldview?  

Actually, the work that I do through Omdena helps the most vulnerable members of society. It is heart-warming to provide technical services to the world community with the sincere intention that we can help change the world.

Would you like to add something more?

Definitely get involved with Omdena! It truly is the opportunity of a lifetime to not only gain technical skills but also to meet and collaborate with a world full of developers and engineers hoping to really change the world!

“I feel honor-bound to give back to the Omdena community seeming as though Omdena gave me a shot that no one else would.

 I would like to extend my thanks to Rudradeb Mitra, Omdena CEO, and to Omdena for giving me the opportunity to strengthen my skills by working on real ambitious projects.”

Ready to test your skills?

If you’re interested in collaborating, apply to join an Omdena project at:

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The Evolution of a CIO: From Omdena AI Projects to Leading a HealthTech Company
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How I Established Myself as a Machine Learning Researcher
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Building a Global AI Community – Interview with Rudradeb Mitra, CEO of Omdena
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How I Pursued My Computer Science Master’s in the USA and Gained Real-World Machine Learning Skills