AI Insights

How I Got a Data Science Job using DataCamp and Omdena in 14 Months

January 16, 2023

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Rahul M. from India, a Junior Data Scientist, shares how DataCamp courses and Omdena projects helped him to improve his fundamental Data Science knowledge and get a paid internship and a Junior Data Scientist job. He took part in Omdena’s projects ranging from Leveraging Machine Learning to Predict the Success Rate of Startups in the US and Improving Transparency and Democratizing Access to Public Sector Contracts using NLP. This experience has allowed him to get a paid internship.

Rahul, what is your background?

I’m Indian, and I have a bachelor’s degree in Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering Technology from the BMS Institute of Technology and Management in Bangalore, India. 

Since August 2022, I have worked as a Junior Data Scientist for Quaxigma to help optimize fuel-saving opportunities for fleet companies in the US.

What were the most important learnings from DataCamp courses?

I used DataCamp to mainly practice my existing skills of writing code in Python efficiently. Apart from this, I have also enrolled in courses  Intermediate SQL Queries, Understanding Machine Learning, and Writing Efficient Python Code. DataCamp helps me to practice writing code through its Practice section, which supports me in preparing for interviews.

How did participating in Omdena projects help you in your career? Which projects were most important to you?

Omdena was really the game-changer in my career that enabled me to transition into a Data Science career. It helped me in collaborating with a team, contributing to real-world projects, applying skills, and speaking about those projects in interviews.

I took part in the project Leveraging Machine Learning to Predict the Success Rate of Startups in the US (Omdena Pennsylvania Local Chapter). This experience helped me massively in my career and became the major selling point in my resume. My current role and my last internship (both paid) were mainly on the discussion of this project, in which I contributed in all the phases and had a lot to talk about. The project involved predicting if a startup launched would be successful or fail based on various parameters. I made my contributions in all the phases of the project, like Data Collection, Data Cleaning, EDA, Model Building and Deployment, and we managed to deploy it using Heroku. This experience of solving an end-to-end machine learning problem that also involved collecting our data made it the highlight of my resume that I could talk about in interviews and even show the project live using the web app.

I was also selected as one of the 50 global contributors to work on the project titled Improving Transparency and Democratizing Access to Public Sector Contracts using NLP. I helped democratize access to contract opportunities buried within public government documents and improve public sector transparency. My work mainly involved assisting the other collaborators in cleaning the data and identifying patterns, as I had limited experience with NLP then. I was also able to learn about using AWS and its services like S3 Storage to store large amounts of data and retrieve it easily.

Currently, I am part of another ongoing Omdena project Building an AI Chess Engine to Accelerate Chess Skills Learning. We are collaborating with ChessX to create an AI chess engine similar to Stockfish that can generate various puzzles in chess that can aid in developing the skills of a novice player.

How did Omdena change your worldview? 

Collaboration was not really my strong suit until I joined Omdena. I discovered that we could achieve seemingly impossible tasks at a record speed through collaboration and teamwork. 

This did change my perspective to thinking new and improving my communication and teamwork skills.

What is your nice memory connected to Omdena? 

Getting good internships, especially in Data Science, being a beginner is tough. I am super grateful to Omdena for giving me an opportunity through their Local Chapter challenge. I made valuable connections and friendships by participating in the challenges.

But the nice memory would always be my first job interview in Data Science I was able to crack!. I focused entirely on the project that I did with Omdena. It ultimately resulted in an offer!

What was the most difficult part of the projects for you? How did you overcome these obstacles?

Working with complete strangers was exciting yet also intimidating. Moreover, there were folks who were far more skilled than me, and they knew so much more. But as time progressed, we were able to understand each other’s strengths and worked towards a common goal.

Do you have any recommendations for people who would like to follow a similar path?

Omdena provides an excellent platform to bring in Data Science talent across the globe and solve actual impactful challenges. Additionally, Omdena also gives its qualified collaborators access to high-quality courses available in DataCamp for free due to their partnership with DataCamp Donates. I believe that if you can utilize the platform to its maximum extent and contribute to it immensely, Omdena itself can be a complete game changer in your career that can propel your career to great heights.

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