AI Insights

How to Get Selected for an Omdena AI Challenge

January 29, 2022

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You have heard of Omdena. Our mission inspires you and you have decided to apply to one of our challenges.

Thank you. We are very grateful for your interest and we will be happy to welcome you into our growing global AI family. 🙂

But what are we looking for when reviewing applications? And how can you ensure you bring it to us during the application process?

These are our recommendations for today:

Our recommendations for today

  • Know us better: Do some research on what Omdena is and what we do differently when it comes to data science career development 
  • Tell us your story: In your application, answer the questions fully regarding your previous experiences. This helps our team evaluate your application!
  • Help us understand your motivations: Tell us how your previous experiences fit into the challenges you would like to apply to.
  • Secure your time: Make sure you mark an adequate amount of hours per week. Omdena projects are real-world projects and you will need to put effort and commitment into them to successfully complete them. 
  • Increase your chances to get accepted: Before applying for a Challenge, you can get first-hand experience of Omdena through participation in a Local Chapter Project and/or OmdenaAcademy Courses. This will boost your chances of being selected for a Challenge.
  • Apply to multiple challenges: You can increase your chances by applying to multiple projects. If you are not chosen please don’t give up and re-apply for the upcoming projects. 

Applying for Omdena challenges might resemble applying for a job or an internship. You wonder if you will be a good fit for the challenge? Get to know five points that explain how Omdena Challenges work.

I. What is unique about Omdena

What is unique about Omdena

1. A collaborative platform, not a competitive platform

Our challenges are not competitions. On each challenge, there is a group of 50 AI practitioners working collaboratively to solve a real-world problem. Collaboration is our founding word and the most important principle. For the purpose of solving specific tasks, the team breaks up into smaller groups that tackle sub-tasks of the problem. However, the solution to the challenge is always the result of all collaborator’s work.

2. We accept applicants at various skill levels

We pride ourselves on the diversity in the teams solving our challenges. We particularly pay close attention to having very diverse skill levels among the collaborators. Consequently, our teams are a mix of AI practitioners with years or decades of experience. We also welcome junior-level developers who are still trying to land their first job. This setting offers growth opportunities to the participants and ensures diversity of perspectives to build ethical and inclusive AI solutions. 

3. We welcome more than just Machine Learning Engineers

On the contrary to the popular belief, for the purpose of our real-world problems we need more than Machine Learning Engineers. We are aware that solving a problem with AI requires a wide range of skills. Keeping this in mind we also actively recruit collaborators with various backgrounds including Data Analysts, Data Engineers, and Data Scientists. In short, we welcome applicants with any skill that fits into the Machine Learning problem-solving pipeline.

4. Challenges are not paid work

Working on Omdena challenges is not a paid engagement, however, by completing our challenges successfully, you enter the Omdena Community and get access to additional benefits and perks (including paid projects):

  • Certification upon completion of the challenge 
  • Scholarships and free courses (from Dataquest, Datacamp, and others) 
  • Speaking and writing opportunities on the Omdena blog 
  • Access to develop your career in four paths (see point 5 below) 
  • Paid projects with organizations in smaller teams of 1 to 5 team members 

Our challenges are described as easily one of “the most rewarding work you could ever do to build real-world solutions, learn, and make an impact”. 

If you are a beginner in data science, our projects in the Local Chapters are all related to social good, thus offering you a chance to give back to the world while building your basic skills. Secondly, real-world problems are brought to Omdena by NGOs, organizations, and startups. As such, they are very much like the problems you might be asked to solve when you get a job.

5. You can develop four career paths at Omdena 

Joining Omdena and completing projects will greatly enhance your career opportunities and value in the job market.

Our collaborators get jobs in all kinds of sought-after fields and we have many career growth stories ranging from getting jobs at startups, tech giants such as Google, Accenture, Microsoft or working for NGOs like Save the Children. 

Omdena Career Paths

Omdena: Career Development Paths

II. The application process

We announce new challenges accepting applications on our social media platforms. So, the easiest way to know about new challenges is to follow us. Additionally, you can subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of new challenges.

Once you find a challenge that interests you, the next step is to apply.

1. Apply

To apply, click on the ‘Apply Now’ button at the bottom of the challenge you wish to join. The next page lists the desired skills for applicants and details about the challenge. Please read them before applying. Then, complete and submit the application form. Some basic questions on the form are: “The most complicated ML task you did and why was it so complex?” or “Why are you a good fit to join the community?”. 

2. Receive an acceptance mail and start collaborating

The number of applications we receive always exceeds the number of openings. Consequently, we, unfortunately, cannot accommodate everyone. If you are selected, you will receive an acceptance email a few days before the challenge officially starts and you will be invited to join the challenge’s Slack workspace and participate in a kick-off meeting. If you are not selected this time, don’t worry, there is more than one try. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be informed of future challenges.

III. What we look for

What we look for

Now that you know more about Omdena and the application process, let’s shine the lights on what we look for in applicants.

1. Enthusiasm and passion

Enthusiasm is the most important characteristic we look for in applicants to our challenges. We are aware that committing time and effort to a project for eight weeks might be challenging. However, we also know that enthusiasm and passion make us driven. Consequently, we favor applicants that are enthusiastic about the challenge and inspired by our mission.

2. Team spirit

In Omdena’s challenges, all collaborators work together. To ensure successful collaboration, you must be comfortable working with a team, receiving critical feedback, and learning from others. 

3. Bottom-up collaboration

Everyone is free to pursue their own ideas about addressing the problem. There is no hierarchy on the team and no one will assign you a role. It’s up to you to jump in and collaborate.

4. Technical skills

We expect you to have the necessary technical skills to help solve the challenge. For instance, if the problem of the challenge is related to Computer Vision, you should demonstrate, during the interview, experience with Computer Vision projects. Although there is no need for you to be an expert, we do expect you to be able to contribute.

5. Commitment

We are looking for people who can commit to the project on a daily basis. The success of the group in solving the challenge depends on the effort of every member of the team. Your progress will be assessed on a weekly basis by our project team.

At Omdena, we are always happy and eager to welcome new members into our family. If you are inspired by our mission and interested in the problems our challenges aim to solve, do not hesitate to apply. We guarantee it will be one of your best decisions. And we will be thrilled to have you on board.

Ready to test your skills?

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

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