Could you tell us more about your education and career background? Was this a field you always worked in or is it something new for you?
I have an undergrad in computer information systems with a minor in business. So my educational background was a pretty even blend between business and computer science. And it was a great fit for the role that I'm in because I'm a Technology Consultant.
Within my degree program, I was able to learn the business courses like accounting, management, marketing, and human resources. I did a few entrepreneurship courses, but we had a really good technical course base as well, so I did several courses in programming like Java, and I worked with databases, operating systems and architecture, and networking. So it was a pretty good blend between the two disciplines, really.
Why did you choose to study at BrainStation?
I wanted to enhance my skill set. I studied a little bit of data analytics when I was in my undergrad, but it had been a few years and the roles that I had been engaged in more recently weren’t directly related to analytics.
I had a great, great deal of professional experience, but I wanted to pivot back into the analytics space. I saw this program and I thought it would be a great way to just build my skills again and gain that confidence because I wanted to start a new role as a Consultant.
What would you say was the highlight of your learning experience?
The different tools that we were able to work with. I loved getting hands-on experience with Tableau of course, and with Excel from a data analysis perspective — pulling in a Kaggle data set, being able to analyze it within Excel, and deciding when to use that tool versus using my skill to perform some more complex queries.
Would you say that there is one particular skill that you think that was the most valuable for your current role?
A lot of the conceptual skills you learn by working with these technical tools carry over. The dashboard aspect of Tableau was a big one. Using Tableau, Power BI, and SAP Analytics Cloud to export the data side, get the different dimensions and measurements, manipulate them, and build KPIs on them — that was important.
Can you describe the impact your Instructors had on your learning experience?
My Instructors were very knowledgeable because of their own work experience and technical data science backgrounds. They were able to provide a lot of insights from their own work and projects.
They were able to bring in a lot of real-life examples so we could see how they were able to apply what we were learning to their own businesses.
Was this your first online learning experience? If so, what did you think of it and then meet your expectations?
Yes. So I should say that I usually very much prefer in-person learning experiences and I’ve always thought those are the most effective for me. But I was very pleasantly surprised at how engaged we were as a class. Our Instructors were able to leverage the medium and make sure that we were engaged and learning — and they were always available after hours for questions.
I would say that learning online was the next best thing to being in a classroom.
How would you say your experience at BrainStation has impacted your career?
I completed the course and I wanted to look for an opportunity at my company in analytics. Within the month, an opportunity came up as a Consultant. And I think just because of the skills that I developed at BrainStation, it helped make me feel more confident about the value that I could bring to the team and the impact that I could have.
Before I took this course I felt like there were some gaps in my understanding. That was actually one of the big reasons I wanted to take it — I had some experience in university, but I still felt like there were some missing pieces.
This course helped fill in those gaps and tie up loose ends. Now, I felt like I knew my stuff. So I came into the role with a better attitude and more confidence in my own abilities.
What advice would you give to other professionals out there that may be considering BrainStation?
Do it. And there are a lot of programs out there, but what BrainStation does is it bridges the gap between self-directed learning and a university course. You gain some of the same skills that you might from doing a master’s degree in data science or business analytics, but at a fraction of the cost and in much less time.
Just from an experience perspective — because of the classroom setting and the peers you’ll meet — it’s a no-brainer. If you’re interested in upskilling, do it through BrainStation.
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