Asking questions to succeed at the Data School

by Anna Noble

curious child pointing up

After almost 3 months, I’ve come to the conclusion that asking lots of questions is one of the best ways to  survive  succeed in the Data School.

Just ask

It’s an incredibly simple thing to do. But I know sometimes asking for help can feel difficult thanks to this annoying thing called pride. So I urge you to swallow your pride and get asking Andy and the rest of The Information Lab team all those questions that pop into your head.

For 4 months you are bombarded with a mass of information.  It can be overwhelming at times and classes can go too fast for you to keep up.  But unless you pipe up and ask for something to be repeated or explained in a different way, no one is going to be able to help.

Unfortunately mind reading is not one of the TIL teams superpowers.  (Although be warned Andy does have some crafty coach ways of pushing you to do things.)

Questions for everyone

Don’t forget to ask the rest of your Data School for help too.  They all come from different backgrounds and you’ll be able to pick up all kinds of knew knowledge form them, whether it’s their eye for design or their statistical expertise.

Going for drinks with members of the previous DS cohorts is fun too. You can ask them about what it’s like being on placement or how they approached a similar  task during their 4 months of training.

As long as you are prepared to put the work in and listen and respond to advice and feedback, you have this network of people you can rely on for help and of course chill out and have a beer with. So enjoy it and don’t be afraid to ask questions, even the ‘stupid’ ones.


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