The Data School, a refreshing and original application process

by Eliott Sacau

When I first came across the application process, I had expected an equivalent process to most companies that I had applied for to this date: a formal CV, a cover letter and of course, a barrage of psychometric tests to prove my ‘aptitude’ to the company.
This made me reluctant to send my details to the company, as I was on holiday at the time, and I definitely did not want to pause my relaxation to do any more of those tests.

Finally snapping out of my food and holiday induced slumber, I decided to go through with the email, and got a response that really surprised me: it more or less boiled down to ‘Choose a set of data, download Tableau and show us something interesting’. An application process where I finally got to choose what I wanted to work on, and more importantly, the time to show the extent of my capabilities? Surely it was too good to be true…

It dawned on me that it wasn’t. This realisation helped me get rid of the pins and needles which had settled in through months of inactivity, got me up to work every day until the deadline. A brief interview with Andy told me I was through to the second round, for which I had to prepare a second piece on a selected set of data. After having spent so much time with the software over such a short span, the second part of the application was significantly easier, but equally as stressful. I must add however, that Tableau is intrinsically comprehensive in a way that little other software are, and made learning it very intuitive. The team at the Information Lab made me feel very comfortable at the interview and presentation, and they went like a breeze.

If I had to summarise my experience, I’d have to say that the process was unusually refreshing, as it allowed me to express myself.This is opposed to being judged (against mostly unknown criteria) simply from looking at my writing, test scores and CV. It consequently made me much more willing to spend the time and effort into the application process, and I’m thankful that I was rewarded with a place in the Data School to deepen my learning of Tableau and Visual Data Analytics!

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