I’m currently writing this blog in a hotel in San Diego awaiting to start my first placement at Solar Turbines with Robbin and Ollie. The four months of training at the Data School preparing me for this new start has been one heck of a ride in terms of learning and personal development. This is the perfect time to stop for a minute and reflect.
I’ll start by saying that the last few months have absolutely flown by, and there’s a good reason why. The saying time flies when you’re having fun mostly is the reason, but it is also helped when you’re training with seven other amazing people. As a team we got on extremely well and that is saying something when you’re stuck inside a room for 4 months with the same people. Having seven other people to work with also means help and feedback is never far away as each person has their strengths and different ways of looking at things.
The ‘work’ itself
Quotation marks around the work because I still can’t believe we got paid to continually learn and develop our skills and at the same time having fun. The work basically consisted of working with client projects for a week at a time and training in Tableau and Alteryx in-between. What I liked most the work was the opportunity to develop my presentations skills. I have always known that my presentation skills are not my strong point as I don’t feel comfortable talking in front of people I don’t know. But I knew that I could take this chance to become more confident when presenting. And that is one of the beauties of the Data School, the practice you will encounter will allow you to develop areas you feel are not strong in.
Some tips for future Dsers:
- If I had to change anything this will be it: Don’t stay up too late finishing client work, make sure you have time for yourself e.g. go work out at the gym.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a question or ask the person taking the class to go over something again. This will be inevitable and it will save a lot of time being confused.
- Don’t get bogged down trying to find insights within client data. Sometimes it won’t be there and it’s okay to just present the data.
- Sometimes the pace of the training may feel overwhelming. Take plenty of notes during the classes and make sure to go over them at the end of the day. This should help jogging the memory.
- Collect some data! At the end of your four months, turn that data into a viz and see what story it tells.
- Go into the DS equipped with plenty of good jokes. (If you could get Andy to laugh at least one of them I will buy you a drink)
- Embrace putting yourself out there by writing blogs and sharing your vizzes on Twitter.
(My holiday unfortunately coincided with the last week of the Data School. At the time the above picture was taken, I actually was thinking about the last 4 months I and wondered what the future now holds whilst staring into the sunset. So I felt this is the perfect reflective photo to use.)