What does the first week of Data School look like?

by Marius Nikiforovas

Your first week of the Data School might feel slightly hectic, from learning everyone’s names (this will take you at least a couple of months) to getting the hang of Convo*. Not to mention, your first week is likely to be on Alteryx, which you probably haven’t used before, so there is definitely a lot to learn and get used to. The pace of learning is quite intense too. But it is important to stress that support is always there (more in the Supportive section). Don’t be afraid to stop your teacher and ask to revisit a specific topic or a question if you find something confusing. No matter how cliché it sounds, there are no stupid questions.
I personally enjoyed the fast-paced environment. The amount of things we learnt in that one week is astonishing. On Monday, I had no idea of what Alteryx was and by Friday, I was creating basic workflows with joins, unions and cross tabs.

The Things You Need
Photo by ian dooley / Unsplash

Having said all that, you should also expect your first week to be a lot of fun. First, there is table tennis on the first floor, which you can play during lunch or after work. If you are competitive, we have quite a few good players too :) Alternatively, if you are not big on table tennis, we have a bar on the same floor. It is the usual hang out spot, where people come together after work to socialize, so grab yourself a drink, or two, and get ready to mingle!
No, really, do mingle. The people in the company are super friendly and often will come up to you to introduce themselves and get to know you. But the bar area is your chance to meet the wider team, previous cohorts and even alumni. The company is very diverse and unites people from various places and backgrounds, so there are many interesting conversations to have!

Ping Pong
Photo by Lisa Keffer / Unsplash

If you are afraid that it will be too tough, don’t be. Most of the people within the company went through the same training process and felt just the same. If you have any concerns or things you struggle with during training, Andy or Carl will happily help you out. You will also be assigned a mentor, who is your first point of contact for non-training related questions. If you get stuck on a problem, and this is likely to happen on Friday projects, you can always post it on Convo or go around the office and ask someone from the core team to help you. And believe me, they do help! Lastly, there is a pod scheme, which allows you to better blend into the company. A pod is a group of people from the company, including the previous data schoolers, who organise social events.

Photo by KOBU Agency / Unsplash

Main Tips
- Ask questions
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Don’t worry about what you don’t know, you will learn
- Mingle, there is nothing worse than walking past the colleague in the corridor and wondering whether I should say hi or not
- Within your cohort, work as a team, help each other and share your thought processes

Convo* - there are no internal emails within the company, all the communication is done through this social media like platform