Why the BC Data Science Programme was Right for Me

Sep 2018

I enjoyed studying Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. However, I wanted to go beyond pure research and begin tackling real world problems. I was excited to take the scientific methods, statistical models, and mathematics which I had learnt and implement these to design and build solutions for complex business problems, or to generate new insights.

Upon graduating, I joined a small company as a software developer and gained invaluable coding experience. After a year of improving these skills, I felt drawn to data science and its blend of academic challenge, cutting edge tech, and demonstrable impact.

BC's Graduate Programme in data science stands out because of its emphasis on creativity and building. This message was consistent throughout the recruitment process; the job wasn’t just going to be about querying SQL databases all day (don’t worry there’s still plenty of SQL!).

Having joined the team at Fospha, I was given ownership of a project from the ground up. It’s been an exciting responsibility and an opportunity to learn along the way, knowing that every piece of the puzzle has been executed by me. My previous experience in Python has been incredibly useful, freeing my time to focus on the problem itself, rather than learning the ropes of coding. The project is coming along well, and I was recently invited to present my solution to over 40 senior leaders from across Blenheim Chalcot. All in all, it’s been an incredibly exciting first two months!

I was a little apprehensive that joining a graduate programme might be a step backwards in terms of responsibility and trust, but that hasn’t been the case at all. I’m really pleased with the level of self-direction and responsibility in the role; I’m trusted to do what I think is best, but always have enthusiastic and interested colleagues to fall-back on with questions when needed, particularly Sepi, Alex, and Ronan. This nurtures the perfect environment to constantly learn from both your successes and your mistakes! I’ve also appreciated the opportunity to attend client meetings so soon after joining, and am expected to contribute, not just listen.

It’s been a fascinating couple of months, and I’m really excited about my future here. Right now, I’m about to kick off alpha testing on my project to gather client feedback. Beyond that, I’m hoping to get my nose into some of the other interesting problems Fospha have coming up! The best part for me is that I know I won’t get bored here and will continually learn and be challenged in my role.

Judah Rand

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