While we were built to support passionate people launch careers in tech, our students spend a large portion of their time working with others, honing their soft skills, and building a community within the greater Flatiron School network.
Dilyan K. always felt a natural pull toward technology and problem solving, but wanted to level up his skills in an immersive, full-time program where he’d be surrounded by other technologists dedicating their days to code.
After working alongside data scientists, watching his friend’s Flatiron School journey as a musician-turned-engineer, and doing lots of bootcamp research, Dilyan started his own data science story at our flagship NYC campus.
The journey to data science
As Dilyan grew professionally, he realized that he enjoyed working with others and supporting teammates to reach their goals. He loved teaching and giving presentations to share insights and advise teams. “I was in digital advertising and was exposed to people that I found were very like-minded,” he says. “I always had to rely on them to pull the data, to write the algorithm, and I thought it was fascinating.”
Data science combined many of Dilyan’s interests and aligned with his own goals for his future. “I think you can really help people make important decisions by telling stories with numbers,” he says. ”I thought with data science and Python I could do it more efficiently.”
With artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, image recognition, and other compelling new technologies, the future is bright for data science. “I wanted to be on the forefront of building something exciting and helping teammates and society with whatever the product is,” he says. Dilyan knew data science could allow him to pursue any project as long as he had an idea.
Getting through it together
In reflecting on his time in our Immersive Data Science course, Dilyan attributed much of his success to the community. While we focus on teaching the technical skills necessary for jobs after graduation, our campus experience also encourages opportunities to network, make new friends, find support from peers and staff, and connect with a diverse group of people.
Dilyan says the moments to network and gain soft skills made him a better professional. He felt accepted by others, which helped him learn to accept others as well. “It was really fun to be surrounded by so many different people and be able to learn from everyone, and also add your own value,” he says. “Flatiron School was definitely a learning experience beyond just data science or math. It taught me how to be a better person, how to be a better teammate, how to have fun, how to help others in tough times, and how to reach out for help.”
Dilyan also fondly remembers Feelings Fridays, a weekly cohort meeting where students in each cohort sit down and share their experiences for the week, whether positive or negative. “Feelings Friday always helped let you know that you’re not alone,” he says. He said there were always other students who said the same thing he would say. It let him know that he wasn’t the only one feeling that way and that everyone was in it together.
Finding the perfect career fit after Flatiron School
After graduation, Dilyan was ready to search for his first full-time job in data science and worked with his Career Coach, Ivo, to find the right fit. Our students are matched with a dedicated Career Coach the month before they graduate who then supports them through the job search process. “Career services definitely does a great job guiding you through the job hunt,” he says. “I received three job offers after about a month from graduation and two of those offers came from Career Services.”
During his job search, Dilyan felt like his only options were to apply to companies based on the East Coast because he didn’t want to make a big move across the country. Today, Dilyan is working remotely as a Solutions Engineer for a company based on the West Coast, thanks to his Career Coach suggesting the role as a perfect fit for Dilyan’s experience and preferences. “It’s the outcome that I was hoping for in my wildest dreams,” he says.
Dilyan gets to use his digital marketing experience and his commitment to helping others in his new role as a Solutions Engineer. He works with clients to help them make sense of the data and extract what they need to create new insights.“I like that half of my job is writing the code and working in the lab and the other half is spent sharing that information through visualizations or working directly with a client to do tutorials,” he says.
A lifelong network
When reflecting on the biggest highlight of his experience, Dilyan again gave all the credit to our community. He says his class has supported each other through the job search. “I’m happy to have that network,” he says. “I think that’s probably the highlight of the rest of my life, to just have that community as a resource and a network.”
For Dilyan, his new career is more than a job. It’s a chance to help others. “I have no regrets and a lot of gratitude for all the value that I can now add to society with everything that I’ve learned,” he says.
Charles Poladian is a copywriter for Flatiron School. He previously worked as a journalist and his work has appeared in the International Business Times and Mashable. Charles currently lives in Brooklyn.