Meet London Flatiron School Alum and Eve.io Data Scientist Shuyu Wu! She left digital marketing during global uncertainty with both Brexit and Covid-19 as hurdles. But she persevered and emerged in the tech space despite these uphill challenges. Here, she tells her story:
You have a background in marketing with strong computational and statistical knowledge, a great primer for data science. What led you to leave your career path? What do you find about data science that was absent in your former field?
I have been in the marketing sector for over 5 years with most of my focus on digital marketing. I started my data science journey in 2018 when someone recommended to me an online deep learning course, I really loved it! So, I spent a couple of months learning by myself but found it hard to fill in some knowledge gaps through solely self-learning. Last year, when I heard Flatiron School was opening their immersive data science course in London, I told myself… this is it! As a marketing professional, we can access tons of user data but never truly analyze it in a "smart" way such as finding user patterns to predict user behavior precisely. Everything about data science provides intuition to make informed business decisions.
You graduated and looked for a job in the height of Covid-19, not exactly the easiest of times. Tell us about what that was like and how you persevered.
This might be one of the hardest times to look for a job. It's likely you are competing with hundreds of candidates just for one position. But hey it's okay, you can't change that situation but what you can do is to make yourself OUTSTANDING. I started my job hunt in early February. I applied to hundreds of jobs in the market using such sites as Glassdoor, LinkedIn etc, and heard back from 10 companies and finally landed an offer. From time to time, I was very emotional after I spent the whole night trying to finish a technical task for an application and then ended up with a rejection a few days later. I had moments of self doubt that I wasn't good enough to be a data scientist. But I believe everything is meaningful. A technical project might not have converted into an offer, however, it enhanced newly-honed knowledge. Another piece of advice for those still looking for a job: don't do the bare minimum when filling out your job application, treat each question thoughtfully even if it's optional, it will help you to stand out from others.
Your husband is also in a data related field. How did his encouragement and support play a role in your success?
As a newbie in data science, I had tons of questions I brought home everyday. He helped answer some of them but most of the time we worked together to find the answers. Before I started applying for jobs, he even gave me a mock interview through the phone (yes, he actually called me from the other room, LOL). I'm very lucky to have someone who can give me big hugs and help me fix bugs. 😉
Tell us about your position at Eve.io and what you are working on.
I’m working at Eve.io as a Data Scientist/Machine Learning Engineer. We are an IT software startup that builds event management apps using machine learning technologies to help event organizers save money, time and reduce exposure to risk. I’m working with the risk team to help find event patterns from different situations and predict a better solution.
For the students who also have graduated during this tenuous time, what’s the best way to job search productively during quarantine? What wisdom can you impart?
I would say to keep applying for jobs in the market while simultaneously working on other technical projects. It's easy to forget things quickly once you graduate, so keep your knowledge fresh. You can work with your cohort-mates or have an independent project. And I want to tell everyone who's still job hunting, you're not alone. The reason you haven't received a job yet is not because you're not good or smart enough. If you feel stressed, talk to your friends and family, they're always there for you. Last but not least, never lose your faith.
Career coach Charis Wanken reflects on how Shuyu's job search was so successful:
"Right from the start, Shuyu showed a fierce determination and commitment to the job search process. She came to each appointment well researched allowing us to skip many of the standard conversations and work at a high level. Although there were hurdles at times, it was apparent that Shuyu gave this process her all and the results speak for themselves!"