Zachary Greenberg: Musician To Data Scientist
“It’s crazy for me to think about where I am now from where I started. It may be a little cliche, but it is that hard work pays off.”
Zachary Greenberg, a May 2021 Data Science graduate from Flatiron School, spent a decade as a professional musician until the COVID pandemic made him rethink his career path.
He shares his journey from professional musician to Data Scientist below.
Bit By The Music Bug
Zachary began his professional career by earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a specialization in statistics. It was during college however that he “was bit by the music bug”.
“After graduation, I decided to pursue a singing career which led me to become a lead vocalist for theme parks and major cruise lines.”
But, like many other artists, he was soon out of work when the 2020 pandemic heated up. He took time during the lockdown to evaluate the path he was on, ultimately deciding to make a career change to Data Science.
“I was drawn to data science for 2 reasons. One, I already had a statistics background and was randomly learning Python in my spare time. Two, when I started getting more serious about it, I was amazed at the effect a data science project could have on people.”
His Bootcamp Experience
After researching bootcamps, Zachary applied to Flatiron School’s full-time, 15-week Data Science program. He cites the school’s reputation as a contributing factor to his decision to apply.
“I was particularly impressed by Flatiron’s word of mouth,” he recalled. “I was hoping that it would give me the tools and confidence I needed to enter the data science workforce.”
Zachary had previous experience coding before enrolling at Flatiron School. His twin brother – a Software Engineer – had taught him the basics as a hobby. But, once he reached the advanced concepts taught at the tail-end of the course, he recalls it being a challenge.
“Making the switch from coding and statistics into machine learning [was hard]. It’s a very quick turn, but if you stick with it and lean on the support of your cohort you’ll come out successful.”
But once he made it through the advanced modules, he thoroughly enjoyed using everything he’d learned to create a capstone project.
“It’s a passion project that not only shows you have the skills to see a project through from start to finish, but it also helps you to learn who you are as a data scientist and helps your audience to learn who you are as both a data scientist and a person.”
Working In Tech
Zachary graduated from Flatiron School in May 2021. He first interned at Sentara Healthcare before landing a full-time position with Guidehouse as a Data Scientist Consultant. Almost two years on from graduation, he is enjoying his new career.
“I am loving working in Data Science. I get to work with and learn from a great team of talented people every day,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more than that. Reality absolutely lives up to the dream.”
Looking back on his journey, Zachary says he is “proud of the journey itself”.
“It’s crazy for me to think about where I am now from where I started. I’ve gained many new skills and made many valuable connections on this ongoing journey. It may be a little cliche, but it is that hard work pays off.”
As for his advice to other current or future Data Science students, he recommends looking at the big picture when things get hard.
“If you focus on your work’s impact on others, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to succeed.”
Ready For A Change, Just Like Zachary Greenberg?
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of April 29, 2023. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.