We want to fix the broken system created by today’s education and recruiting systems—it really shouldn’t be so difficult to have a career that you love. That’s why we started DSDJ: we think you deserve career training that actually works and gets results fast without breaking the bank.
So abandon Reddit, stop sifting through 10,000 Google results and throw out that student loan application: the Data Science Dream Job program is the absolute best and most comprehensive job search resource out there for aspiring data scientists.
When I started in data science, I had virtually no experience and I was stuck in a small college town working as a software engineer with no career prospects. I struggled to break into the field for months and was just as frustrated as anybody else. I was rejected over and over again and told that I would never get hired as a data scientist because I didn't have the “right experience”. With a lot of hard work, persistence, and experimentation, I was finally able to prove those people wrong, crack the code, and land my first job in the field.
I perfected my data science job search strategies over time and eventually became Sr Director of Data Science at one of the world’s largest privately held marketing agencies. Along the way I interviewed hundreds of data science candidates and hired 30+ data scientists across all levels.
Once I made the transition into data science, I knew I had to share my system to help others start do the same. It became my mission to help others succeed where I struggled. With both job seeker and hiring manager perspectives in mind, I worked tirelessly to distill my years of job search knowledge into the battle-tested DSDJ system. And since its inception in late 2017, DSDJ has helped aspiring data scientists get jobs at Microsoft, Amazon, Verizon, BCG Gamma, Allstate, LinkedIn and others.
I believe that it shouldn't be so difficult for hardworking, dedicated people like you to find a job that you love, and that's why I started DSDJ - so that you don't have to go through months or years of heartache like I did so that you can have an exciting, fulfilling career and live the life you’ve been dreaming of.
I was born and raised in South Sacramento, California. I’m a product of one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the world, and I couldn’t be more proud of the cultural legacy that I come from.
When my data science dream job search got started I was steadily just getting rejected - it seemed like nothing I could do would ever get me respected. Most days I was stressed and sometimes I felt so pathetic - I had all the pieces to the puzzle, just no way to connect it. I was fighting through every concept, tightening up every line of code, and never resting to question if I was out of my mind. It finally came time to do it or let it die, so I put the chips on the table and told Kyle to sign me up - now I’m here, helping students along the journey and sharing my experiences in hopes of inspiring and motivating our students.
I never excelled at math or other technical subjects at school but when I discovered software engineering in my early 20s I found that I could spend hours in front of a computer and code trying to make a program work. I naturally started my career as software engineer working on telecom platforms at HP and coding in C/C++. After going back to business school, I transitioned into the world of consulting where I learned how industry operates and developed crucial business skills like stakeholder engagement. Over time I became more and more interested in building data science skills but never found enough time to make real progress so I decided to quit work and upskill for a few months.
That’s when I came across Kyle and DSDJ - the spirit and approach of the program really resonated with me, in particular: be consistent, keep learning by doing, iterate, don’t be a perfectionist and never give up. I was one of the first DSDJ students and leveraged what I learned to land a job in the field!
And now I get to be a part of this awesome team. I’m having a blast helping the students, giving back to the community as well as continuing to learn and improve.
I have always been interested in understanding human behavior, and in fact, for numerous years I was a neuroscientist working in academia. I used neuro-imaging data to study the way we behave when faced with different cognitive tasks. Then I got introduced to data science via colleagues working in industry. I got excited because I realized there were so many ways to study human behavior outside of academia - ranging from customer satisfaction to interest following marketing campaigns. At that point, I had almost no knowledge of data science tools. So little by little, I learned coding, machine learning, and most importantly how you can use data science tools to answer practical business questions.
I learned all of these skills on my free time and I got overwhelmed by the amount of things that I needed to do. That’s when I came across Kyle’s post on LinkedIn in which he was looking for driven students to start the first cohort of Data Science Dream Job! DSDJ provided me with a strong framework to learn everything in a structured way and with the proper tools to successfully get through job interviews - and now I'm a data scientist at the National Bank of Canada.
Now, I feel honored to give back to the community by being part of the DSDJ team. I can’t wait to help, teach, and support students in their journey of becoming data scientists.
I was born and raised in Tirana, Albania which is a beautiful European country that is also one of the oldest in the Balkans (we even claim to be older than the Greeks). I studied Telecommunication Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Tirana and immediately after I worked in academia for 5 years lecturing in prestigious Albanian universities. After completing my PhD in Machine Learning, I began searching for a career as a data scientist. However, there was not much opportunity in Albania at the time—that’s when I made the monumental, and ultimately correct, decision to immigrate to Canada; this led to the turning point in my career.
In Toronto, I was able to land a job at a start-up where I was able to obtain more hands-on experience with coding along with my first exposure to NLP and text analytics. However, I was looking for a full-time data science job and came across Kyle and his DSDJ program on LinkedIn. I decided to enroll and give it a chance.
When I was looking for a job, my greatest difficulty was making it to the last interview. Although my PhD helped me land several interviews, issues arose at the technical round or in the last round of the interview process. I realized that working as a data scientist and interviewing for data science positions required completely different skillsets.
The DSDJ mindset module completely turned things around for me. It changed my way of thinking and gave me the motivation to work on improving myself each day. In addition, having a blueprint on how to navigate and find my dream job was invaluable. The structure of the course, the technical modules, interviewing techniques, and negotiating tactics all helped me reach the success I have achieved in my current role as a data scientist.
I am a strong believer that educational background and previous work experience aren’t the main indicators for where one’s meant to be. These aren’t the determinants for career success.
I’ve jumped around different career fields - A LOT! And guess what Employers didn’t care, I learned so much that contributed to my work ethic and performance today… and I’m happier knowing I took my future in my hands and grabbed every opportunity that came my way.
I graduated with a BS Nursing degree and worked as a pediatric registered nurse for 4 years. I shifted to the food and beverage industry, managing 2 cafes for 2 years. Then I decided to explore digital marketing where I was given the opportunity to learn more about online job opportunities and continue my flair for team management and training. I am in pursuit for a Masters of Management degree to strengthen my leadership and decision-making ability.
Now, I am happily a part of the DSDJ team with:
1. A strong and compassionate customer relations ability from my Nursing Background
2. Strategic planning and operations management skills from my Restaurant Management experience
3. The ability to learn and adapt to new technology and analyze data from my Digital Marketing experience
I believe, every step I took in my career life was a part of the process to prepare me for my role here at DSDJ.
After 4 years studying biology in college and 3 long years of grinding through grad school, I finally earned a M.S. degree in evolutionary genomics. But there was one problem: I realized I was chasing someone else’s dream and didn’t actually want to do science. I decided I had to change my situation—and Kyle was eager to help.
Following many of the exact job search tactics outlined in the DSDJ program back in 2015, Kyle helped me break into graphic design and land my first job at a creative agency near Chicago without a design degree. And negotiate a $10,000 salary increase with a performance-based promotion after 6 months. But more than that, Kyle helped me start doing work that I truly loved (I can go +12-hours and not even realize it!).
Nothing is worse than realizing that the life you’ve chosen is actually making you miserable. That’s why I’m so excited to be able to help others change their circumstances and start their dream careers! Leveraging all of my unique experiences as a researcher, teaching assistant, and professional designer, it is my number one goal to help DSDJ students learn better and faster and get the attention they deserve from hiring managers.