Interview with former Data Science Student, Cornelia Schmitz

by Livia Schmid

Interview former student
Could you introduce yourself? What were you doing before you joined the Data Science Bootcamp at Constructor Academy?
“Hi, I’m Cornelia and I joined the Data Science Bootcamp in 2020 from May to July. Before that I was a Biomedical Engineering student, had just finished my Masters in Neurotechnology and was looking for a job in this field. With the Corona pandemic, the job search became more difficult, so I decided to join the Bootcamp to level-up my skills with the goal to improve my chances of finding a job.”

Why did you choose Constructor Academy? Did you also look into other Bootcamps?
“As I was trying to find a job in Switzerland, I thought that the best option would be to join a Bootcamp which is also based in Switzerland and has a local network. Constructor Academy provided both: Data Science studies and advice on job search, which was targeted to the Swiss job market. After doing some research, Constructor Academy was the only program provider I found which matched what I was looking for.

Before joining, I interviewed for an internship where I actually spoke to someone who also did the Data Science Bootcamp at Constructor Academy. That was a positive sign for me.”

How was your experience?
“I think my favorite part were the data challenges that we did at the end of each topic we learned. Mainly because I felt that they were a really good opportunity to practice all the skills that we had learned during a week and it was also a fun way to gain more practical experience and to work on actual projects, rather than just exercises. My favorite topic overall was the Data Science Toolkit because the skills that we learned in that module are the foundations for everything that comes afterwards, so it’s a very useful topic.”

Could you tell me more about the Capstone project that you worked on in the last month of the training?
“Together with a physician, I was working on a project to train a model which could classify different types of MRI images. That was really interesting for me since it was related to what I had studied at University. Generally, what's special about doing the Capstone project is that you can work on a real-life challenge. That’s what’s great about Constructor Academy, most of the projects are done in collaboration with a company. Also, the work that we do doesn’t just get shelved: it’s usually developed further or is put to use within the company that you’re collaborating with. I find that very valuable.”

How was life after the Bootcamp?
“I was very lucky since I was offered a job on the last day of the Bootcamp. I started an internship at a Deep Tech startup called Eyeware about a month after I finished, and I've been working there since then. In my role as a Data Engineer, my work has been more focused on engineering rather than data analytics. Currently, I’m collecting a new data set for Eyeware. I already use Python almost every day and I'm starting a Data Scientist role after this internship ends, so I'll be able to use more of the skills I learned at Constructor Academy there.”

Do you have any advice for people who also want to do a coding Bootcamp?
“My advice would be to think about what kind of roles you might be interested in doing after the program because Data Science can be applied in many ways. Depending on where you work, what you do on a daily basis might be quite different. If you have a specific field of interest, you can ask the instructors and benefit from their experience. Having said that, I think it's also good to be open-minded. You might discover something new during the Bootcamp that you find really interesting and that you didn't think about doing before. As a final note, be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into those three months, because it is very intense but also very much worth it.”

Thanks a lot, Cornelia. I wish you all the best.


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