Interview with Data Science alum, Ernest Mihelj

by Claudia Boker


My name is Ernest Mihelj and I come from Croatia. I have been living in Switzerland for the last 4 years doing a Ph.D. in neuroscience at ETH, which I have completed now. I was interested in changing professions and diving into data science-related jobs, which is why I decided to participate in the Data Science Bootcamp at Constructor Academy.


What did you like most about Constructor Academy’s bootcamp?

A good practice of Constructor Academy is that they are very mindful of the ratio between theory and practice. Aside from getting a good theoretical background on all the topics, you also get practical exercises, in which you can immediately put the theory that you have learned into practice. This way you can check whether you understand all the theoretical concepts and determine whether you understand them in different contexts.


Which was your favourite topic during the Bootcamp?

So given that it was a new topic for me, the week in which we learned about Deep learning was by far my favourite topic, as the concepts and techniques were new to me.


What was the most helpful topic you learned during the program?

In terms of the most helpful topic, I would emphasize the SQL portion of the program. As part of the last week of the Bootcamp, we delved into conversational databases and how to manage them. The SQL part was particularly helpful for my current job.


Tell us about your capstone project.

We collaborated with a medical analytics company, which receives medical data from different experts and institutions. For this project, the difficulty was dealing with missing data. We applied some imputation techniques to find intelligent ways to estimate the potential values that these missing data have. The main goal of the project pertained to exploring different computation techniques.


How was life after the bootcamp? Are you happy with your new job, are you still in touch with your fellow students?

After completing the Bootcamp, life has been enjoyable from the aspect of now having access to this large network. I have also stayed in contact with some of my colleagues from the Bootcamp, we have a WhatsApp group where we exchange new topics and news from the data science industry. As for my job, the skills, and experiences that I gained have helped me perform in the workplace better.


Would you recommend Constructor Academy’s bootcamp to your friends?

I most definitely encourage both friends and family to engage in this very intense three-month course. It is rare to learn so much in such a short amount of time. I personally gained such an abundance of experience and have the added benefit of access to a network of people that are both interested and very well-connected in this field.

I vastly improved my coding skills and quantitative reasoning skills, which are necessary for problem-solving. From an organizational perspective, I became much more structured in my approach to solving problems and completing projects.

Thanks a lot for the interview, Ernest. We wish you all the best for your future, both personally and professionally. 

Interested in reading more about Constructor Academy and tech related topics? Then check out our other blog posts.

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