Ask Me Anything: Helen Craven


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Live on Tuesday 21 June 2022 at 12:00 BST 

 

Ask Me Anything with Helen Craven, graduate data scientist at Peak. joins us for an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. 

 

Introducing our guest: Helen Craven

 

You’ve qualified, motivated and ready to be a data scientist. But how do you land your first role? Helen Craven is here to help.

Helen joined Peak as a graduate data scientist just over two months ago and she’s been doing great things with data ever since. She’s the perfect person to put your early career data science questions to.

How do you find entry-level roles? What does a great data science CV look like? 

Whatever your question, join Helen at 12:00 BST on Tuesday 21 June 2022 to ask her anything.

 

Submit your questions

 

Whatever your question, you can submit your questions now below and then join us on Tuesday 21 June 2022 to be a part of the discussion.

liammccaffrey 1 month ago

Are education subscriptions like Coursera, LinkedIn helpful? Do you think employers will consider candidates who only have certifications from those sorts of resources?

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Hey Helen! Can you give any advice on how to choose a project that’ll best help someone get a data science role if they don’t have any industry experience? 

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Hi Helen,

How did you find out about Data Science as a career, when did you realise that you wanted to be a Data Scientist and did you consider doing Data Science in any other fields?

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Hi Helen,

What drove you to join a graduate scheme after finishing your studies? What would be your biggest piece of advice for applicants to a Data Science graduate scheme? What’s been your highlight of your graduate scheme to date?

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Hi Helen,

Is there anything you wish you could have done when you were at university, either for your future development, or just because it seems fun? For example, I still regret not getting into American Football. 

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Hi Helen,

How big is the difference between studying a Data Science degree, and working in a Data Science role? In particular, is there anything that people might catch people off guard a bit?

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Hi Helen!

If you could go back and tell your younger self one thing before starting your role at Peak, what would it be and why? 

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Hello!

What have you struggled the most since starting the graduate scheme? Is there anything that you could have done before starting at Peak to help with this, and how have you overcome any challenges related to this?

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Hello Helen,

If you were not doing data science, what would you like to be doing? More generally, what other career options did you consider before deciding that the DS route was for you?

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Are education subscriptions like Coursera, LinkedIn helpful? Do you think employers will consider candidates who only have certifications from those sorts of resources?

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Hey Helen, 

How did you take academic and theory work from your masters, to experience that translates into useful skills in the workplace? 

I have a masters next year so would like to know how to take the course content into work that helps land a graduate job in industry. 

Did you also specifically target Peak as an employer ?

Thank you!

Is it better to start of in data analysis and move into data science? Is it easier?

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Hey Helen, 
Do you have some interviewing tips and tricks when applying for a DS-role? Like what sort of technical questions do you get asked? ...and how do you prepare for them?
Thanks ! :) 

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And our AMA is live. Look out for replies to your questions which you’ll see yourself tagged in. Be sure to like the questions you’d like to see answered.

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Hey all 👋  Thanks loads for your questions and thanks to Peak for having me today!! Big shoes to fill after some brill AMAs to date, but here we go! 

I’ll be here for the next hour or so, so feel free to keep firing any more through! 🌞 

 

Hi Helen, 

Just curious were there any transferrable languages or technical skills/tools that helped you 'tick the boxes' for the role?

And similar to Niko's question - any general tips & tricks during DS application processes? :)

 

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I cant find the link to join the meeting. Pls help

Hi Helen, how should one looking for jobs in Data Science Industry prepare for the interviews? Also, should one be proficient in Data Structures and Algorithms? Thank you.

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Hey Helen! Can you give any advice on how to choose a project that’ll best help someone get a data science role if they don’t have any industry experience? 

Hi hi!!

Honestly, I think the best project to get a data science project is one you will do, and be excited about doing.

Maybe find some data linked to something you are passionate about. For me, that is all things rowing. I did some EDA and time series analysis on rowing machine data (maybe a bit dry for some, but those numbers are thrilling to me). 

Is there a sport you are interested in? A deep dive into your own Strava stats? Maybe Eurovision audience voting histories is your fierce passion…

Look for something that you can scope as a project, enjoy working on and then be reading to explain your decisions and lessons learnt along the way during application processes! Your interviewers might also get to learn a bit about what makes you tick along the way!

 

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I thought it is some sort of live zoom meeting :)

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Hi Helen,

What was your experience of interviewing with Peak like? I have MS in applicable maths and currently doing MS in AI ML from LJMU. What am I supposed to do to be a part of Peak’s amazing team of data scientists? :)

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Hi Helen,

How did you find out about Data Science as a career, when did you realise that you wanted to be a Data Scientist and did you consider doing Data Science in any other fields?

Hey Emma 👋 

Oooh this is an interesting one, and I’m afraid I can’t give a straightforward answer. Looking back, it somewhat feels like “all paths led to data science”. 

I first considered data science as a career when a senior colleague during my placement year asked me “Have you ever considered Data Science as a career?”. Somewhat bonkers that a pretty casual comment in conversation has sent me down this path, but life sometimes works out that way! 

Before that though, I had picked my undergrad degree (Maths & Management Science) and then modules at uni around what I was excited about learning and what I thought I would do well in. These modules turned out to be really great stepping stones into my data science career. 

During my placement year, I worked for a digital consultancy - primarily on a client project focused on learning from patient safety events in the NHS. This was a a big data project, and I just found it fascinating. Although I wasn’t a DS on that project, I really wanted to be - and this was the big change point in deciding to study an MSc in Data Science. 

In my short career so far, I’ve worked in data science in the healthcare space, in civil engineering and now at Peak in retail. One of the things I love about DS is the variety of problems data can be harnessed to solve!

Thanks for the question, that was a fun trip down memory lane!

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Hi Helen,

What drove you to join a graduate scheme after finishing your studies? What would be your biggest piece of advice for applicants to a Data Science graduate scheme? What’s been your highlight of your graduate scheme to date?

Hey Wes 🌞 Thanks for your questions!!

Joining a grad scheme was really important to me post-studies. I was looking for some structure where it would be part of my job to continue my learning and growth as a data scientist!

My biggest piece of advice is to be picky about where to apply to. There’s a lot of pressure on graduate to get job, but not much about getting the right job for you. Think about the industry that roles sit in, is that space interesting to you? What parts of company culture and working life are important to you? By focusing your efforts on a smaller area, the application process will be a lot less overwhelming.

Also...enthusiasm and interest in the role is a lot easier to get across during an application process if you are genuinely enthusiastic and interested! 

 

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Hi Helen,

What drove you to join a graduate scheme after finishing your studies? What would be your biggest piece of advice for applicants to a Data Science graduate scheme? What’s been your highlight of your graduate scheme to date?

Highlight of the grad scheme to date has to be the Peak people. 

What. A. Team. 

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Hi Helen,

Is there anything you wish you could have done when you were at university, either for your future development, or just because it seems fun? For example, I still regret not getting into American Football. 

Oooooo an interesting one Ben.

Fun: Go to more places. Lancaster is so close to so many beautiful places but I sadly spent not enough time exploring!! 

Future development: I wish I had started coding sooner!! I did a little bit of R in my first year & decided that it wasn’t for me. I think I couldn’t see myself as a “programmer” but didn’t really know there was a whole world of tech out there to be explored. I think first-year Helen would be pretty shocked that this is where I am now!

 

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Hey Helen, 

How did you take academic and theory work from your masters, to experience that translates into useful skills in the workplace? 

I have a masters next year so would like to know how to take the course content into work that helps land a graduate job in industry. 

Did you also specifically target Peak as an employer ?

Thank you!

Hey Jacob - thanks lots for your questions!

 

A lot of the academic theory from my masters is really useful knowledge when making decisions on how to tackle problems and the underlying mechanics behind statistics, algorithms etc. 

Really though, I think the biggest takeaway from my masters into my job has been determined and enthusiastic problem solving. The problems we face as data scientists can often be big and messy, but the resilience to dive in regardless and understand what’s going on and take a good first stab is something I definitely grew in during my masters. 

The theory supports this, but the experience of ‘figuring stuff out’ step by step as you learn the content is just as useful imo. 

 

Also - yes! Entering a data science career and being based in the North West, Peak was definitely on my radar. The more I learnt about the company, the bigger my gut feeling was that this would be a great fit for both my own learning&development and also as somewhere I could make meaningful impact! I reached out to some Peakers directly to learn more, and the rest is history...

 

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