Learning How to Learn: How a Boot Camp Prepared This Data Scientist to Take on Any Challenge
Bincy Narath had an extensive career in technology and data in India, but she came to a point where she needed change. In February 2020, Bincy left India and embarked on a new journey — to Canada. She landed without much of a plan, but assumed she could find work in her field.
Then, Canada started to enter lockdown.
Adjusting to unforeseen circumstances
About two weeks after she first stepped foot on Canadian soil, COVID-19 uprooted the whole world. On top of adapting to her new environment and trying to find work, Bincy found herself dealing with stay-at-home orders and unexpected roadblocks.
“I was applying to jobs and not hearing back,” she said. “Then I did some research and realized resumes needed to be in a proper format, and there are so many other requirements when applying for jobs.”
After realizing she would need to take a different route to find a job, Bincy began searching for educational opportunities. She had already completed a continued education program in India and was seeking a similar opportunity.
“I was in the midst of a pandemic, I wasn’t finding a job — I figured I could utilize this time for something more productive,” she said.
Bincy came across UofT SCS Data Analytics Boot Camp and was eager to learn more. The admissions coordinator, Kimberly Jones, reached out to her and gave her useful information about the boot camp. Bincy took a calculated risk, choosing to follow a hunch and put her money toward furthering her education.
In the span of about 15 days, she had left India, moved to Canada, entered lockdown, and enrolled in a data analytics boot camp — and her journey had only just begun.
Becoming a better data scientist
Although she had experience prior to entering the boot camp, Bincy still had a lot to learn and was eager to expand her knowledge.
“While I was comfortable as a programmer, the things we learned in boot camp, balancing strict timelines, and applying for jobs at the same time made it challenging,” she said.
The boot camp taught Bincy valuable new technical skills, including front end development, visualization, and cloud technologies. But most importantly, she learned how to create a professional online presence to market herself as an exceptional data scientist.
Prior to the boot camp, her GitHub profile lacked content. Now it has grown into an impressive portfolio. Going into the course, her experience was different from many of her peers, but in some ways it was also fairly similar.
“I watched people from all backgrounds, even a chef, come in with very little experience and then do awesome at the boot camp,” Bincy said. “We compare ourselves not to each other, but to how we were in the past. The boot camp helped us transition into better versions of ourselves.”
Overcoming the fear of new things
One of the most vital life lessons Bincy took away from the boot camp was how to learn.
“You’re learning different things at a fast pace and in a short amount of time,” she said. “The brain is adapting to new skills, and the fear of encountering something new fades away as you keep learning.”
Bincy was able to apply this skill to the job she secured after the boot camp. While she didn’t get the role she originally applied for, someone from that company sent her resume to a recruiter on another team. At first, it was a contract position, but the recruiter was so impressed with Bincy that they offered her a full-time role.
“Within one week of starting the job, I did a certification in Azure and I didn’t know anything at all,” she said, “but I wasn’t scared because I was so prepared to learn new things.”
Today, Bincy is a data scientist working on machine learning to solve adaptive learning problems. She’s getting exposure to cloud technologies, learning to solve adaptiv, which the boot camp touched on outside of the standard curriculum.
Her instructors, assistant instructors, and admissions officers were helpful every step of the way, constantly encouraging learners to follow through with the program. Without them, Bincy’s experience would’ve been drastically different.
“It was a great journey,” she said. “It was long and difficult at the same time, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Want to begin a life-changing career in tech? Check out UofT SCS Boot Camps in coding, data analytics, cybersecurity, and more.