What would you say to someone considering the Skills Bootcamp?

Do it! You’re never too old or too late to make a career change, the hardest part is taking that initial step. I’m now in a position where I am seeing improvements in my own coding journey and will be advancing my career to data too! I would’ve never had that opportunity nor the confidence to transition, had I never signed onto this course.

You should take that leap because, in one way or another, this bootcamp will be helpful to you and your future.

How was your experience of accessing Skills Bootcamp careers support?

One of the most important aspect of the course is definitely the career support. It is 6 months of career support that is flexible to your schedule. I assumed the support would mainly be CV building and interview preparation but it is so much more than that. I am able to contact my career coach at any time, for any job role, and have them look over my application and provide improvements. Plus we’re regularly provided with a list of job opportunities which utilises the skills we learned at the bootcamp. One thing I had overlooked was Linkedin. Gradcore have been helping me build my profile and navigate this ‘hidden’ job market.

What are some of the best things about your Skills Bootcamp experience or your biggest achievements?

I wish I could list everything! The thing that stood out to me was the pace and time-table of the bootcamp. It is an intense course, yes. However it is very much tailored the group and even individuals. If there were concepts that weren’t fully understood, we would spend extra time on that area. For example, when personalising our data visualisations, it could’ve been quite confusing because each code looked very similar for each table/graph. The tutors were attentive and helped us identify what each line of code changed on the visualisation and how to edit it. Furthermore, everyday was varied in content. Everyday would be jam-packed with lecture content, code to trial and learn, quizzes to test our knowledge, career opportunities, daily reflections. This was very helpful for the day as it didn’t feel like a 9-5 and was very entertaining.

Personally, the best thing about this bootcamp was that it gave me a massive confidence boost to start my data analyst journey. I was entering this whole new area with only baseline knowledge. It was very daunting. I always assumed that it would take me years to secure a job in data analytics, that I’d need to know coding languages like the back of my hand, have years of experience, have a strong portfolio. Now my whole perspective has shifted. Even at this beginner level, I am still able to apply to data analyst roles simply because I am committed to continue learning and apply what I have previous learned. Even the most senior level analysts are still learning. There were moment during this bootcamp where we’d be working alongside the tutors – troubleshooting and trialling alternatives code when errors arose. It was definitely reassuring to see advanced coders tackling problems the same way that I was, as a beginner. I understood that I don’t have to know everything to be good, I just had to have that motivation to continue improving and learning.

Please provide details of any employers in the relevant field who have invited you for an interview after completing the Skills Bootcamp.

Gradcore had provided each course member with a real interview opportunity with the Unseen Group. My interview was specifically for a marketing internship. I prepared with my career coach who went through the job description with me, highlighting key phrases and how to research the company. They also provided general interview advice including the S.T.A.R formatting, which I had difficulty incorporating in my answers.

I am currently transitioning into a HR role, within my work, which is more data-driven. It will also utilise some of the more technical skills I’ve worked on during this bootcamp!

Tell us about yourself and your journey to studying a Skills Bootcamp.

During my second year at University, I suspended my studies as I wasn’t confident in obtaining a post-graduate job within my chosen degree. I had chosen Psychology out of interest and not necessarily with a specific career path in mind. I had used that time to trial different careers and, after vigorous research too, I had decided on changing my pathway to data science. My time at university provided me with many important soft skills such as: communicating and presenting. However, I definitely lacked the required hard skill of coding and data manipulation. My only experience with this was through the statistics module at university but even that was at a basic level. I was looking for a solid foundation to kick-start my data journey and was fortunate enough to be selected for this skills bootcamp.

Why did you choose to study a Skills Bootcamp at the University of Birmingham?

I decided to study the ‘Data Skills in a Creative Industry Bootcamp’ because it aligned with everything I was looking for in a data course. It was a 2 week intense course that served as my ‘introduction’ to coding which touched on data mining and even GDPR. This was perfect for me as I wasn’t sure which avenue of data science I wanted to pursue, completing this course would’ve definitely provided me with a clearer view.

Many courses/bootcamps I came across online had a generic outline of the course content and sometimes this wouldn’t even be provided without purchasing the course first. This skill bootcamp definitely felt sincere as the content was provided on the website with day-specific details of what would be covered. Aside from this, the University of Birmingham is a reputable university. This reassured me that this opportunity wasn’t too good to be true (as it definitely felt that way when I discovered it!) and therefore I wasn’t concerned that this opportunity would lack in quality. Last but most importantly, on campus learning was very important to me as I was sharing a space with like-minded individuals. It was comforting to start this journey with peers on the same level and having similar aspirations as me.