Meet Elena 👋 , one half of wife and husband combo, The Romanenkos! She got a taste of Data Science during her studies in Economics, and wanted to dive deeper with a Data Science Bootcamp. Early this year, she teamed up with her husband as they both took on our 12-week course in Berlin. We spoke to her about the course, her job search process, and a little about the job she landed after Spiced.
Could you tell us a little bit about you, your educational background and your professional life?
I was born in Odessa, Ukraine, where I graduated from the State Economic University with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism. During my studies in Odessa I worked as an accountant in a travel agency. In 2013 I moved to Berlin, and I got a Bachelor of Science in Economics at the Free University of Berlin and worked as an assistant in the economic and consular department in the Embassy of Ukraine in Berlin.
During my studies, I acquired deep knowledge of quantitative methods. I learned a lot of statistics, econometrics, and statistical modeling. In fact, I started to learn Data Science during my studies at the Free University of Berlin. I also have completed a Python course from Codecademy, and I finished the “SQL course for Data Science” from IBM after my graduation. In 2020 my husband and I founded Future Atelier together because we both are interested in cutting-edge technology. Future Atelier is a database and weekly newsletter with companies’ innovation projects, such as Bosch, Siemens, or Big 4.
Could you take us back to the day when you decided, “okay, this is what I want to do, I want to study Data Science!”?
During my studies at the university, I realized I liked exploring and solving real-life problems using data. At that time, I had used much statistical software like R, STATA, JMP, Eviews, and SPSS. So, the bootcamp was a logical step to deepen my existing knowledge, learn how to write code in Python, and learn many more new things, such as Deep Learning.
You took the course with your husband! How was that?
Nice question, thanks! 🙂 Actually, I heard about the boot camp from him. He is always aware of all the most fantastic things 🙂
I am thankful for the opportunity to share this experience with my husband. Even though the course was very intense, and every week we had to prepare and defend a new project, we tried not to copy code from each other and always prepare different presentations for our dear cohort every Friday. Sometimes we also did some projects together where we shared tasks in advance. On some projects he helped me with coding, I helped him with understanding statistics, and as the combined effort these projects were the coolest.
Thanks to my lovely husband for all the support and great ideas he shared with me during the boot camp 🙂
What was it about Spiced’s bootcamp that attracted you?
I liked the idea that I got a full portfolio with Data Science projects in the end. It was also vital for me to receive a good impression of the school from the very beginning. Spiced has a well-organized assessment process. I also liked the concept of the assessment task (thank God, it wasn’t a FizzBuzz :D).
What would you say were the most challenging aspects of the course?
The most challenging aspect was to overcome my perfectionism 😀 I remember my first week in the boot camp, where we should show some correlation by plotting an animated scatterplot. Trying to do all the challenges from the course material in time and everything perfect, I realize it’s Thursday night, and my scatterplot that I should present on Friday is still NOT ANIMATED! After I spent half the night before the presentation to animate it, I understood I should prioritize. It is coding; you will never have enough time. As a result, my first project wasn’t perfect, but I was so proud of it!
What about your favorite aspects of the course?
I enjoyed our weekly presentations on Fridays, where you can see how the others did the same project, hear their ideas, and look at specific difficulties in the project from a different angle. Also, I liked the opportunity to be yourself during the course, which allowed everyone in our cohort to bring out their best talents. And, of course, our meme-group in Slack! <3
Could you tell us a little bit about your instructors?
We had amazing instructors! All of them were always ready to help and were very kind. I was inspired by Paul when I saw how cool and fast he debugged our code and how he writes code in Python; or Kristian, who loves statistics and can explain it easily; or Gesa, who knows so much about NLP. Our instructors are passionate about what they do, and it infects the students. I am very thankful to all the instructors for all the challenges, ongoing support, well-structured course materials, exciting project ideas, and all the knowledge they have shared with me.
Now having gone through the course you’ve landed a job! Tell us about your new role?
Yes, I am happy to work as a Data Analyst and be a part of the Data-Team at Wall GmbH. Wall GmbH is a part of the international JCDecaux Group, and the world’s number one in outdoor advertising. I have a fantastic team and I’m very enthusiastic about the data I work with. It’s important to like the data you work with because as we know, it takes a lot of time to clean the data and you need to put a lot of thought into understanding the data properly. My work also involves close cooperation with other departments in Germany and abroad. And I feel happy when I see that the knowledge I received at Spiced helps me in different projects at my job.
How was the job hunt, and the interview process?
After you finish the course, you have many ideas in terms of different Data Science projects that you would like to bring to life. That’s why I decided to turn the job search process into a full-time commitment to find the job as soon as possible and start applying all the newfound skills from the boot camp. I focused my attention on certain topics and prepared Data Science projects for my resume and my GitHub account. It took me about a month to find a job. In between preparing for the job interviews, I cleaned up my code and tried to take some time every day to write some SQL Queries. My portfolio with projects significantly helped me land the job interviews. Also, my final project in the bootcamp attracted a lot of attention, and we discussed it in interviews a lot.
How will you be using your newfound skills at your job?
As a Data Analyst, I use Python (i.e., Pandas, NumPy, Matplotlib) and descriptive statistics. I regularly use heat maps, it’s very helpful when I have a massive amount of data. It was nice that we practiced how to read and understand the code written by others as a part of the program in the boot camp because I also do it during my onboarding at my job. I will create dashboards at my job and will probably apply GeoPandas for interactive maps. The knowledge of AWS Services may also be helpful.
Finally – Spiced in 3 words?
Well-organized. Intensive. Fun.
If you’re interested in learning Data Science and want to learn more about Spiced, get in touch with us!