We’re catching up with some of our alumni and sharing their advice for our students and recent graduates.
Before she was a Part-time Data Analytics Cohort 3 alumna, Lydia Tsang was working as an administrative service assistant in the state government. Now she’s a Business Intelligence Specialist Advanced. Lydia catches us up on what she’s been up to since graduating and starting her job in analytics!
Lydia speaks highly of her time at NSS and how her instructors in Data Analytics Cohort 3 were all passionate, professional, and dedicated to helping prepare the cohort with real, hands-on knowledge about the industry. “All the staff there pushed me out of my comfort zone and set me up for success,” she states.
The course focused on current, prevalent, and future in-demand tech skills [in data analytics and] provided me with the necessary tools to have strong [marketable skills] for potential employers.
But it wasn’t just the tech skills that helped Lydia land a job. “The course also focused on other areas like resume polishing, networking events, recruiting tips and career consulting. All these were vital to give me sufficient insight into the career and prepared me to get my first IT job.”
Learning On The Job
Any grad will tell you that the learning doesn’t stop after NSS. The world of tech is vast and ever changing. Since graduating, Lydia has learned a lot on the job, including expanding her Python, Tableau, SQL, and GitHub skills and exploring Linux Server, SSIS, SSRS, Data Science, Machine Learning and cloud computing. She’s also enhanced her soft skills in communication, prioritizing, and project management.
A Word of Advice for NSS Grads
When we asked Lydia what advice she would give to NSS grads on their first job search, she shared some things that helped her! Lydia recalls:
“‘Believe you can, and you are halfway there' is the motto I put on the wall to remind myself, as it is not an easy process for me. What helped me in job searching was getting an [accountability] partner (they could be your NSS classmates). We met regularly once a week. We both got our jobs now, but I believe what helped us the most was that we didn't give up and that led to where we are now. We also went to different networking events together.”
Another tip Lydia shared is to reach out to people working in the types of jobs you’re pursing and ask them thoughtful questions about their role and how they got there. You can even ask if they’d be willing to conduct a mock interview with you for practice! “You would be surprised how many of them are happy and willing to help you out even though you are strangers,” Lydia states. “Don't be afraid to reach out, as you never know.”
Free Time May Lead to More Code Conversations!
In her free time, Lydia is learning to speak Spanish from an instructor from Columbia! “When I told her 'Soy analista de datos,' which meant ‘I am a data analyst.’ She told me that she is learning Python,” she laughs. “So after class, I showed her some projects that relate to Python and where to learn Python. It was a fun experience!”
Getting yourself prepared for NSS is the first step, and once you get inside the door, you will keep discovering new knowledge! So we are going to be lifelong learners together! Keep fighting together!
Thanks for catching us up, Lydia! We are excited to continue to follow your data journey.