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How new grads can profit from a Data Science Mentor

Young university grads — or all new career starters for that purpose — often feel overwhelmed by the many options that there are after university. In Data Science specifically there are many different areas to get started in or focus on, which doesn’t make it easier. This is where a career mentor could help.

At MentorCruise, we’ve seen over 200 young students go through mentorships — many of which have been based in Data Science. Many of which have started a new career or even gotten promoted during their mentorship.

Data Science is special in the sense that it’s a new, growing field. Universities don’t always know themselves how they can best support their new grads, and there are so many ways to get into the industry. Many new folks entering the industry are self-taught, and even more have been in academia for a long time, just now switching to startups or big technology companies, which comes with their own set of challenges.

A constant when everything is changing

By getting a Data Science mentor — from places like MentorCruise, but also by finding them on social media or in communities — students can get a constant in their life and a contact in the industry when it comes to studying, graduating on going on the very first real job hunt.

It can be a troublesome time — moving, looking for jobs and facing a lot of rejection during that. But if there is a mentor who can help with this, the chances of success are much higher.

A contact in the industry

Professional mentors know how the industry works, how you can succeed at interviews and what skills you need to get hired.

Apart from that, they are well connected in the industry. Working with them over a longer amount of time — our mentorships usually last for several months — gives them a good feeling about your strengths and weaknesses. Something that makes them more likely to refer you to colleagues, managers and connections.

Getting an industry-proven skillset

Schools, course providers and MOOCs don’t always tell you the whole story. When I did online courses in Machine Learning, I learned about flashy things like Reinforcement Learning and GANs, before knowing how to prepare and process a large dataset — a skill that is not as flashy and modern, but a lot more important.

By getting a professional mentor, you get insights on which skills are needed to get you hired, and which are a nice-to-have. You’d be surprised what other skills are needed in the world of Data Science and Machine Learning!

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