How a Data Analytics Boot Camp Led This Ivy League Graduate to Her Dream Job

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An Ivy League graduate, Paromita De is no stranger to hard work. 

After a decade in the education and nonprofit sectors, Paromita found herself wanting to expand her scope of work in these fields and started researching different opportunities. 

Before long, she realized that her desired career path would require a stronger understanding of data analytics. With that in mind, Paromita decided to look for a boot camp that could help her expand her current skill set and gain the technical knowledge she would need moving forward.

Ultimately, Paromita’s search led her to Columbia Engineering Data Analytics Boot Camp. She decided this option was the perfect fit and applied immediately — taking the first step on her journey to a new career.

Learning new languages

This journey, however, was not all smooth sailing. Languages like Python and SQL posed a significant challenge, and it took time for Paromita to master the course materials. 

“At first, the [boot camp] seemed difficult because you’re learning a whole new language,” she recalls. “But as we progressed in the class, I started picking things up and became more comfortable with the subject matter. Finally, it started making more sense to me.”

Juggling a job during the day and classes at night, Paromita had to restructure her time to balance both of her commitments and make sure she stayed ahead of assignments. 

“My biggest challenge was probably time management,” she explains. “There was so much to learn in the [boot camp], and it did require a lot of my time. But by the end, I had accomplished so much.”

Finding a strong support system

Eager to make the most of the boot camp, Paromita regularly leaned on instructors, course assistants, and tutors for support. For example, she regularly attended office hours to get help on difficult assignments and ask questions about course materials.

“I especially appreciated the tutors,” says Paromita. “They were my lifeline! I could reach out through Slack at any time of the night asking questions like, ‘How do I write this code?’ and, ‘How do I use this program?’ Sometimes, I just wanted reassurance that what I was doing was correct. They were so kind and so helpful. I felt like I always had support, no matter what.”

Week by week, Paromita steadily built confidence in herself and her skills as she learned more and more about data analytics.

“I think the classes have a really good format,” she says, “I learned a lot in such a short time. It’s six months, but they pack so much into that period. The best thing was that they had every possible resource I needed to get ahead. I always felt like I could reach out for help.”

Making the switch

After completing the boot camp, Paromita landed a new role as special projects and data manager at Bank Street College of Education through Education Pioneers’ Impact Fellowship.

Looking back, she credits her career coach for successfully guiding her through the entire job search. Although Paromita had friends and family helping her as well, she appreciated having that extra layer of support provided by the boot camp.

“My [career coach] was the one who looked at my resume and helped me polish it again and again to make it career-ready,” she says. “It was helpful to have someone who knew what I was going through and could guide me and give advice. It was nice knowing they were there for me as I went through the job search process.”

So, what advice does Paromita have for future boot camp learners? “Don’t be afraid to reach out for help,” she says. “I didn’t utilize the resources enough until the middle of the boot camp — and once I started, it made a huge difference.”

Interested in making a career change? Explore Columbia Engineering Boot Camps in coding, data analytics, cybersecurity, fintech, digital marketing, and more.

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