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“Today, I manage a Data team at a leading Tech company”

After a career in business school, Adriana boosted her career in Data thanks to the Data Science bootcamp, in only 9 weeks!
Originally from Toulouse, Adriana moved to Paris for business school before joining IBM Interactive as a Business Analyst. In the context of customer project management, she works closely with the Data teams. Although she had mastered the business side of her role, she lacked the skills to understand her teams technical issues.

After two years in her role, she wanted to deep dive into this aspect of her job in order to bring even more value to her clients. That's when she decided to train in Data Science at Le Wagon Paris, to learn the skills necessary to complement her background in business.

Since graduating from Le Wagon, Adriana has mastered the whole Data stack and grasped the importance of AI. Today, she uses her new skills on a daily basis to manage her team of Data Scientists and Data Analysts. In only 9 weeks, she expanded her scope and acquired the skills to work more proficiently with her Data team.

Discover her journey!

What made you decide to do your training with the Wagon?

In my daily job, I was already surrounded by engineers: Data Engineers, Data Analysts and Data Scientists. On my side, I had a business profile, working in project management. 

The whole technical aspect of the role intrigued me, but seemed rather obscure and I really wanted to understand it better. After two years at IBM France, I realized that if I wanted to make a career in Data and evolve in the sector, I would have to develop technical skills to complement my business profile. I wanted to understand the technical side of AI, the "hidden face of the iceberg".

As I didn't want to leave IBM, I searched for an intense training program to learn as much as possible in a short period of time. Le Wagon was the perfect solution!

Why did you choose Le Wagon?

I was looking for a "hands-on" program in Data Science, with theory, but mostly practice. As I knew about Le Wagon's excellent reputation in Web development, it wasn't long before I found the Data course.

How long were you thinking about upskilling in Data? 

I did the bootcamp in 2020. At the time, it had been 6 months since COVID. With the lockdown, I think we all had lots of questions. Code was always something that enticed me: very interesting, but far from my skillset. To me, it always seemed like a world for engineers, meanwhile, I was immersed in it every day. 

I came across a colleague of mine who was doing Le Wagon's Data Science bootcamp and suggested I do it. Having had a similar business background, I said to myself that it was possible for me too. That's precisely what I found at Le Wagon: a real demystification of technology!

How did your training go?

In my opinion, the great asset of Le Wagon is the excellence of the teachers and the content of the courses, which allow to demystify very technical concepts. In a matter of weeks, you step into the main roles of a Data team: 2 weeks as a Data Analyst, 3 weeks as a Data Scientist and 2 weeks as a Data Engineer.

This allows you to develop a 360° vision of the different professions and an excellent data culture.
As for the atmosphere, the class was very close-knit: a lot of teamwork and little competition. The idea is to help others when you're ahead, and to be able to get help on days when you're having more difficulty. The training is short and intense, but you see your progress every day and you build lifelong friendships and a network.

What changes have you seen in your professional life after your training?

Professionally, Le Wagon allowed me to acquire technical skills that I didn't have, very quickly. I now know how to communicate with my technical teams and I understand what they do on a daily basis.

On paper, my job is the same, but in reality, everything has changed. My role is at the intersection of different professions, so my skills in Data Science give me the legitimacy to work with them and also facilitate exchanges between the technical and business sides. Training in Data Science has also broadened the scope of my client projects. I can now manage and intervene in my clients' Data projects and bridge the gap between business and technical challenges.

Before my training, I was more "in" the team than leading the team. On my projects, I am always in tandem with a senior tech lead. Since I had less technical understanding, I let the teams lead the projects. Today, we have an equal relationship and we really complement each other. I participate much more in discussions with the technical teams and I can also propose ideas, challenge my teams and my clients.

What are your daily missions at IBM Interactive?

My job is to help a client implement a Data or AI strategy within their company. To do this, I conduct use case detection workshops, I lead scoping workshops, and I manage projects until they are put into production. In concrete terms, I will help the client to see what are its most important needs, choose the Data and/or AI solutions that are the most adapted to its needs, and manage the team in charge of delivering the solution.

For example, I have worked on several sectors (beauty, banking / insurance, telecom, luxury...) and on several types of solutions (IBM Watson, Google, Cloud Platform, Open Source algorithms...).

What are your 3 favourite aspects in your current role?

  • The perpetual evolution: each new mission allows me to discover new customers, challenges, sectors, algorithms, etc. 
  • The impact: we bring very concrete solutions that work to customer problems.
  • Working in Data: I find this field exciting, it concerns all sectors, it evolves rapidly.

What advice would you give to someone looking to make a transition to positions in AI or Data?

You have to go for it! We are all afraid to take the plunge into the unknown, but there is nothing more gratifying than to succeed in surpassing yourself. 

This industry is exciting, and relatively new, so there's still a lot to learn and do. As Clive Robert Humby, the English mathematician and entrepreneur said "Data is the new oil"...
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