April 2021 Northeast Student Data Corps Data Science Career Panel

After the launch of the Northeast Student Data Corps (NSDC)’s Data Science Career Panel Series, the NSDC hosted a second Data Science Career Panel featuring data scientists from academia, government, industry, and nonprofits.

Forough Ghahramani, Northeast Student Data Corps Outreach Co-Leader and Associate Vice President for Edge, one of the moderators, introduced herself along with Haleigh Stewart, Columbia University undergraduate student, Student Assistant at the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub (NEBDH), and project coordinator for the NSDC.

After introductions about the moderators, the Hub, and the NSDC, the conversation then turned to the panelists who introduced themselves and detailed their journeys to and through data science. The panel included Sanjana Reddy Pasnuri, a Data scientist for the Expert Labs Learning Team at IBM, Jason Williams, Assistant Director of External Collaborations at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center in Long Island, NY, Dr. Patricia Ordóñez, Associate Professor in the Computer Science faculty at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras, and Martin Pavlovski, Ph.D. candidate and Research Assistant at the Center for Data Analytics and Biomedical Informatics at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The panelists then discussed situations in their jobs or daily lives where they found opportunities to leverage Data Science for good. Dr. Ordóñez explained how her team overcame the challenges of limited data access to estimate the death toll from Hurricane Maria that devastated the northeastern Caribbean in 2017. Their work highlighted the importance for open data and showed the power of data science and collaboration. The panelists also elaborated on career development, diving into tips and tricks about building a profile that helps candidates approach data science positions. Pavlovski then discussed the difference between a Masters degree and a PhD and provided advice on how to decide which one to pursue based on each person’s personal and professional goals. Other discussions included a typical day in the life of a data scientist, how our panelists are paving the way for others in their field, and skills that can help aspiring data scientists stand out in their fields.

In closing, Haleigh walked the participants through new additions to the NSDC website including the Career Central, Volunteer Central, and the NSDC Chapter System.

You can find the full video of the event on our YouTube channel here along with the recording of the February Career Panel– don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell icon for notifications on further videos.

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