This is a piece by Brainster, a platform for education helping you future-proof your career.
Considering the fact that they were the first group to start with interactive online classes, the students at the Data Science Bootcamp are for sure the most “experienced” ones and most adapted to this type of learning. Since it is formatted like it is, the program implementation dynamics and communication became even more intensive. Last week we had a chat with Filip Angelov about his experience until now. Today we’ll see how is it going with the second generation of Data Science talents, currently studying the module Business Intelligence.
Marija Zafirova, an IT student, is known for her analytical mind and passion for learning and progress in the Data Science field. A few weeks after the beginning of the program her group went remote with classes in the virtual classroom, so we did a short catch-up with her to ask her about the big change and how did she adapt.
Marija, you’re part of the 2nd generation that began in February. You already finished the SQL and the Data Warehouse modules and are currently studying Business Intelligence. How did the dynamics of studying change from the real into the virtual classroom?
First of all, I’d like to express my impressions of this big step the Bootcamp took a while ago. The implementation of the virtual classroom was an excellent idea for us to continue the program without any issues. To be honest, the dynamics of studying is not changed at all, at least for me. This way I can dedicate myself even more to my tasks. Right after the class, when all info is fresh, I have the time and space to go deeper into the new topic.
How much time did it take you to adapt since the change was immediate in order not to lose a single class because of the global outbreak?
Yes, the change was immediate, but I did adapt pretty fast. However, the credits for that go to the instructors and the coordinators that really made this process easy. The Brainster team made sure to present the changes as an advantage instead of an obstacle. They are always here for us. In the beginning, I thought that due to the change problem regarding the interaction and the focus will arise, but now I see that there was no reason for concern because each process was conducted in a professional way.
Right now you are an IT student and in this field, remote work is starting to become a standard. What is your opinion on productivity when working remotely? What are the positive aspects and what can be a potential issue?
Remote work surely has its own challenges. Everything comes down to interaction with clients, interpersonal communication, and of course, a constant focus. The good thing is that at home you are working in a more relaxed atmosphere and that contributes toward bigger creativity about new ideas and problem-solving methods. When it comes to challenges, I think that the key thing is the mindset because not everyone can adapt to this type of atmosphere.
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Considering that Data Science is one of the industries with a high demand for remote workers, would you mind building a career while working remotely?
Well, our time passes in front of a laptop which means it does not really matter where you are. Of course, when working in an office you communicate directly with your colleagues, you make new friendships and the discussions regarding the work can be productive. But, that’s not always the case. :) Working remotely is definitely not an issue for me. I consider it as a challenge, something that will motivate me and make me give my best.
During classes, you are pretty pro-active and you’ve been using the benefits of the platform for maximum interaction. Right now the classes and the exercises last longer and each class is being recorded. Are these benefits important to you?
For sure, the benefits are huge. The increased number of classes gives us the time to go deeper into the topic, to work and learn from our mistakes, and to practice guided by a mentor from whom we receive food for thought related to the tasks. I like having the recordings of each live class. With that, I have the possibility to go over what we learned once again. Another thing I like is that each instructor understands whenever we take more time to get on top of new units. I think once we go back to the actual classroom we’ll miss our online classes. :)
How do you spend your time in quarantine when not studying for the modules? TV series, movies, books?
My focus right now is completely on the Data Science Bootcamp. I am dedicating myself to the current module and in the meantime, I prepare myself for the upcoming one. I tend to spend my free time with my family, some good books, and of course, Netflix :) I enjoy books that provoke me to think deeper and analytical. Right now I recommend you “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Lastly, what would be your message to all those unsure about the benefits and the quality of the online interactive classes?
Having in mind that I was skeptical regarding the online classes and how I would adapt, I admit that I am positively surprised by the final outcome. The quality level at its highest, the benefits bigger than ever. We have to accept that a lot of industries already practice working and studying remotely. The positive outcomes of this type of class are visible. However, I think that the credits for all of this go to the team which makes this happen. The way Brainster implements the classes enables no differences between a normal and a virtual class. Great job!