Correlation One's Data Science for All programs are making the world of data science and analytics more inclusive of Women, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+ and Veterans. These free programs offer technical training, professional mentorship, and employment opportunities with program sponsors.
Mentors act as project leaders who help Fellows scope projects and focus their analyses to maximize real world impact, sharing what they've learned and how they've navigated their careers along the way.
Mentorship is how we help program Fellows bridge the gap between our programs and their careers. During each DS4A Program, Fellows are grouped into teams of 4 or 5 to work together on a Capstone project under the guidance of Mentors who are Data Scientists, Data Analysts, and leaders of Analytics-driven business units. Capstone projects challenge DS4A Fellows to solve problems that companies and society at large face with their new-found data skills, challenging teams to complete exploratory data analysis, design experiments, implement advanced machine learning techniques and ultimately make recommendations for how different stakeholders can start solving their respective problems. Mentors act as project leaders who help Fellows scope projects and focus their analyses to maximize real world impact, sharing what they've learned and how they've navigated their careers along the way.
More than 75% of this Fall's 2020 DS4A Women's Summit Fellows indicated that mentorship was the most valuable component of their DS4A experiences.
This early interaction with a Senior Data stakeholder is crucial for early data professionals who must not only master new data skills, but understand the context within which these skills will be valuable. More than 75% of this Fall's 2020 DS4A Women's Summit Fellows indicated that mentorship was the most valuable component of their DS4A experiences. Many indicated that building an industry network and interacting with professionals who are familiar with the space opens a new horizon of opportunities for those breaking into the industry.
Mentors help capstone project groups with the real world applicability of their projects and ensure that the questions they are asking and the way the group is interpreting their results have worthwhile implications in the real world. Besides the project help, mentors also share their own experiences and point the Fellows' data science career path towards the right direction.
Many of our past Fellows have shared the value they received through DS4A mentorship. Ceren Altincekic (2019 Women's Summit Fellow, Data Scientist at Mars Petcare) emphasized that "Mentorship is one of the best parts. I learned a lot from our mentor and I thought I made a true connection." Another Fellow has further emphasized this point by highlighting that:
"Our mentors did a great job helping us narrow down the scope of our projects, and steering it back on track whenever we were off the rails. They provided us valuable feedback for our projects, methods, and even storytelling. I really learned a lot from them." (Ran He, DS4A Women's Summit Fellow, Software Engineer at Electronic Arts)
In turn, DS4A Mentors also report value added to their own careers from participating in the Program. One DS4A Mentor shared: "I met amazing and talented women. I think I learned a lot from mentees." Monica Rodriguez, Analytics Capabilities Manager at Bancolombia, highlighted: "To guide is always a good opportunity to develop leadership skills". Another past DS4A Mentor also pointed out to the benefits she gained:
"The Fellows worked on a novel project that helped inform our research and were also a very engaging group." (Rebecca Gluskin, DS4A Mentor, Deputy Director, Data Scientist at Measure of America/ Social Science Research Council)
Cristopher Brown, Chief Data Scientist at ADARA shared that he's been always passionate about education, bringing people together, and helping address the issues of diversity, which was why he jumped at the opportunity of becoming a DS4A Mentor. While DS4A Mentors bring a new perspectives in the Fellow's discussion, they also get a chance to get to know "a few more like-minded data science professionals, and enjoy [the opportunity to] give back to the community".
This Fall, we have 170 mentors joining us for our DS4A Empowerment Program who will be introduced to our cohort of 500 Fellows on November 14th. DS4A/ Empowerment focuses on marginalized communities in data science, providing Black, Latinx, LGBT+, and Veteran students and professionals with data skills and the industry connections needed to succeed.