Throughout his 10 year career in business management, Blake has gravitated towards logistics and operations roles. Like many jobs in the modern economy, these jobs require strong data analysis and decision-making capabilities - areas in which Blake thought he could improve. After researching different ways to enhance these skills, Blake chose to enroll in Thinkful’s Data Analytics program because of its flexible schedule, remote education, and job guarantee. We recently chatted with Blake to find out how he’s enjoying the program so far and what advice he has for fellow and prospective students.
What were you doing before Thinkful?
My career background consists of working for UPS, General Mills, and a food distribution company in West Virginia. I worked in some sales roles, but I always gravitated towards logistics and operations. I am now a Project Manager at a Philadelphia consulting firm, and I have already used my education from Thinkful to do my job more efficiently.
Why did you decide to enroll at Thinkful?
After doing some research, I decided to go with Thinkful because I wanted to learn remotely. The career placement guarantee in Philadelphia was appealing and the price is fair once all these factors are considered.
I chose to enroll in the Data Analytics course because I have an interest in Data Analytics and don’t have an educational background in the field. I needed to start with a curriculum that gave me the ability to learn the fundamentals and go from there.
Describe your learning experience so far. Is the program what you expected?
It has been great because my mentor and everyone else on staff has been helpful. The graders make their expectations clear – they are focused on the learning and retention of the subject matter.
The major difference between learning at Thinkful versus at a traditional college setting is convenience. While working and having other responsibilities, it can be difficult to take advantage of the resources that traditional universities provide. A lot of people do not have the flexibility in their schedule to make that kind of commitment. Therefore, there is a pool of talent that are eager to learn, but cannot because of all of the constraints. This learning environment caters to people that find themselves in that position.
Are you working a job while attending the program?
Yes. I am a Project Manager at Bowling Business Strategies. I usually have the ability to work uninterrupted later in the evening. Most days, I put three hours into studying, and if I’m traveling and don’t have the ability to, I work on the weekends.
What has been your favorite aspect about the program?
I think that the Modules are great. They are easy to follow and in just over a month, I feel like I have learned so much.
How is your mentor relationship beneficial to your learning experience?
My mentor has been great and very responsive. It’s valuable to have an industry pro that shares the same goals as yourself. It creates an environment where everyone shares your best interest and that is the type of environment that most people excel in. One thing that stands out about my mentor is his overall knowledge of the subject matter and his ability to communicate that knowledge in a helpful way.
I think that the odds for success would be much lower without a mentor. When working on the curriculum, it is important to have someone to communicate with and someone you can explain your thought process to. You want to be able to add context to why you did an assignment a certain way. Some of the assignments are open ended in order to teach students that everything isn’t black and white, and there are multiple ways to get to the solution. Having someone to help you navigate through that process is important.
Do you have any advice for prospective Thinkful students?
My advice for prospective students would be to utilize your resources and participate in some of the after hours learning sessions. Also, lean on your mentor and let him/her know if you are stuck or having trouble. Everyone wants you to succeed so there’s no reason to go at it alone.