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Categories: Spotlights
28 January, 2019
by Nicole Nelson
Content Marketing Manager
Woz U Enterprise Services talked with Danika Guiley, Data Analyst at  Liberty Mutual who recently completed the Woz U Data Science program. She shares her experience and the value of the program in the workplace of today.

Woz U: “I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about your experience. I know we’ve worked together in the beginning when you were getting started and, oh my gosh it’s done already! It went fast, but I’m sure at some points it felt like it went slow.”

data science graduate Danika GuileyDanika Guiley: “Sounds good. I think overall, probably the best part of the program was working with Meredith Dodd, Data Science Instructor. I thought, Meredith was extremely supportive and down to earth. So, it made everything more conversational versus like lecturing. I really appreciate Meredith’s willingness to take feedback live in real time and implement it into actual change.”

“The course content was good.”

Woz U: “Talk to me about the progression as you were going from course to course and how either smooth or demanding was that for you as a student.”

Danika Guiley: “Yes, I think going from course to course they lead into each other pretty well. I think that overall the classes transitioned out fairly with a couple points of repetition. I guess the speed and difficulty level was constant throughout the program”

Woz U: “You spoke a lot about Meredith, and you enjoyed having her as an instructor. Talk to me a little bit from a student perspective, how you felt the support was. How did it compare to other types of support? Tell me again what degree are you pursuing right now? “

Danika Guiley: “Well, I finished my undergrad and I studied business but took a couple of extra computer science statistic courses, while I was at Boston University.”

“I finished a year and a half ago, and I’m working full time now with Liberty Mutual in a data analyst role. I’m also on a data science team as of two & a half months ago. I’m not quite a data scientist yet but on a really good path to be one”

“When I think of the support. Meredith made herself available and was so easy to talk to you.”

“When I was young, I was intimidated by going to ask for help or like, hey, I don’t understand this. Meredith was down to earth about what she knew and didn’t know. There would be times that she would be like yeah this wasn’t an area I’m particularly specialized in. So, let me go back to my book and refresh. She was just open and transparent about that and I felt like it made it a good avenue to ask questions. There’s really good trust that she built there. It doesn’t make you feel intimidated as a learner with this person who is so transparent.”

Woz U: “Talk to me a little bit about your final project and about the project experience. I heard great things about it”.

Danika Guiley: “Overall, I was really happy on the outcome of the project and I felt like I did good work.”

Woz U: “How did you decide on your team project?”

Danika Guiley: “David was really proactive, my project partner. He was super into airplanes and he found a curated data set that was easy to work with. The topic just came really easily to him.”

Woz U: “How has completing this course impacted your future?”

Danika Guiley: “It will help my current role at Liberty Mutual. I think in the short-term I have additional insights into the field and am aware of other practices & techniques to use in my current job.”

Woz U: “What would you say to someone considering this type of education?”

Danika Guiley: “So, I’d say to start somewhere! Grad programs, or PHD’s, can have a huge commitment and you must be sure of yourself. So I think programs like this are a good start to getting you exposure on what the field is like, what you can learn, and what you can do with the information.”

“I think that Woz U did a good job on the introduction. They laid out what the program covered and what it means to be a data scientist.”

Woz U: “List the top three things that you that you liked about your experience?”

Danika Guiley:

  1. Working with Meredith Dodd and having a good student community environment
  2. Being able to see other student’s final projects and how they put it together throughout the program
  3. Super clean data that was easy to work with but was still able to get a point across

Woz U: “How would you describe the program in one word or a few words?”

Danika Guiley: “Additive, meaning it was really good at taking what you just learned and adding on to it.”

“That concept in itself is important. I think if you go to a University, you can take your classes out of order usually and sometimes scattered. I really liked that the program took what you had just learned and built upon that.”

Woz U: “Thank you so much for spending some time with us”. “We’re looking forward to the rest of your colleagues from Liberty Mutual completing the program.”

Danika Guiley: “Of course, thanks!”

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Nicole Nelson

Nicole is Woz U’s social media and content manager who loves to build communities and break though barriers to find common ground. After graduating college, Nicole joined Woz U as an intern and quickly rose up in the ranks to become the voice of the brand on social. When she’s not documenting Woz U’s Demo Day, you can find her cheering on her local soccer team or getting her ‘zen' on practicing yoga.

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