In April 2018 Pol touched down in London determined to become a Data Analyst. He was looking for a family that would tailor an affordable, cutting edge immersive data programme to his particular needs, and for mentors in the tricky job-hunt process. We were looking for an intelligent and resilient student who would commit to the Belgrave values from the first day. It was a perfect match. Three months later Pol enjoys a job in a top tier finance company in London with a bright professional future and a highly competitive salary. Congratulations Pol!
“Belgrave Valley empowered me to become a Data Analyst. I am now working at Checkout in London. I will be applying the skills developed to the world of finance."
What did you study? Did you always know you were interested in the world of data?
I studied Business Management at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. During my degree I had no idea what data analytics was. I always had an interest in business strategy and marketing. I was looking forward to opportunities in these fields at the end of my degree.
Have you worked before?
When I finished my degree I started my career as an intern at Ridelink working in different business roles. It was here, in the work environment of a quickly growing start up that I discovered the importance of data analytics in today’s business decisioning process.
Why did you decide to step up your career and learn data analytics?
I have always had a business mentality and in the future I would like to work as a Product Manager focusing more on the business side. However, I quickly realized analyst roles at top tier companies require excellent data analytics skills. You do not have to become a programmer but you really need to be comfortable working with data. I realized that focusing on learning data analytics was a clear progression in my career.
“In today's business decisioning, knowing the basics of coding and data analytics is not an option anymore. Leading companies' business models today are based on tech structures."
Why Belgrave Valley?
I looked at different options for courses around Europe and I came across Belgrave Valley´s full-immersion programme. It was exactly what I was looking for; an intense 2 month bootcamp where I would get the knowledge and secure a job. The Data Mentors have a clear idea of what the most important content to cover is, as well as how to best position yourself in the data job market in London.
They make the transition so easy. You arrive in London without having to worry about anything and the programme is cheaper than any of the other options I looked into.
“The idea of living in a house with people that are already working in the industry is very exciting. I do not think that there is a better way to learn.”
What was your experience in working with data before Belgrave Valley?
I did not have that much experience working with data. My degree had some quantitative modules and at work I used Excel as a reporting tool.
What did you learn during the programme?
I started learning the basics of Command Line and how to operate your PC from the most basic functions. I then moved on to Python, the main coding tool that is used in the Data Science industry. You never become a programmer, but Python and SQL give you an edge against the rest of analysts. They are just a more powerful and efficient toolkit than Excel.
What is Belgrave Valley´s teaching approach?
You get a very balanced mix of theory and practice. You spend your mornings on Dataquest learning how everything works and in the evenings you apply the skills to real life projects while you are guided by the Data Mentors. Dataquest is a really simple platform that makes learning data analysis very easy.
A project I enjoyed was developing a Salary Prediction Model. I collected data from the job portal Indeed by scraping the website and then built a binary predictor with Logistic Regression. I collected salary information on data analytics jobs in a variety of markets and cities and used the location, title, and summary of the job among other features to predict a salary for each job. At interviews I was always asked about real applications of my skills and this project always amazed them.
What kind of career support did you receive?
You meet with a Career Coach on a regular basis. They help you design your professional profile. Your experience, interests, and strengths all come together in your job applications ensuring maximum probability of success. I had weekly mock sessions with the materials that the team have from their previous interviews.
“Thanks to the money back guarantee, I always had the certainty that if I did not manage to find a job I would recover my money."
How was the process of finding a job?
I made more than 30 applications. I was surprised at how high the demand for Data Analysts is. I was specially shocked seeing that the range of salaries I was interviewing for doubled my previous salary in Spain.
The interview process for Data Analyst jobs is very similar:
- Phone interview where you usually speak with a recruiter or member of HR.
- Complete a test on SQL or Python as well as a business case study at home.
- In the final round you go to the office and do face to face interviews.
I got to interview with many top-tier companies like Deliveroo, Monzo, Revolut, Farfetch, or Urban Massage. In the end I decided to go for Checkout as I have always been interested in the Fintech industry.
“I was amazed by how many calls I was getting for potential job opportunities.”
It seems like you had a very intense 2 months, did you have time for anything else aside from data?
Of course! It is one of the most amazing things I got from the course. The working hours are clearly defined, but there is lots of free time and everyone in the house encourages you to make good use of it.
Pablo goes to the gym 3 times a week with a Crossfit routine I find fun to follow (I have always hated going to the gym), Ignacio does yoga, Carlos, one of the new students, likes boxing, and Francisco tries to play the guitar every night.
“Living in central London exceeded my expectations. It is a dynamic city with endless possibilities to choose from.”
Will you recommend Belgrave Valley to a friend?
I am not sure. I think I wouldn't recommend it to most of my friends. It is an intense experience that requires resilience and hunger to learn. Most of the people I know have more comfortable options in Barcelona. However, for someone looking for a challenge and wanting to really step up their career and professional profile, then Belgrave Valley is the perfect takeoff.