3 skills you need as a data science student, Part 3

In our final part of our blog series , we focus in on skill #3: Time Management

In parts 1 and 2, I went over knowing yourself as a learner and tackled your problem-solving skills. In part 3, I cover the importance of time management.

Skill #3 – Time management

I mainly use Google Calendar and the app Todoist to track my study and work. For Google Calendar, the goal is to fit tasks during a week into different time slots so that I don’t need to choose between doing A and doing B, but can complete both A and B. So, every Sunday night, I would set the calendar for the next week by doing the following: make a list of tasks, add estimated times, classify them, and add them into the calendar. MDS has a calendar, which I copied and then added my tasks into (e.g. when to do labs in the library, what labs to do, which office hours I will go, what workshops to attend, when to read for course-related materials, long-term goals) but break them into pieces each week. I also build in personal time. For the app Todolists, I use it to remind myself to do a task within the next day with priorities set.

Step 1: Make a list of things to do, add estimated time

Things to do

Estimated time

Pre-reading for COLX 535

1 hour

Finding Your Strength workshop

1 hour

Step 2: Classify them


Job Search 

Skill Growth


Pre-reading for COLX 565, 1 hour

Send 5 Inmails to xxx hiring managers on LinkedIn, 1 hour

Finding Your Strength workshop, 1 hour

Take a yoga class, 1.5 hour

Complete question 1 and 2 for COLX 565 lab, 1.5 hour

Tweak resume based on xxx job description, 1 hour

Writing groups, 2 hours

Talk to xxx, 1 hour

Go to COLX 565 office hour, 1 hour

Read three chapters of the novel xxx, 1 hour


Step 3: Add them to the MDS Google Calendar

Skills 3 MDS Computational Linguistics
MDS Google Calendar

Finally, every night before I finish my work, I set the Todoist app by prioritizing tasks for the next day like what are the most important things to do and what are the things that are less urgent but need to be done late in the week, etc…

Recommended resources:

Gracie MDS Computational Linguistics
Gracie Pu

a bit about me:

I am a student from UBC’s Master of Data Science (Computational Linguistics, 2019-2020). I came directly after completing my bachelor degree in business with around one year’s internship experiences in non-tech areas outside of Canada. I achieved a 91.6 GPA and had meaningful experiences during the MDS program.


Gracie Pu is a graduate of the UBC MDS Computational Linguistics program, Class of 2020