MDS Spotlight: Meet Christopher Alexander, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2022
What fascinated most about data science for Christopher Alexander was its ability to provide actionable insight to the businesses.
“Data science also helped me explore various industries and see how data can be of vital importance in many sectors such as health and sports,” Alexander added.
After completing his Bachelor’s of Engineering degree in computer science from the CMR Institute of Technology, Alexander worked as a data scientist in India for a software firm based in New Jersey for about 2 years.
Knowing he wanted to further his education in the field as well as not wanting to be out of the workforce for too long led Alexander to UBC’s Master of Data Science (MDS) program.
“The 10-month program made sure that I didn’t miss out on industry experience for too long a period of time,” he explained.
One of the top benefits of the program for Alexander has been the wide variety of topics which were introduced in a span of 10 months. He felt that it built a good foundation for his data science career, which can easily be expanded upon.
As well, Alexander really appreciated the time that the MDS faculty took to explain the material irrespective of the fast-paced nature of the program.
In addition to learning from the MDS faculty, Alexander appreciated learning from his fellow cohort.
“I got to learn how people from different educational backgrounds can add a new angle to the data science world,” he added.
Also, Alexander felt like he and his fellow classmates were one big family that helped each other through the tough times but also cheered each other’s success as their own.
The capstone project was another benefit of the MDS program.
“The capstone helped us put all our learnings into practice. It is a very critical part of the MDS program where we were the owners of our solution to a business problem,” he explained. “It helped us understand business requirements and provide a machine learning solution that helped the partner.”
As Alexander begins his career as a data scientist, he said the program has provided him the right tools to develop solutions to data science problems and it also helped him become a more organized data scientist.
Christopher’s Top 3 Tips on Succeeding in the MDS Program:
- Make sure to use all the office hours even if you don’t have any doubts. It helps you learn from others. Don’t be shy to ask the professors or even your friends when in doubt.
- Getting good grades is not the only take away.
- Optional questions are optional for a reason, learn to balance your time out so that you don’t burn out.