MDS Spotlight: Meet Tanmay Sharma, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

Before Tanmay Sharma embarked on a data science career, he started out his professional life as a Hardware Development Engineer of SSD drives at a leading global data storage company. It was during this time that Sharma’s interest in data science was piqued. 

Sharma explained that he was seeing the explosion of big data and the increased use of machine learning and artificial intelligence across all industries and its profound impact on transforming global businesses. 

“I decided to evolve from an engineer creating data carriers to one that unpacks and dives deep into the data itself. As a result, I pursued an MS in Computer Science and worked for a couple of years as a Data Analytics Consultant with Tredence,” he said. 

Even though Sharma was working with a lot of data, he felt the need for a closer and more rounded hands-on association with the different aspects of the discipline.

This realization led Sharma to the MDS program, and he felt that it was “a perfect match to help me achieve this goal and advance my career to its next level.”

Another aspect of the program that attracted Sharma was that it was only 10-months and still had a robust curriculum. 

“The MDS program has a three-pronged focus on computer science, statistics, and effective visualization,” he explained. 

In addition, Sharma said that the MDS program has been carefully designed to impart essential data science skills to make individuals job ready.

“The curriculum caters to different aspects of the discipline and encourages problem solving through hands-on labs. The courses are regularly updated with an emphasis on using the latest technology and tools. The instructors have a wealth of experience and are passionate about teaching,” he added.

One benefit that Sharma wanted to highlight was the relationships he formed with his peers, alumni and instructors during the 10-months. “The MDS community is very active and tight knit.”

If there is one lesson that Sharma has learned from the MDS program that he will take into his career as a data scientist, it is the importance of storytelling in data science.

“It is imperative to be able to create stories from numbers, models, graphs and charts. A successful data scientist should be able to create and narrate such stories as per the audience. I look forward to being an effective storyteller in my career ahead,” he noted.

As well, Sharma found the capstone project experience invaluable as it simulated a real-world industry project.

“The opportunity to build a solution using real-world data for an industry partner allowed me to put to use the skills learned in MDS. The capstone experience empowered me to appreciate the nuances of working as a data scientist in the industry and exposed me to the challenges and joys of a real-world project,” he said.

As Sharma enters the job market, he is looking for data scientist and machine learning engineer roles at product companies. “I am excited at the prospect of using my data science skills to contribute towards the growth trajectory of a product.”

Tanmay’s Top 3 Tips on Succeeding in the MDS Program

1.    Collaborate with your peers. Working with other students exposes you to new ways of problem-solving and helps to reinforce concepts. 
2.    Utilize the instructor and TA office hours. The teaching staff is super helpful, and they are always willing to guide you to additional resources to help you maximize your learning. 
3.    Enjoy your Sunday! MDS is an intensive program, make sure to budget some fun-activities or downtime for Sunday to help you stay relaxed.

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