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Students and Alumni

UBC MDS attracts bright minds from a wide range of backgrounds. Find out more about our students and alumni read about what they were doing prior to joining the program, their experience during the program, and their journey ahead.

Vancouver

Employment Status 6 and 12 Months After Graduation

Employment Positions

Data Science Consultant/Contractor Software Engineer
Software Developer/Data Engineer Research and Innovation Intern
Data Scientist Machine Learning Engineer
Data Management Engineer Consultant
Data Manager Technical Business Analyst
Data Engineer Analyst
Data Analyst Faculty, Operations Management
Research Analyst Application Architect
Faculty/Data Analyst in Residence Artificial Intelligence Industry Analyst Intern
Computational Biologist Business Intelligence Engineer
Senior Data Analyst Data Intelligence Platform Analyst
Machine Learning Developer Senior Data Scientist

Job Location

Alumni Incomes

Top Industries Worked In

* Based on MDS Vancouver alumni survey responses 6 months and 1 year after graduation since the class of 2017.

Previous Degree

Where Students Come From

Previous Degree Level

Gender Identification

Years Since Last Degree

Class Size

* Based on all MDS Vancouver cohorts since the class of 2017.

Okanagan

Employment Status 6 and 12 Months After Graduation

Employment Positions

Senior Analytics Specialist Data Analyst, Enterprise Business Intelligence Team
Data Science Research Assistant Data Developer
Public Health Epidemiologist Data Analyst
Research Analyst Data visualization analyst
Senior Data Scientist Director Industry AI
Quality Assurance Engineer Machine Learning engineer
Director, Research and Data Science Data Scientist & Engineer
Data Scientist  

Job Location

Alumni Incomes

Top Industries Worked In

* Based on MDS Okanagan alumni survey responses 6 months and 1 year after graduation since the class of 2019.

Previous degree

Geography

Previous Degree Level

Years Since Last Degree

Gender Identification

Class Size

* Based on all MDS Okanagan cohorts since the class of 2019.

Computational Linguistics

Employment Status 6 Months After Graduation

Employment Positions

Data Analyst Developer
Agile Developer Data Scientist
Software developer Data Science Intern
Business intelligence developer NLP/Deep Learning Engineer
Language Engineer  

Job Location

Alumni Incomes

Top Industries Worked In

* Based on MDS Computational Linguistics alumni survey responses 6 months after graduation since the class of 2020.

Previous Degree

Geography

Previous degree

Years Since Last Degree

Gender Identification

Class Size

* Based on all MDS Computational Linguistics cohorts since the class of 2020.

Student and Alumni Profiles

    All

    Class of 2021

    Ela Bandari Headshot

    Ela Bandari, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    “I decided on MDS because of its 10-month duration, the breadth of topics covered and its focus on community.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science, Honours in Behavioural Neuroscience (Minor in Biology), University of British Columbia
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    During my undergraduate degree, I was involved with multiple research projects. In these projects, my favourite stages of the research cycle were experimental design and data analysis. MDS was the perfect opportunity to further my understanding in these topics.

    About Ela Bandari

    Prior to MDS, Bandari completed my B.Sc. in Behavioural Neuroscience with a minor in Biology at UBC. After completing the MDS program, Bandari will be starting medical school at the University of Western Ontario in the fall. Bandari believes MDS has given her a broad knowledge base and technical skillset that will serve her in her future career and put her in a unique position at the intersection of data science and medicine. Outside of MDS, Bandari loves spending time outdoors like doing multi-day backpacking trips. Read Ela’s Story.

    Selma Duric

    Selma Durić, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    “One of the greatest strengths of the MDS program is their openness to students from different academic backgrounds.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance, Simon Fraser University
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    As a CPA, I believe that I am in a unique role where I have a good understanding of the business needs but also have the strong analytical skills needed for programming and statistics. I consider data science as a tool which can be applied to many different fields and see it as being the path forward to significantly improve the work that accountants do and the analytics and reporting that business operations rely on. 

    About Selma Durić

    Prior to entering the MDS Vancouver program, Selma earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from Simon Fraser University. Selma worked as a senior accountant where much of her accounting work relied on data. It was there Selma realized the potential value she could bring by finding better approaches to working with data. As a long-time Vancouverite, Selma loves spending her time outdoors. When the sun is out, Selma likes to walk/cycle around and explore the different neighbourhoods of Vancouver. Read Selma’s story.

    Celine Liu Headshot

    Celine Liu, MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    The MDS-CL program offers a strong focus on applied NLP, a perfect match for what I was looking for.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Computer Science, UBC Vancouver
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    While working with intelligent systems in the industry and conducting research in the public health domain with text mining techniques, I witnessed the tremendous impact and potential that modern AI could have over solving global societal and business challenges, coming to the realization that NLP models are the foundation towards building a strong AI.

    About Celine Liu

    Celine obtained her Bachelor’s of Computer Science degree from the University of British Columbia. It was during an undergrad internship at Microsoft and Hootsuite that exposed Celine to the world of NLP and machine learning techniques. During the internship, Liu had the opportunity to build Natural Language Processing (NLP)-based machine learning (ML) systems and participated in a text mining research project with a group of public health researchers from UBC and BC Center for Disease Control to understand the landscape of digital public health. With the MDS-CL program now complete, Liu believed it offered here a holistic view of the classic ML models and a variety of language models as well as a great number of skillsets to her toolbox working with not only in NLP but machine learning in general. Read Celine's story.
     

    Rafael Pilliard Hellwig

    Rafael Pillard Hellwig, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    "Coming from a non-STEM background, one of the things that drew me to the MDS is that it has a broad and diverse mission statement for recruitment. This program is known for being diverse, and I continually gain insights from the experiences that my peers bring to the table."

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Law and Political Science, Carleton University
    Prior Experience: Monitoring & Evaluation Lead, USAID Jordan Local Enterprise Support Project
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    An increasing number of tools now exist that fully automate the machine learning pipeline, such that anyone can fit a powerful model with little to no code. In some ways, that is wonderful because it democratizes the field. But it also opens up the risk that people use AI without understanding their models. This is why for me, a critical function of the data scientists is to interpret and explain. It is about knowing how to frame a problem before crunching the numbers. For anyone worried about the future job market, these human roles are going to be replaced by machines for a long time. With its emphasis on communication, ethics, and extracting knowledge from data, the MDS will give you the technical and critical thinking skills to become a thinking data scientist who can tackle a broad range of problems.

    About Rafael Pilliard Hellwig

    After completing his undergraduate studies in the social sciences, Rafael moved to the Middle East to work in organizational development, sustainability consulting, and economic development. In these roles, a common thread has been that Rafael helped companies and governments make complex data intelligible and accessible. His experience includes leading large-scale enterprise surveys, answering causal questions through quasi-experimental analysis, championing open-data initiatives and corporate transparency, and creating tools that automate the analytics pipeline. After moving back to his hometown of Vancouver in 2019, Rafael focused on helping foreign aid implementers communicate complex concepts through visualization. Rafael chose the MDS Vancouver program to deepen his technical acumen and build a network of like-minded professionals.

    Juan Roesel

    Juan Roesel, MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    “While several resources on the Internet can help people get the knowledge and skills needed to become a Data Scientist or NLP engineer, I think the structure of the MDS-CL program and the quality of the teaching staff take the learning experience to a higher level.”

    Previous Degree: Masters in International Relations, Field Of Study Development Economics and International Development, Hult International Business School
    Previous Experience: Data Scientist, NLP, Helelab
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    Back in 2017, I worked as an innovation consultant helping corporations fast-track digital transformation processes by partnering with tech start-ups. Some of these start-ups were using Artificial Intelligence solutions, so I needed to understand them to frame the right integration approach with the businesses' value chains. This experience was an eye-opening moment for me and triggered my decision to transition my career from a non-technical to a technical field.

    About Juan Roesel

    Before joining the MDS-CL program, Juan was working full-time running his consulting firm Helelab, which specialized in delivering and deploying digital solutions that leverage analytics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and web development. As Juan was taking on more technical projects and learned new concepts, he realized that he was just barely scratching the surface of the data science universe, which led him to apply to the MDS-CL program. Outside of the MDS-CL program, Juan enjoys hiking, sailing, and mountain biking. Read Juan’s story.

    Tanmay Sharma

    Tanmay Sharma, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    “The MDS program has been carefully designed to impart essential data science skills to make individuals job ready.”

    Previous Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science, Santa Clara University
    Previous Experience: Senior Associate – Data Analytics, Tredence Inc.
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    While I was working with a lot of data and had come to appreciate the bigger picture of data science through my training as a computer scientist, I felt the need for a closer and more rounded hands-on association with the different aspects of the discipline. The MDS program seemed to be a perfect match to help me achieve this goal and advance my career to its next level.

    About Tanmay Sharma

    Sharma started his career as a Hardware Development Engineer of SSD drives at a leading global data storage company. In that role, Sharma’s interest in data science was piqued as he was seeing the explosion of big data and the increase use of machine learning and artificial intelligence across all industries and its profound impact on transforming global businesses. Sharma highly recommend MDS to people looking to initiate or further a career in data science. Read Tanmay's story.

    Rain Shen

    Rain Shen, MDS Okanagan – Class of 2021

    “The accelerated 10-month learning period will equip you well to get started in a career in data science.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Food Science, from UBC Vancouver
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2021

    I realized I needed to learn new data analytical techniques to analyze large amount of data. I found myself becoming really interested in data analysis. I was amazed how the data can help solve complex problems in the real world. UBC’s reputation and the opportunity to learn in immersive environment really appealed to me and now that I have come through the program, I have developed the data science skills and learning techniques that will help me step into a data science career.

    About Rain Shen

    Rain obtained Bachelor of Science in Food Science from UBC Vancouver, before moving into a quality assurance coordinator position with a major manufacturing company specializing in geosynthetic and medical products. It was during her time there working with historical data where she fostered a desire to learn new data analytical techniques in order to analyze large amount of data.  Situated in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, the MDS-O program, with its accelerated learning program and intimate cohort, caught Shen’s eye. Having now completed the 10-month program, Shen will be utilizing the knowledge and technical expertise taught in the MDS program on the Okanagan campus to pursue a career related to the health and food industries. Read Rain's story.

    Darya Shyroka

    Darya Shyroka, MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    “If you are like me and have a passion for languages and an analytical mind, and want to combine those skills to do something really interesting and impactful, then this program is for you.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts and Science, Computer Science, University of Toronto
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    I decided to pursue a career in data science because I wanted to use my programming skills to work with language data. I was always interested in languages and linguistics, but I did not see myself as a translator or language instructor. I have an analytical mind, and I knew that using my skills in mathematics and programming to analyze language could be really interesting. The MDS-CL program seemed like a perfect way for me to merge my skills from both areas. 

    About Darya Shyroka

    After completing her Bachelor of Arts and Science in Computer Science (with a minor in Linguistics) from the University of Toronto, Darya knew she wasn’t quite done with her education. Darya was looking to specialize in a particular area of programming that she would be interested in and it led her to the MDS-CL program and its more immersive computational linguistics curriculum. Outside her MDS-CL studies, Darya loves outdoor activities such as hiking, bike-riding, swimming and camping. Darya also loves reading, watching TV, and cooking (especially trying new recipes!). Read Darya's story.

    Nathan Smith MDS Okanagan

    Nathan Smith, MDS Okanagan, Class of 2021

    “The program was able to quickly get me to a point that would have taken much longer working away on my own time. It provided me with a better understanding of data science in areas I was familiar with and also exposed me to new concepts.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from UBC Vancouver
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2021

    I started using interactive data analysis tools and machine learning to support my work. Much of the data science aspects that I had been incorporating in my work were learned during evenings and weekends. I felt that I wasn’t going to get where I wanted to be without diving into a program. Having now completed the program, I feel it has provided me with a strong understanding of concepts that can be better applied in my work.

    About Nathan Smith

    A resident of Squamish, B.C, Smith obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from UBC Vancouver. It was during his time working as a senior water resources engineer where he fostered an interest in further developing his technical skills.  Situated in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, the MDS-O program, with its accelerated learning program and intimate cohort, caught Smith’s eye. Having now completed the 10-month program, Smith will be utilizing the knowledge and technical expertise taught in the MDS program on the Okanagan campus as he continues his career. Read Nathan's story.

    Samuel Velez

    Samuel Vélez, MDS Okanagan – Class of 2021

    “The capstone project is the biggest positive point for the program. It makes you work directly with an industry partner on a real-life project, but you get the program’s supervision and support throughout. It makes you feel prepared for the future.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the National University of Colombia
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2021

    Working in the finance industry, I realized how data can shape the future of industries and companies. I wanted to be part of that and help as much as I could. Having now moved through the MDS-O program, I can say the quality of the program is world-class, the students come from many different industries and backgrounds, and the campus and surrounding areas are beautiful. I recommend it completely.

    About Samuel Velez

    Samuel obtained Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the National University of Colombia, before moving into a career in the world of finance. It was during his time where he discovered how data can shape the future of industries and companies. The MDS-O program, located in in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, offered an accelerated program and intimate cohort, caught Velez’s attention. Now that he has successfully completed the 10-month intensive program, Velez feels more than ready to begin a career where he can help to shape the future. Read Samuel’s story.
     

    Class of 2021

    Ela Bandari Headshot

    Ela Bandari, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    “I decided on MDS because of its 10-month duration, the breadth of topics covered and its focus on community.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science, Honours in Behavioural Neuroscience (Minor in Biology), University of British Columbia
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    During my undergraduate degree, I was involved with multiple research projects. In these projects, my favourite stages of the research cycle were experimental design and data analysis. MDS was the perfect opportunity to further my understanding in these topics.

    About Ela Bandari

    Prior to MDS, Bandari completed my B.Sc. in Behavioural Neuroscience with a minor in Biology at UBC. After completing the MDS program, Bandari will be starting medical school at the University of Western Ontario in the fall. Bandari believes MDS has given her a broad knowledge base and technical skillset that will serve her in her future career and put her in a unique position at the intersection of data science and medicine. Outside of MDS, Bandari loves spending time outdoors like doing multi-day backpacking trips. Read Ela’s Story.

    Selma Duric

    Selma Durić, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    “One of the greatest strengths of the MDS program is their openness to students from different academic backgrounds.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance, Simon Fraser University
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    As a CPA, I believe that I am in a unique role where I have a good understanding of the business needs but also have the strong analytical skills needed for programming and statistics. I consider data science as a tool which can be applied to many different fields and see it as being the path forward to significantly improve the work that accountants do and the analytics and reporting that business operations rely on. 

    About Selma Durić

    Prior to entering the MDS Vancouver program, Selma earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from Simon Fraser University. Selma worked as a senior accountant where much of her accounting work relied on data. It was there Selma realized the potential value she could bring by finding better approaches to working with data. As a long-time Vancouverite, Selma loves spending her time outdoors. When the sun is out, Selma likes to walk/cycle around and explore the different neighbourhoods of Vancouver. Read Selma’s story.

    Rafael Pilliard Hellwig

    Rafael Pillard Hellwig, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    "Coming from a non-STEM background, one of the things that drew me to the MDS is that it has a broad and diverse mission statement for recruitment. This program is known for being diverse, and I continually gain insights from the experiences that my peers bring to the table."

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Law and Political Science, Carleton University
    Prior Experience: Monitoring & Evaluation Lead, USAID Jordan Local Enterprise Support Project
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    An increasing number of tools now exist that fully automate the machine learning pipeline, such that anyone can fit a powerful model with little to no code. In some ways, that is wonderful because it democratizes the field. But it also opens up the risk that people use AI without understanding their models. This is why for me, a critical function of the data scientists is to interpret and explain. It is about knowing how to frame a problem before crunching the numbers. For anyone worried about the future job market, these human roles are going to be replaced by machines for a long time. With its emphasis on communication, ethics, and extracting knowledge from data, the MDS will give you the technical and critical thinking skills to become a thinking data scientist who can tackle a broad range of problems.

    About Rafael Pilliard Hellwig

    After completing his undergraduate studies in the social sciences, Rafael moved to the Middle East to work in organizational development, sustainability consulting, and economic development. In these roles, a common thread has been that Rafael helped companies and governments make complex data intelligible and accessible. His experience includes leading large-scale enterprise surveys, answering causal questions through quasi-experimental analysis, championing open-data initiatives and corporate transparency, and creating tools that automate the analytics pipeline. After moving back to his hometown of Vancouver in 2019, Rafael focused on helping foreign aid implementers communicate complex concepts through visualization. Rafael chose the MDS Vancouver program to deepen his technical acumen and build a network of like-minded professionals.

    Tanmay Sharma

    Tanmay Sharma, MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    “The MDS program has been carefully designed to impart essential data science skills to make individuals job ready.”

    Previous Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science, Santa Clara University
    Previous Experience: Senior Associate – Data Analytics, Tredence Inc.
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2021

    While I was working with a lot of data and had come to appreciate the bigger picture of data science through my training as a computer scientist, I felt the need for a closer and more rounded hands-on association with the different aspects of the discipline. The MDS program seemed to be a perfect match to help me achieve this goal and advance my career to its next level.

    About Tanmay Sharma

    Sharma started his career as a Hardware Development Engineer of SSD drives at a leading global data storage company. In that role, Sharma’s interest in data science was piqued as he was seeing the explosion of big data and the increase use of machine learning and artificial intelligence across all industries and its profound impact on transforming global businesses. Sharma highly recommend MDS to people looking to initiate or further a career in data science. Read Tanmay's story.

    Class of 2020

    Rob Blumberg

    Rob Blumberg, Data Scientist at Validere

    “There are so many smart and friendly people from different educational and cultural backgrounds in MDS, which makes learning and collaborating so much easier.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Physics, McGill University
    Previous Experience: Data Science Intern, BMO Financial Group
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2020

    It was around my third year of undergrad that I started hearing and learning more about data science. My first real encounter with data science came through my passion for soccer, as I discovered articles and blog posts explaining how data science is used to inform decisions across various departments in professional clubs. I was particularly interested in learning about these models and algorithms that were capable of uncovering meaningful insights about soccer games from data which did not seem to contain obvious patterns

    About Rob Blumberg

    Prior to MDS, Rob obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physics from McGill University. Right before starting the MDS program, Rob interned as a data scientist at BMO, where he worked on the People Analytics team. His team analyzed employee data, and his job was to analyze employee exit surveys to find out what was driving voluntary turnover. Read Rob's story.

    Alistair Clark

    Alistair Clark, Associate, Data Science at Birch Hill Equity Partners

    “I chose the MDS program as a way to quickly build the skills and credibility I needed to transition into data science. I could have tried to build these skills while working at my previous company, but that would have taken longer and would have made it difficult to break into the job market.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Queen's University in Kingston, ON
    Prior Experience: Lead Product Developer and Head of Product, I Will Teach/GrowthLab and Management Consultant at Accenture Strategy
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2020

    At the startup I worked for prior to MDS, I was facing big questions around our product and market strategy. We had plenty of data from our 40,000 customers and 500,000 email list subscribers, but we were only performing superficial analysis. I knew there were insights we were missing, but no one had the skills or experience to use and interpret the data effectively. I discovered the field of data science while looking for new tools and techniques to analyze our data.

    About Alistair Clark

    Prior to the MDS program, Alistair was the Lead Product Developer and Head of Product for I Will Teach/Growth Labs, an online e-learning startup. He also worked for 4 years as a management consultant with Accenture Strategy focused on financial modelling and business cases. Alistair came to the world of data science while looking for a better way to analyze customer data and make decisions about product and market strategy. Alistair holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Queen's University at Kingston.

    Cari Gostic

    Cari Gostic, Data Scientist at Sonoma Technology Inc.

    I’m finishing the program with confidence that I can pick up on new platforms, languages, methodologies, and frameworks on the fly.”  

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University
    Previous Experience: Analyst, Consulting Team, Risk Management Solutions (RMS)
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2020

    I decided to pursue data science because it combines everything I like about research -- uncovering insights, the thrill of discovery, working with new and interesting data -- but is extensible across all fields. I love the idea that I can apply this skill-set effectively in completely different topics from day to day. It makes the future very exciting, because rather than looking for a specific type of job, I can instead look for a specific type of company whose mission and values I really believe in.

    About Cari Gostic

    New York-native Cari came to the MDS program after previously working as an analyst on the consulting team with Risk Management Solutions, a catastrophe modeling company. While working with RMS, Cari worked to streamline the integration of RMS software into clients’ workflows and complete custom projects like in-depth analyses of exposure or custom app development. Cari holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Science from Cornell University. Read Cari's story.

    Reiko Okamoto

    Reiko Okamoto, Data Analyst at BC Ministry of Health

    “The MDS program concisely covers a broad range of topics in data science [and] I appreciated how the capstone project guaranteed industry experience.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2020

    [During my Master’s of Science in Public Health], in one class, students were instructed to conduct a literature review on a topic related to public health. I don’t exactly remember why I decided to do this, but I chose to write about the challenges and opportunities in the implementation of data science techniques in healthcare. A few days after I submitted the assignment, I attended a Meetup event on the application of machine learning to biomedical imaging and diagnostics. As I sat in the audience listening to the keynote speaker, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in data science.

    About Reiko Okamoto

    After completing her Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of UBC, Reiko wanted to study diseases beyond the molecular level so she moved to Sweden to pursue a master’s degree in public health to learn more about the application of epidemiological methods to improve population health. However, it was during her time in Sweden that her interest in data science was sparked. Read Reiko's story.

    Class of 2019

    Carrie Cheung

    Carrie Cheung, Data Scientist at NuData Security, A Mastercard Company

    “The MDS program gave me the confidence to explain and reason through data-related decisions.”

    Previous Degree:  Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Computer Science and Psychology, University of British Columbia
    Program:  MDS Vancouver, Class of 2019

    When I looked at the [MDS] curriculum, it was a really good range of relevant topics that I could tell was carefully designed and curated to fit within a ten-month window and also included a capstone project. That timeline really appealed to me as someone who was coming in as a working professional wanting to take that plunge but not wanting to do it for two or four year.

    About Carrie Cheung

    Prior to the MDS program, Carrie worked for Boeing Vancouver in various roles including one as a data scientist. While at Boeing, Carrie analyzed flight sensor data, which opened her eyes to a world where programming and math can be applied to data to solve business problems. Carrie holds a Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Computer Science and Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Since graduating, Carrie is now a data scientist for NuData Security – A MasterCard company.
    Read Carrie's story.

    Ayla Pearson

    Ayla Pearson, Computational Biologist at Poisson Consulting Ltd.

    “The MDS program was exactly what I wanted to be able to do with data, which is to turn data into meaningful actions and be able to create decisions from them.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science, Chemistry – University of Victoria
    Prior Experience: Resource Clerk, Province of British Columbia
    Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2019

    I've been looking for data science master's programs for months. Nothing really clicked and as soon as I read the MDS program description, it was exactly what I wanted to do and that is being able to use already collected data to answer decisions to create solutions and to try and get new information out of it which was everything that I was trying to do in my work already but didn't really have the skills to do it or the confidence.

    About Ayla Pearson

    Hailing from Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Ayla initially wanted to pursue a master’s in biology but couldn’t find the right program. Ayla realized that she preferred to do the data analysis side of biology versus going out in the field and collecting the data but she didn’t think that she could. A conversation with her mother made Ayla realize that she could separate those careers. Ayla enjoyed the fast-paced environment of the MDS program and the small classes allowed her to engage with other students and faculty on a one-to-one basis. Ayla will be returning to her role as a resource clerk with the Ministry of Forests Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development but hopes to transition into a data science role within the organization in the near-future. Ayla holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from the University of Victoria. Read Ayla's story.

    Class of 2021

    Rain Shen

    Rain Shen, MDS Okanagan – Class of 2021

    “The accelerated 10-month learning period will equip you well to get started in a career in data science.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Food Science, from UBC Vancouver
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2021

    I realized I needed to learn new data analytical techniques to analyze large amount of data. I found myself becoming really interested in data analysis. I was amazed how the data can help solve complex problems in the real world. UBC’s reputation and the opportunity to learn in immersive environment really appealed to me and now that I have come through the program, I have developed the data science skills and learning techniques that will help me step into a data science career.

    About Rain Shen

    Rain obtained Bachelor of Science in Food Science from UBC Vancouver, before moving into a quality assurance coordinator position with a major manufacturing company specializing in geosynthetic and medical products. It was during her time there working with historical data where she fostered a desire to learn new data analytical techniques in order to analyze large amount of data.  Situated in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, the MDS-O program, with its accelerated learning program and intimate cohort, caught Shen’s eye. Having now completed the 10-month program, Shen will be utilizing the knowledge and technical expertise taught in the MDS program on the Okanagan campus to pursue a career related to the health and food industries. Read Rain's story.

    Nathan Smith MDS Okanagan

    Nathan Smith, MDS Okanagan, Class of 2021

    “The program was able to quickly get me to a point that would have taken much longer working away on my own time. It provided me with a better understanding of data science in areas I was familiar with and also exposed me to new concepts.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from UBC Vancouver
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2021

    I started using interactive data analysis tools and machine learning to support my work. Much of the data science aspects that I had been incorporating in my work were learned during evenings and weekends. I felt that I wasn’t going to get where I wanted to be without diving into a program. Having now completed the program, I feel it has provided me with a strong understanding of concepts that can be better applied in my work.

    About Nathan Smith

    A resident of Squamish, B.C, Smith obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from UBC Vancouver. It was during his time working as a senior water resources engineer where he fostered an interest in further developing his technical skills.  Situated in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, the MDS-O program, with its accelerated learning program and intimate cohort, caught Smith’s eye. Having now completed the 10-month program, Smith will be utilizing the knowledge and technical expertise taught in the MDS program on the Okanagan campus as he continues his career. Read Nathan's story.

    Samuel Velez

    Samuel Vélez, MDS Okanagan – Class of 2021

    “The capstone project is the biggest positive point for the program. It makes you work directly with an industry partner on a real-life project, but you get the program’s supervision and support throughout. It makes you feel prepared for the future.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the National University of Colombia
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2021

    Working in the finance industry, I realized how data can shape the future of industries and companies. I wanted to be part of that and help as much as I could. Having now moved through the MDS-O program, I can say the quality of the program is world-class, the students come from many different industries and backgrounds, and the campus and surrounding areas are beautiful. I recommend it completely.

    About Samuel Velez

    Samuel obtained Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the National University of Colombia, before moving into a career in the world of finance. It was during his time where he discovered how data can shape the future of industries and companies. The MDS-O program, located in in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, offered an accelerated program and intimate cohort, caught Velez’s attention. Now that he has successfully completed the 10-month intensive program, Velez feels more than ready to begin a career where he can help to shape the future. Read Samuel’s story.
     

    Class of 2020

    Christian Hluchy

    Christian Hluchy, Data Scientist at Irwin's Safety and Industrial Labour Services Ltd

    “The smaller cohort in the Okanagan makes it more personable and it makes me feel more connected to the program."

    Previous Degree: Master's of Business Administration, University of British Columbia
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2020

    While I was born and raised in Kelowna, I always knew I wanted to pursue an education in a different city. After obtaining my undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus, I worked for seven years before returning to UBC, where I obtained my master’s degree. I then moved to Calgary where, in my operations role using large data sets to inform drilling locations, I began to see the importance and value of data analysis. When it came time to return to the Okanagan while also pursuing a master’s degree in data science, the more research I did about the MDS program at UBCO, I knew it was the right fit.  Now I’m combining my business acumen and technical background with working knowledge taught in the MDS program.

    About Christian Hluchy

    A Kelowna native, Christian relocated to Vancouver where he received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia.  Christian then obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration nearly a decade later, also from the University of British Columbia, before moving to Alberta to pursue a career in the oil and gas sector. After a successful stint as an operations manager that exposed him to the value of statistical analysis, Christian began looking for different career options that would help him find employment in the Okanagan. His research into the best data science program led him directly to MDS program on the UBCO campus, where he has excelled in the smaller learning environment. Christian hopes to combine his business background with the working knowledge taught in the MDS program to pursue a data related role in the Okanagan.

    Kaitlyn Hobbs

    Kaitlyn Hobbs, Data Scientist at Statistics Canada

    “UBC MDS Okanagan offers intimate class sizes and specialized professors that motivate participation, networking, and rapid skill development.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Medical Sciences Degree with an Honors Specialization in Biochemistry, Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2020

    [While completing my undergraduate studies], I was lucky to land myself in dry labs, where I found myself enjoying statistical analysis and introductory-level programming. I wanted to elevate my foundational skills as I believe . . . data science is an effective tool that leads to a measurably impactful career in an array of disciplines. When looking at programs with accelerated learning combined with small class sizes and a campus with a close-knit community feel, the MDS program on the UBCO campus presented itself as the perfect fit. I hope to utilize the working knowledge taught in the MDS program to pursue a data related role in the global health sector.

    About Kaitlyn Hobbs

    Originally from Mississauga, Ontario, Kaitlyn obtained a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree from Western University. It was during her undergraduate studies where she developed a deep appreciation for statistical analysis and programming and it was Kaitlyn’s investigation into the best data science program that led her directly to UBCO’s MDS program. Kaitlyn hopes to parlay the knowledge taught in the MDS program on the Okanagan campus into a job in the global health sector, where she would like to work on improving data collection. Read Kaitlyn's story.

    Connor Lee

    Connor Lee, MDS Okanagan – Class of 2020

    “The UBC MDS Okanagan program provides a fast paced learning environment that provides you with the skills to get started in a career in data science or machine learning.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor Degree, Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2020

    I gained an interest in improving my data collection and analysis techniques through teaching myself how to use Excel VBA. I started to look into how I could further improve my skills and during this search, I found that data science was the field that employed the skills that I was looking to develop. I searched for programs that offered both small class sizes and an accelerated learning path. I quickly discovered that my best option would be to return home and attend UBCO’s MDS program. Now through the program, I have gained the skills and knowledge to apply for entry level data science, data analyst, and machine learning positions.

    About Connor Lee

    Connor, a native of Vernon, obtained a Bachelor Degree, Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria. Having developed a deep appreciation for data collection and analysis techniques, Lee’s desire to improve his technical abilities and love for the Okanagan led him straight to UBCO’s MDS program. Read Connor's story.

    Swapil Paliwal.

    Swapil Paliwal, MDS Okanagan – Class of 2020

    “This is an excellent program, in an amazing location. The MDS-O program provides an exceptional foundation in the areas of data science.”

    Previous Degree: Master’s Degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2020

    I have always had an interest in multidisciplinary fields which allow for collaborative work, and have applications in variety of areas. Data science is one such field and being able to see its wide impacts in almost all walks of life really got me hooked. Now through the program, I feel confident and prepared to enter the job market knowing the program has provided me with tools and knowledge I will need to succeed.

    About Swapil Paliwal

    Originally from (Firozabad, India), Swapil obtained a Master’s Degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington. It was during his time working as a Data Scientist where he fostered an interest in sharpening his technical skills.  Situated in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, the MDS-O program, with its accelerated learning program and intimate cohort, caught Swapil’s eye. Having now completed the 10-month program, Swapil hopes to utilize the knowledge and technical expertise taught in the MDS program on the Okanagan campus as he prepares to continue working as a data scientist or data engineer in cross-disciplinary teams.
    Read Swapil's story.

    Elizaveta Volkova

    Elizaveta Volkova, Analyst at Hootsuite

    "Everyone in the program has different backgrounds, which is terrific because we get to see and hear different perspectives, but there is also a sense of community as everyone is willing to help each other."

    Previous Degree: Bachelor’s Business Information Systems, Bauman Moscow State Technical University
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2020

    While managing a system that collected vast amounts of data for a company I worked with in Moscow, I came to the realization that our customers would be interested in accurate predictions of both their revenue and future customers. This prompted a personal interest in building predictive models, however, I knew I would need to further develop my skills and experience in interpreting and using data. I recognized that the field of Data Science would provide me the skills I needed and the MDS program in Okanagan offered the perfect balance of small class sizes and accelerated learning. Now immersed in the program, I am gaining the technical expertise and practical experience that I know I will be able to apply when entering back into the workforce.

    About Elizaveta Volkova

    Originally from Moscow, Russia, Elizaveta received her undergraduate degree in Business Information Systems from the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. During her undergraduate studies, Elizaveta also took work with a Russian company that optimized business processes where she helped to manage a system that compiled and stored significant amounts of data. As a part of this work, Elizaveta identified the need to improve her skills and experience in interpreting and using data and it was in searching for different tools for data analysis and predictive modelling that she realized that the field of Data Science would provide her with the skills she was interested in. Having moved to Kelowna to enter into the MDS program, Elizaveta is now gaining the technical skills she so greatly wanted to enhance, from programming to practical experience, which will make her stand out as an exceptional candidate when she seeks opportunities after graduation.

    Class of 2019

    Vaghul Balaji

    Vaghul Balaji, Senior Data Engineer at Meta

    "When I was looking for a program to take my career to the next level, I found the program at UBC and it ticked all of my boxes – it’s accelerated, it’s in a field that I really like, and gives me the skills that I need for the current trend in the market; it satisfied everything I was looking for."

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Engineering – Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore
    Prior Experience: Data Scientist and Data Engineer at HSBC
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2019

    I’ve always been intrigued by the power of computers and what you can program them to do. After some time as a developer and analyst, I realized, that I don’t want to be a traditional or a standard software engineer. I want to get into my own niche area, and I really like the field of data science, especially these days with the amount of data that’s out there. When I was looking for a program to take my career to the next level, I found the program at UBC and it ticked all of my boxes – it’s accelerated, it’s in a field that I really like, and gives me the skills that I need for the current trend in the market; it satisfied everything I was looking for.

    About Vaghul Balaji

    Vaghul spent four years in the financial services industry where he began as a software developer before transitioning to the role of a data engineer. Since his childhood, he has been fascinated by technology, the power of computers, and what you can do with them. That is even more true today than it was then, with the amount of data in today’s world. During his time as an undergraduate student at the National University of Singapore, he did an exchange program that led to a term spent at the University of Ottawa, where he fell in love with Canada. When he decided it was time for a career change, Canada and data science were the two key requirements. Vaghul was part of the first cohort of MDS students on the Okanagan campus and graduated in the summer of 2019. He is now a senior data engineer at Meta.
    Meet Vaghul.

    Kira Wiese

    Kira Wiese, Financial Data Analyst at Mattamy Homes

    "I really like that the program is 10-months and all course based. After coming from a degree focused on theory, I was really looking to gain practical knowledge."

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science – Statistics, University of Calgary
    Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2019

    Growing up in rural Alberta, my first step away from home was pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary. With an analytical but also creative personality, I was unsure of which path was my best fit. It was not until I completed my first statistics course that I started to see the applications of data analysis – whether it was in health care or agriculture, or anything, really. I gained a firm theoretical knowledge of statistics, but still wanted to see the real-world outcomes of my numbers. In the MDS program I’m getting the more practical training—the programming and the real-world applications—to accompany my theoretical knowledge.  

    About Kira Wiese

    Originally from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Kira got her undergraduate degree in statistics, with a minor in actuarial science, from the University of Calgary. Having excelled there, she began looking for career paths that would let her put her love of numbers to practical and important use. A fellow undergraduate told her about the MDS program at UBC, and when she saw it was being offered at the Okanagan campus – a smaller learning environment she thought might better suit her desire for a more close-knit, personal experience – all of the pieces seemed to fall into place. Kira hopes to be able to combine the practical skills she is learning in the MDS with the theoretical skills gained in her undergraduate degree to pursue a career interpreting data for industries relevant to her home region, like agriculture, oil and gas. Since completing the program, Kira is working as a financial data analyst with Mattamy Homes, North America's largest privately owned home builder.
    Meet Kira.

    Class of 2021

    Celine Liu Headshot

    Celine Liu, MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    The MDS-CL program offers a strong focus on applied NLP, a perfect match for what I was looking for.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Computer Science, UBC Vancouver
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    While working with intelligent systems in the industry and conducting research in the public health domain with text mining techniques, I witnessed the tremendous impact and potential that modern AI could have over solving global societal and business challenges, coming to the realization that NLP models are the foundation towards building a strong AI.

    About Celine Liu

    Celine obtained her Bachelor’s of Computer Science degree from the University of British Columbia. It was during an undergrad internship at Microsoft and Hootsuite that exposed Celine to the world of NLP and machine learning techniques. During the internship, Liu had the opportunity to build Natural Language Processing (NLP)-based machine learning (ML) systems and participated in a text mining research project with a group of public health researchers from UBC and BC Center for Disease Control to understand the landscape of digital public health. With the MDS-CL program now complete, Liu believed it offered here a holistic view of the classic ML models and a variety of language models as well as a great number of skillsets to her toolbox working with not only in NLP but machine learning in general. Read Celine's story.
     

    Juan Roesel

    Juan Roesel, MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    “While several resources on the Internet can help people get the knowledge and skills needed to become a Data Scientist or NLP engineer, I think the structure of the MDS-CL program and the quality of the teaching staff take the learning experience to a higher level.”

    Previous Degree: Masters in International Relations, Field Of Study Development Economics and International Development, Hult International Business School
    Previous Experience: Data Scientist, NLP, Helelab
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    Back in 2017, I worked as an innovation consultant helping corporations fast-track digital transformation processes by partnering with tech start-ups. Some of these start-ups were using Artificial Intelligence solutions, so I needed to understand them to frame the right integration approach with the businesses' value chains. This experience was an eye-opening moment for me and triggered my decision to transition my career from a non-technical to a technical field.

    About Juan Roesel

    Before joining the MDS-CL program, Juan was working full-time running his consulting firm Helelab, which specialized in delivering and deploying digital solutions that leverage analytics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and web development. As Juan was taking on more technical projects and learned new concepts, he realized that he was just barely scratching the surface of the data science universe, which led him to apply to the MDS-CL program. Outside of the MDS-CL program, Juan enjoys hiking, sailing, and mountain biking. Read Juan’s story.

    Darya Shyroka

    Darya Shyroka, MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    “If you are like me and have a passion for languages and an analytical mind, and want to combine those skills to do something really interesting and impactful, then this program is for you.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts and Science, Computer Science, University of Toronto
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2021

    I decided to pursue a career in data science because I wanted to use my programming skills to work with language data. I was always interested in languages and linguistics, but I did not see myself as a translator or language instructor. I have an analytical mind, and I knew that using my skills in mathematics and programming to analyze language could be really interesting. The MDS-CL program seemed like a perfect way for me to merge my skills from both areas. 

    About Darya Shyroka

    After completing her Bachelor of Arts and Science in Computer Science (with a minor in Linguistics) from the University of Toronto, Darya knew she wasn’t quite done with her education. Darya was looking to specialize in a particular area of programming that she would be interested in and it led her to the MDS-CL program and its more immersive computational linguistics curriculum. Outside her MDS-CL studies, Darya loves outdoor activities such as hiking, bike-riding, swimming and camping. Darya also loves reading, watching TV, and cooking (especially trying new recipes!). Read Darya's story.

    Class of 2020

    Ravi Gill, MDS Computational Linguistics – Class of 2020

    Ravi Gill, Validation Engineer at Intel Corporation

    “The program exposed us to most of the big topics in computational linguistics such as sentiment analysis, text classification, or machine translation…I believe many companies would be ecstatic to find talent fresh out of university with these skills.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Computer Science, Vancouver Island University
    Prior Experience: Performance Analyst Co-Op, TELUS
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2020

    I was fully committed to finishing my bachelor’s and moving directly into a software position. My senior project in undergrad was a basic machine learning project where I attempted to look at social media metadata over time (number of likes, shares, etc) and try to predict the next most popular musician. This led to an 8-month co-op with TELUS which focused heavily on machine learning and text processing. This changed my perspective and interests from programming for software to programming for data science.

    About Ravi Gill

    After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC native Ravi Gill didn’t want to move too far away from home to pursue a master’s degree in data science. Ravi’s 8-month co-op with TELUS changed his interest from software programming to programming for data science.

    Read Ravi's story.

    Niki Hajmoshir

    Niki Hajmoshir, Language Engineer at Amazon

    “What I really like about this program is that we get more hands-on experience and work with data sets and corpora so when we go into industry we won’t be lost because we know how to handle these things.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor's in Medical Laboratory Science, University of British Columbia
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2020

    Everything I am learning in MDS CL, from coding to statistics to Natural Language Processing is all interesting, relevant and applicable to what we've seen every day in the world. It makes you think how I can use this in my life and I like how the instructors put it in a way that I can easily apply these to multiple fields.

    About Niki Hajmoshir

    Niki received her Bachelor's in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of British Columbia. It was towards the last few years of her degree that Niki realized she wanted to switch fields into something more computer related and found herself working on projects that used Natural Language Processing. This resulted in Niki becoming very interested in Computational Linguistics and to apply to the MDS CL program. Meet Niki.

    Chidera Okoma

    Chidera Okoma, Business Insight and Analytics Associate at TD

    “I am thankful to the MDS-CL at UBC for arming me with the skills to be a creative problem solver and a great critical thinker. These are skills that experts in the field are renowned for and I am confident that my training at UBC has prepared me adequately.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Engineering, Computer Engineering, Covenant University
    Prior Experience: Data Analyst, BaverianVine Ltd.
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2020

    I saw the MDS-CL program as a typical MDS program but with the cherry on the cake. It offered mostly what the Master of Data Science offers with an additional focus on natural language processing. This was the deciding factor for me. NLP was important for me because a lot of the data I had come across came as free form texts and it was important that I learnt to work with those.

    About Chidera Okoma

    Chidera holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Engineering from Nigeria’s Covenant University. Prior to joining the MDS CL program, Chidera worked as a data analyst with BaverianVine Ltd., a startup that consulted for the largest Nigerian institutions. It was while working in her role as a data analyst that she saw the impact that data insight had in decision-making. Read Chidera's story.

    Toshiko Shibano

    Toshiko Shibano, MDS Computational Linguistics – Class of 2020

    “If you are like me and enjoy devising solutions to real world problems, have a desire to transfer knowledge and skills from a previous job to the digitized world, or are passionate about language, this program is worth the money and time.”

    Previous Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of British Columbia
    Prior Experience: Executive Vice President, Senior Translator and Programmer, Simulingual Inc.
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2020

    “If you are like me and enjoy devising solutions to real world problems, have a desire to transfer knowledge and skills from a previous job to the digitized world, or are passionate about language, this program is worth the money and time.”

    As a professional translator, I have always been interested in machine translation. In particular, I wanted to know how linguistic data were processed in deep learning models. I wanted to be able to test out my hypotheses about how to improve the current machine translation models.

    About Toshiko Shibano

    Prior to the MDS Computational Linguistics program, Toshiko ran a translation business in Japan, which specialized in financial accounting and her clientele included major international audit firms, listed companies, and multinational corporations. Toshiko picked up programming to automate routine processes so that she could spend more time on translation. After handing over her business, Toshiko moved to Canada and pursued a Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Read Toshiko's story.

    Aaron Tian

    Aaron Tian, Data Engineer at KPMG Canada

    “The biggest benefit you get coming into this program is you get to work with a lot of people with different backgrounds, in terms of the fields they come from, and who tend to approach the same question from different angles.”

    Previous Degree: Master of Science in Computational Finance, DePaul University
    Program: MDS Computational Linguistics, Class of 2020

    With MDS CL, the data science courses are very essential to becoming a computational linguist. The program gives us a solid foundation for us to use our linguistics skills and put them into practice.

    About Aaron Tian

    Originally from China, Aaron has a Master of Science in Computational Finance from DePaul University. Coming from the finance industry, Aaron noticed that a lot of people were using Natural Language Processing tools to measure sentiment of the market to make better investment strategies. Seeing this, Aaron saw that the MDS Computational Linguistics program would give him the skills in sentiment analysis that he can apply to the finance industry.