Hometown: Midlothian, Virginia
Undergraduate Institution: University of Virginia
Major: Statistics with a Biostatistics Concentration
Q: Tell us about your path to data science.
I was on a pre-med track for the longest time and actually decided to make the switch to data science at the end of my third year of undergrad. I started taking some statistics and data science courses when space opened up in my schedule and immediately fell in love with working with data. It had been a while since I was genuinely excited about doing homework!
Q: What do you hope to do with a data science degree?
Even though I changed my career path from pre-med to data science, I didn't lose my love for medicine at all. In fact, I am hoping to pursue a career in the healthcare and clinical research field as a data scientist. As I learn more about the applications of data science and its versatility through the master's program, I am gradually more interested in broadening my horizons. Ultimately, I would be happy with any data-related career and would be ready to jump in with both feet.
Q: What has surprised you about the MSDS program so far?
For me, it's the diversity of the students and the camaraderie from my classmates and professors. I have met at least 20 people that each have a different academic background or unique path to how they got into data science. I started my own M.S. in Data Science journey just a month after graduation and the workflow and atmosphere is much different (a good difference) than undergrad. The atmosphere is professional and fun at the same time. Everyone has each others' backs and despite expecting to feel completely lost, I actually felt really comfortable because of the immense support system around me. Overall, I'm really happy to have found others that share the same passion for data science as me and I can't wait to experience the rest of this program with them.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a master’s in data science?
Take data science-related courses, explore resources like CodeAcademy and Udemy, and look over the topics, try a few questions, or talk to people! Speaking of which, sign up to chat with me or one the admissions ambassadors.
Q: Provide three fun facts about yourself.
- I am Cambodian.
- I can play the violin, guitar, and piano.
- I love to play Minecraft but have a bad habit of creating too many worlds.