School of Data Science Wraps Up Summer Career Series

August 12, 2022
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Master’s in Data Science students joined Associate Director of Career Connections and Community Engagement Reggie Leonard for a seven-week Summer Career Series. The students, who started the residential one-year program in June, were given a foundation for career exploration and received a range of advice on how to prepare for the upcoming recruiting season. Students were introduced to their career support team, job search platforms, and alumni who will assist in their career search process.

By the end of the series, students were equipped to:

• Navigate Handshake, LinkedIn, Career Shift, VMOCK, with updated professional profiles across these platforms

• Identify industries and companies of interest and outline tangible next steps

• Update their resume to reflect current career aspirations

• Connect with alumni from a variety of industries and professions

Leonard hosted six workshops over six weeks with students connecting with their classmates and career and student affairs team members over lunch before each session. The sessions ranged from what to expect from the recruiting season and available resources to resume advice and how to craft a personalized job search strategy.

Session 1: Welcome to School of Data Science Career Services

This session provided students with an introduction to the data science career services team and oriented them to career development at UVA. They learned what to expect this upcoming recruiting season and were introduced to available resources.

Speaker: Reggie Leonard, Associate Director of Career Connections and Community Engagement, School of Data Science


Session 2: Handshake Best Practices 

Handshake is the platform UVA uses to connect employers directly to students. In this session, students learned how to create an online profile and use the platform to schedule appointments, RSVP for recruiting events, search for jobs, and utilize other useful Handshake tools.

Speaker: Heather Palmer, Assistant Director in the Center for Engineering Career Development

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Session 3: Data Science Resumes

Students gained insights from an industry professional who reads and evaluates data science resumes and is responsible for building data science teams. Students learned how to prioritize past experiences and tailor their resumes for specific positions. They were also advised on how to incorporate class and capstone projects as they progressed through the M.S. in Data Science program.

Speaker: Patrick Harrison, AI Consultant, Data Theoretic

Career Series

Session 4: LinkedIn Best Practices

This workshop helped students update and strengthen their presence on LinkedIn. They learned how to build an all-star profile and leverage LinkedIn to network and source potential employment opportunities.

Speaker:  Jenny Zenner, Senior Director Career Coach, Tech Sector, UVA Darden School of Business.


Session 5: Building Out Your Job Search Strategy 

Using the various platforms and resources students were introduced to in previous sessions, this session focused on creating a list of target companies and a personalized game plan.

Speaker: Reggie Leonard, Associate Director of Career Connections and Community Engagement, School of Data Science


Session 6: Presenting Yourself and Your Story 

Students honed their 30-second elevator pitch and learned how to present themselves and their stories to potential employers

Speaker: Amy Clobes, Director of Graduate Programs, School of Engineering and Applied Science


Session 7: Residential MSDS Alumni Panel 

Students heard firsthand from M.S. in Data Science alumni about their career paths into data science, current projects, and general advice, followed by a Q&A.

Speakers: Kristy Bell, Data Scientist, FanDuel; Timur Guler, Data Scientist, Washington Post; Jordan Machita, Data Scientist, Night Market

“The career series was a valuable professional development series for the current master's students,” said Chris Longchamp, Residential MSDS ’23,  “It gave students the opportunity to get to know, reacquaint, or strengthen their presence in their professional sphere. It also gave students the opportunity to network with former alumni and with each other.