Connecting VCU coursework with real-world application
Keiter Technology team members Laura Williams, Data Scientist and Subhash Jaini, Managing Director, were excited to be a part of The VCU Project at Virginia Commonwealth University. The VCU Project is offered through a course called Consulting Using Advanced Analytics. The VCU Project gives students real world application of the statistical and mathematical procedures they are learning for a career in data consulting. Students learn about the process of meeting with clients to understand their goals and needs as well as ask questions. The professors invite local data science professionals to present and talk with students, often acting as clients to give students an idea of working in the data science consulting field.
Laura and Subhash were tasked with preparing a dataset for students to work with as well as a statement of their objective/business problem. Laura posed a general business question to students: how can the client increase profitability? This question aimed to help students focus on the process of consulting: meeting with the client, getting the data, and then figuring out what to do with the data. Laura wanted students to think through the problem in terms of a decision-making process. The six project participants were then given the opportunity to approach the problem on their own and present it as if they were presenting their insights to a client.
As a VCU graduate herself, Laura took the same consulting class as the VCU Project participants. However, she was also able to apply her coursework while working on data science projects with Subhash. Most students have not had this opportunity. “Data science as a field and being a data scientist as a career have distinctions that aren’t necessarily well known among students,” Laura states.
Mentoring future data scientists and supporting the success of the data science field are important to Laura and Subhash. The VCU Project provided them the opportunity to contribute in both areas.
Find out more about Keiter Technologies and their team members here.
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