Wesley Dinville Shares the Secret to His Boot Camp Success: A Passion for Data—and Plenty of Hard Work
Wesley Dinville was going places in his career. As a senior market analyst for Samsung Electronics and an integral part of the market intelligence team, he was surrounded by data every day—and he loved it.
Eventually, however, he realized he wanted to do more with the science itself, not just the analytics.
“The learnings at my company weren’t getting me where I wanted to go,” said Wesley. “I wanted to learn more data science technologies and apply them to my daily work.”
As it turned out, the Rutgers Data Science Bootcamp was exactly what he needed to accelerate his career.
A juggling act
Continuing to work full-time at Samsung while attending classes three times a week and keeping up with homework was no easy feat for Wesley.
“Trying to learn so many new things—and make sure I was applying them—taught me a lot about time management and how to multitask,” he said.
Although Wesley is an avid weightlifter, workouts had to take a backseat for the six months he worked toward his data science certification. And the gym wasn’t the only thing competing for his time and attention. He also moved mid-boot camp, something that caused no small amount of stress.
“That was a setback, trying to get everything set up in a new apartment,” said Wesley. “I also had a new nephew, born just a couple of months before boot camp started. I had to sneak in that family time and make sure he got to know me.”
While he admits there were some sleepless nights during boot camp, Wesley was fortunate enough to have a job that was understanding about his outside commitments and offered him a flexible schedule. He got into the habit of carrying his laptop with him everywhere he went—the barbershop, friends’ houses, anywhere he could squeeze in a little work time.
The ins and outs of data
For Wesley’s first group project, he and his classmates set out to create a program that analyzes a person’s body mass and predicts what sport they’d be best at.
“We ran into some challenges with that one,” he said. The data they needed wasn’t readily available, and the group ended up pivoting to another sports-related topic: the winning rates of different teams. “That ended up being a good project to really demonstrate the complexity of data,” he said.
Wesley’s next project focused on merging data from multiple sources and cleaning it up so it could be effectively analyzed.
“The things I learned from that project directly correlate to the work I’m doing now in my new role,” said Wesley.
But it was the last group project that really “brought everything together” for Wesley. “We used some machine learning, some Python, some Tableau,” he said. “Basically whatever tool you were comfortable with and enjoyed the most.”
An unexpected job offer, and a decision to make
As boot camp neared its end, Wesley was about to accept a job offer from a company he’d been interviewing with for several weeks. Then he got a call from Estée Lauder, where he’d submitted a resume months before. Having not heard back, he’d figured the job was a no-go.
In fact, they were contacting him about a role in which he would take over all data analytic efforts for a new department. He told them that if they wanted him, they’d have to move fast—and they did. Just one week after his initial interview, Estée Lauder offered him the job.
While weighing two competing offers, Wesley considered location, company culture, and the opportunities he’d have to implement and grow the skills he acquired at boot camp. While salary was one factor, he felt it was the least important.
“Salary will come,” he said. “I want to be somewhere I can take the lead on interesting projects, in a role where I can grow and be challenged.”
Taking the leap
Wesley is enjoying his new job as Senior Analyst, Data Scientist at Estée Lauder, where he says he’s “still learning every day.” He recommended that anyone considering boot camp ask themselves what they expect to get out of it.
“Data science is hot right now, but a career isn’t guaranteed,” he said. “You have to make a commitment. Once you start, there’s no going back. You have to put in the work,” he said.
Wesley’s ultimate message to prospective boot camp enrollees? “If you really want a career in data science and analytics, don’t be afraid to take the leap.” He’s glad he did.