Deciding to enroll in bootcamp can be a difficult decision. It’s a decision that can be truly life-altering, opening up a range of opportunities to you. After you’re trained in a digital skill like data science or web development, you’ll be able to benefit from the lucrativeness of the tech industry, or move up in other industries. But it also necessitates a weighty commitment. You’ll want to do your due diligence to understand whether this commitment is right for you. When doing this, you’ll consult blogs and forums, ask acquaintances, and look at course pages.

We want to help you in your journey of understanding whether bootcamp is right for you, so we’re putting you in touch with our outstanding alumni community. These alumni will be here to answer all your burning questions, provide you with helpful advice, and share their bootcamp experiences. You’ll get to hear what it’s like to go through bootcamp from a person who’s already been there.

Today we want to introduce you to one of our alumni community members, Safwaan Hassan. People who are interested in learning more about the data science bootcamp can contact Safwaan through our alumni ambassador page, and he’ll be able to answer your inquiries and speak to his personal experiences.

From Mining Engineering to Data Science

Before joining Lighthouse Labs, Safwaan had graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Mining Engineering. Mining engineers are concerned with extracting and processing valuable metals and minerals from the earth. This might seem pretty far away from the realm of data science, but the two fields overlap more than you’d think. “Mining engineering isn’t a field where data is a widely integrated technique, but the transition is happening. Younger students are pushing to make the field more data-driven,” Safwaan recounts.

Data science was a personal interest for Safwaan throughout his studies. For the capstone project at the end of his degree, he worked on one where data was central. This was the first data-central capstone project his department ever did. Once he graduated in May of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, he thought it might be time to make a career shift. “The pandemic didn’t leave me with a lot of choices in the mining engineering field. I figured it was a better time than ever to expand my skill set,” says Safwaan.

Enrolling in Lighthouse Labs’ Bootcamp

When looking for a way to upgrade his data science skills, Safwaan found Lighthouse Labs. There were a few reasons that drew him to Lighthouse, as opposed to other institutions. First and foremost, our robust Career Services department ignited his interest. “That was definitely the first thing that caught my eye,” says Safwaan. “If you’re trying to break into a new field, you’re going to need all the help you can get.” Another important factor for him was our industry-leading curriculum, which we’re always upgrading to reflect the trends of the industry and what skills professionals actually need. For Safwaan, one of the other important things was our amazing mentors. “The caliber of the people they have helping students out on a daily basis is definitely huge,” says Safwaan.

The enjoyment Safwaan derived from the program came with challenges too, though. “They do advertise that it’ll be a lot of effort, and it was,” Safwaan admits. “It was harder than my time at university, which is saying something. But at the same time, it’s quite rewarding because of the payoff you get.” And Safwaan wasn’t alone while he worked through these challenges. Lighthouse’s great mentors were with him all the way, working with him to guide him through the program and assist him when he got stuck.

Graduating and Accelerating His Career

After graduation, Lighthouse set Safwaan up with an interview at a data analytics startup. From there, he went on to obtain a position in strategic consulting. “I haven’t done any work with data yet, but the whole case for bringing me on was because I could use data and help them build out data products.” Safwaan emphasizes that where he’s working now, and the kind of work he’s doing, is what he had always wanted to do. “Working in consulting is super competitive, but my data skills really gave me an edge,” says Safwaan.

For those interested in bootcamp, Safwaan advises that they be excited, prepared, and interested. “You’re going to learn a lot, but you have to be prepared to do a lot of work and put in that effort. It’s also something that you should be genuinely interested in.” He emphasizes that bootcamp is a good place to be if you are interested in data science, because of how immersive it is. “You do get the whole range of experiences with bootcamp.”

When he’s communicating with people curious about bootcamp as an alumni ambassador, Safwaan tries his best to understand their unique situations. “I try to get their perspective on why they want to do it, what their expectations are, and how much time they’re willing to commit. Having an idea about what their timelines, backgrounds, and goals are is where I like to get started, then we can go from there.”

Want to connect with Safwaan about whether bootcamp is right for you?