Junior Data Scientist, Remote

Photo of Sylvia Shea

Explain your role at VidMob and how it contributes to the Tripod?

I’m a Junior Data Scientist. My job is to figure out how to leverage the massive amounts of data we have to make features that lead to creative, informative, and actionable insights.

What brought you to VidMob?

Alana, another data scientist on the team, suggested I apply as an intern because the job was the perfect marriage between my interests: marketing and data science. I really appreciated how interdisciplinary the work was; we did research in unfamiliar fields, collaborated with experts within the company, and brought it all together in one project. I loved it, so I continued as a full-timer. 

How did you get into your field?

I started as a researcher at a geographic information systems (GIS) lab in my college. I realized that learning how to code would make data processing and digital cartography more efficient, so I started incorporating programming classes. I then realized how incredible this field was, so I changed my major to data science and GIS and pursued it fully.

Name three people (living or dead) who inspire you and why?

  • Adam Savage of Mythbusters: He famously said, “Remember kids: it’s science if you write it down.”  His goofiness, expertise, and imagination got me interested in science and creative STEM.
  • Dr. Dan Dunfola: He was my professor, lab head, and mentor at William and Mary that inspired me to pursue data science. He really encouraged me to challenge myself, and that helped me get to where I am today. 
  • Shaquille O’Neal: He’s a true renaissance man – a basketball legend, spokesperson for every company that’s ever existed, and a successful DJ. He’s well-rounded and shows it’s never too late to learn something new.

What do you like most about your work?

We have a lot of creative freedom. We’re usually given a problem statement, and the way in which we design and pursue the project is completely up to us. It’s pretty cool to be able to design an initiative from start to finish on a topic that you’re genuinely interested in-it makes the work and the outcome so much more rewarding and meaningful.  

What’s the biggest work or life challenge you were able to overcome? 

The tech world was (and still is) very intimidating to me. The learning curve is pretty much a vertical line, so it’s really easy to feel like a dummy or wildly underqualified for the work you’re doing. To overcome this, I try to remember that I’ve been trained in this field, have a few successful projects under my belt, and that I’ll sharpen my skills as I get more experience. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Why? 

My dad always told me to never be complacent with your current knowledge base, and he encourages me to continue learning no matter what stage of life I’m in.

Lifelong learning broadens your skills, introduces you to perspectives you didn’t previously consider, and gives you the confidence to try new things. Luckily, I’m in a field that necessitates continuous research and experimentation. Every day is a puzzle, and every project is an opportunity to push myself.

data science