Daniel Rodriguez-Gonzalez

Location: Denver, Colorado

Current Employer/Occupation: Dish Network, Data Scientist

What have you been up to since completing the program?

I recently started a new position as a data scientist at Dish Network. It has been a great experience, as I am seeing how data science is being implemented in such a large organization. Getting the right data sets, validating the data and building machine learning pipelines take a lot of coordination between teams.

How have you implemented the skills and tools learned in the program at your current job?

One of the biggest takeaways from the program was learning where and how to apply specific statistical techniques. I have been able to apply this knowledge at Dish, and it has led to meaningful results.

How has earning a master’s in data science helped you in your career?

I do not believe I would have received as much attention from recruiters and hiring managers if I did not have a master’s degree in data science. Although I had a knack for working with data sets and analyzing data for patterns, I learned how to work smarter with modern tools and apply the right techniques through the program.

Did you utilize any of SMU’s career services during your time as a student?

I did. I received help with my résumé and interview coaching. I tried to have as many mock interviews as I could.

Did you have a favorite class or project in the program?

The Data Mining course was my favorite and perhaps the most relevant in terms of how I approach problems at work. Working with notebooks and describing my thought process helped me think a lot more critically and methodically about my approach to a problem.

What is the most valuable thing you learned while in the program?

Always keep learning. Particularly in this field, tools evolve frequently and staying up to date can help you be much more productive.

What advice do you have for currently enrolled students?

Spread your work out throughout the week. It makes it much easier to complete all assignments on time and collaborate with your fellow classmates.

Where would you like to see yourself and your career in 10 years?

I’m not entirely sure, but with the experiences I am gaining, I can see myself in a data science leadership role in an organization.