With tech bootcamps designed to be fast-paced yet immersive, students—especially beginners and career-switchers—are bound to need some learning support. In such cases, mentoring can play a significant role in their training.
According to research by the Moving Ahead organization, mentorship “empowers”, “foster meaningful connections,” and “provide two-way inspiration” for both mentor and mentee. With these benefits in mind, it’s no wonder why Magnimind Academy emphasizes the importance of mentorship.
Magnimind Academy pairs its students with mentors who have deep experience in their field and a passion for passing on their knowledge and skills.Learn more about Magnimind Academy here.
An Overview of Magnimind Academy’s Mentorship Program
Silicon Valley-based Magnimind Academy offers a 15-week ML Project/Mentorship Bootcamp designed to help students launch their data science careers. The program focuses on hands-on projects and mentor-guided training to grow and advance their students’ data science skills.
In the ML Project/Mentorship Bootcamp, students learn Python and Apache Spark basics, machine learning algorithms, and Deep Learning techniques and frameworks, among others. By the end of the program, students possess a deep understanding of data science skills and gain practical experience working with data.
During their time in the program, learners have access to at least three mentors who the school has selected specifically for their in-depth industry experience. Compared to other bootcamps and programs, Magnimind’s students have access to a higher number of mentors and spend more time with them.
By pairing students with industry-veteran advisers, Magnimind Academy hopes to fill their need for much-needed personal and professional guidance as they venture into a new industry.
A Spotlight on Maginimind Academy’s Mentors
Yasin Ceran has been a data scientist for over 10 years, focusing on creating predictive machine/deep learning models, working on statistical modeling, and analyzing data mining algorithms. He uses these data science skills to deliver valuable insights and implement action-oriented solutions to complex business problems.
He is also one of Magnimind’s co-founders, where he teaches the basics of machine learning and deep learning as well as supervises students as they work on their projects. “We started the mentorship program to provide help for those who are willing to have a smooth transition into data science,” he shared.
Yasin mentors one to four Magnimind students at a time. He meets with them twice a week, but remains in contact with them throughout the week should they have any questions. “I try to understand how they approach a problem, make suggestions, and provide solutions in a limited scope. They may also send messages and ask for further help in a specific part of the code,” he shared.
Despite the weight of his responsibility to the students, Yasin says he enjoys being a mentor, especially when he sees his students following the right approach to solving a problem.
What makes a good mentor? “A mentor should focus on the individual needs of the mentee. Everyone has a different background. A mentor should get to know more about the student and, if possible, should understand the goal of the student attending the mentorship program. This will allow the mentor to adjust the content, language, and the pace of the interactions.”
Tip for incoming Magnimind Academy students. Yasin shares some helpful advice for students. “Do not jump from one source to another to learn new things, [but] be patient and focus. From time to time, I see students stuck on the same steps and continuously read and watch tutorials on the same basic topics because they are not patient enough to finish one book, tutorial, or project.”
“[Secondly], keep coding. You will only understand what is going on and the inner workings of the problems when you are able to code.”
Nihal Koc-Sahan comes from a Computer Engineering and Information Science background. She has been working as a software engineer after earning her graduate degree. Nihal also teaches various courses at Santa Clara University in California.
As a Magnimind mentor, she teaches SQL basics and machine learning and focuses on natural language processing and Python. “Magnimind is a great medium for me to share my expertise with the community,” says Nihal.
What makes a good mentor? For what makes a good mentor, Nihal shares: “A good mentor should have a solid background and expertise to convey to their mentees. Good communication skills are the vehicle to pass on this knowledge. Understanding the individual needs and backgrounds of each person they are serving will be crucial since the mentees come from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.”
To fulfill these, Nihal puts a lot of effort into having interactive sessions with her mentees to assess their learning progress and, more importantly, help them overcome any challenges they face. “It is statistically correct that the first few months are when the dropout rates are the highest, and students sometimes feel frustrated,” Nihal says.
“I make sure that students find enough comfort and help. As they get more hands-on experience with the tasks and receive enough guidance, they build more self-esteem in the field. I aim to provide a nurturing environment for each one of our mentees.”
As a Magnimind mentor, Nihal knows she has succeeded when her mentees find their dream jobs and acknowledge the positive impact of Magnimind’s mentorship. With the assistance students receive from mentors, they can impress interviewers with their skills and their data scientist resumes.
Tip for incoming Magnimind Academy students. “Never give up! Get your hands on code and practice. Learning data science is like learning to use a bike or how to drive or learning a new language. Without practice, you’ll never learn it.”
Tyler Suard’s journey to data science is atypical. “After college, I moved to Los Angeles to become a rock star. What I actually became was a homeless street performer. I wisened up in 2013, and since then I have been a bookkeeper, realtor, law student, and software engineer. I currently work at Facebook,” he shares.
After seeing Tyler Suard’s LinkedIn posts, Magnimind invited him to speak at the bootcamp. Shortly after, Magnimind Academy hired him to become a mentor for data science students.
Given his nontraditional experience, Tyler has keen insight into the challenges that aspiring data science professionals face in the job market and workplace. “Most people, including employers and hiring managers, have no clue what data science is. They don’t know what they are looking for, so it is hard for you to know what they need,” he says.
“Also, even if you have amazing data science skills, you still need to pass coding interviews, which is a totally different skill set.” This is where Magnimind mentors can help as they provide guidance and share their personal experiences.
What makes a good mentor? Tyler believes the most important skill is communication to become a good mentor. “I’ve had several teachers in the past who could not teach their way out of a wet paper bag. They were very smart people, but they were unable to communicate their knowledge to others in a way that they could understand. Simplifying things takes time, but it is essential when dealing with students. I make it clear that I can be interrupted at any time, and that questions are always encouraged.”
As a mentor, he knows he has achieved success when students get in touch with him outside class and tell him how much they enjoyed being in his class. Tyler also loves being a mentor and believes he benefits from this experience. “I have been told that the best way to learn is to teach. I like teaching new skills to others because it really cements them in my mind,” he shares.
Learn Data Science from Magnimind Academy’s Mentors
Research shows that mentorship can be advantageous for both mentors and mentees. It has numerous professional and personal development benefits and can be an essential part of a student’s educational experience.
Magnimind Academy recognizes this and matches its students with mentors who carry substantial industry expertise to guide them to success. To learn more about Magnimind’s mentors and how they can help you, visit their mentorship program page here.
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