New country, new career: how a data analytics boot camp helped this student find success in Australia.
Renzo Bejarano Varela wasn’t new to analytics, but he needed a new job. More specifically, he needed a new job in Australia.
After studying economics in his home country of Colombia, Renzo had worked as a data analyst officer for several years. But in 2013, everything changed when he visited Australia. He fell in love (as one does when they visit Australia!), and started a long-distance relationship that blossomed for years.
Finally, in 2018, Renzo moved to Australia to get married. Ready to embark on his happily ever after, Renzo took survival jobs in Melbourne while also seeking ways to elevate his professional skills. “All the while, I was trying to figure out how to go back to my passion — my field,” he shared.
With a background in economics and marketing, Renzo was already skilled at analysing retail data, but wanted to expand on his knowledge. Fortunately, Monash University Data Analytics Boot Camp helped him do exactly that. “This course was the perfect match to reconnect me with analytics and update my skills,” shared Renzo. He enrolled in the program in February 2021 and hasn’t looked back since.
Gaining a practical understanding of data engineering
Renzo started the course looking for a new perspective. “I grew up in Cali, Colombia, and had a very different approach to data and management,” he shared. “This course was progressive and very practical, which allowed me to capitalise on my skills and meet new people from a range of different cultures at the same time.”
Looking back, Renzo believes the most useful skill he gained through this experience was “the ability to understand the data analytics process and its relationship to data engineering.” He also appreciated the course’s focus on practical, real-world skills; especially regarding the creation of databases and connecting different platforms. “Understanding how these platforms can be integrated into different business models was really helpful to my work,” said Renzo.
Embracing an exciting challenge
Of course, the boot camp wasn’t without its challenges — and Renzo certainly noticed a learning curve. However, he didn’t let this sway him.
“I was really excited to go to class,” he said. “At the beginning, I didn’t have any knowledge of programming languages whatsoever. I went to this program and said, ‘Well, shoot. This isn’t just Excel. This is something a lot more complex. But then I told myself, ‘Okay, take it easy.’ And then, ‘Oh, this is cool!’ And then, ‘I can do this. I can do that.’ I was learning slowly. I definitely had my ups and downs, but I was really engaged.”
Throughout Renzo’s time in the boot camp, he learned how to extract data from APIs and create cloud databases to produce dynamic visualisations connected to a self-built website. In Renzo’s final boot camp project, he was able to produce an interactive machine learning model using historical data from the Word Bank. This data was used to forecast information about life expectancy, and the project can be viewed here.
Exploring his potential
Renzo has long been interested in the field of analytics, as he feels it suits his personality. “I’m a very curious person,” he shared. “I like to challenge myself and learn new skills, to work with numbers and improve processes of working with these figures.” Ultimately, studying data analytics allowed Renzo to “explore the potential of data and delve deeper into the specifics of what it can represent.”
Through the boot camp, Renzo gained a lot of experience working with large data sets and presenting information visually using infographics and graphs. “I like to make connections between different kinds of data and to understand the ways that data can be used to tell a compelling story through dynamic visualisations,” he shared.
Learning to be career-ready
With the help of Trilogy’s Career Services, it didn’t take long for Renzo to find a job opportunity tailored to his interests. “One of the main things that I love about the career services through Trilogy is that they updated my CV with such tremendous improvement that allowed me to have more interviews,” he said.
But this wasn’t the only benefit that Career Services offered Renzo. “My career advisors also gave me a lot of confidence in how I present myself,” he shared. “I learned to be career-ready.”
Week by week, advisors helped Renzo narrow his job search and seek opportunities best-suited to his specific career goals. “They connected me with industry leaders online to show my projects to,” said Renzo. “That was invaluable for me, as someone without any local connections.”
Now, Renzo is working as a full-time marketing analyst at the Australian medical indemnity insurance company, MIPS. He’s been involved in several recent projects, both as a team member and as a leader, and is very excited for the next chapter in his career journey. “I’m curious about new methods and technology,” he shared, “and I’m restless in my endeavour to find new ways to present data visually.”
Looking to embark on a new career path? Check out Monash University Boot Camps in coding, data analytics, cybersecurity, and more.