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Interview with PDEng graduate Eelke Bakker: “The program gave me the opportunity to explore what data science means to organizations.”

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Interested in how our students, trainees and professionals experience JADS ? What made them choose JADS? How do they feel about different programs, the environment and staff? Answers to these questions and more! In this interview series we talk to different people who experienced an educational program at JADS. Today we spoke to Eelke Bakker. One of the PDEng graduates at JADS.

Why did you choose to follow a PDEng program and what made you choose JADS?

My masters program was quite theoretical. When I graduated, I felt like I wasn’t completely ready to start working yet, I first wanted to learn how to apply what I had learned, and to translate the theory into actual products and innovations. The PDEng program gave me the opportunity to work with many different organizations and businesses and to explore what data science meant to them.

How did you experience the program?

I am really happy with the decision I made two years ago. I don’t think there are many programs that offer this much freedom. Besides the modules and group projects, you can spend quite a lot of time on your personal development, which I think is really great. I have been attending really interesting hackathons and conferences, and got to do really nice side-projects. The PDEng also offers a really safe working environment; all trainees and staff are really open and there is always someone you can ask for help if you are struggling.

What was the highlight of your 2 year PDEng traineeship?

There were many! One of the biggest highlights was the data challenge week, which was part of the application procedure. During the data challenge week, you get to know all your fellow trainees and the PDEng staff really well and it’s a lot of fun. Another highlight was the final presentation for my second-year project with the criminal justice chain where, despite covid-19, we got to meet all our stakeholders in person in the beautiful JADS chapel to present the results of our project.

What was the biggest challenge?

Working from home. I personally had a hard time staying focused at home and I really missed having my colleagues to chat with. We had many videocalls, but still it felt a little bit lonely at times.

Would you recommend a PDEng traineeship and why?

Definitely! If you’re looking to grow your professional skills, and work on data science projects with interesting organizations, I would definitely recommend it!

More information

Want to know more about the PDEng program? Find out more!

Want to know about running a PDEng project for your company or organization? Read more here!

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