Working at JADS MKB Datalab: gaining practical experience and a nice side hustlePosted on
At JADS, students gain a lot of theoretical knowledge. Even though JADS provides various ways for students to apply their knowledge in the working field, for example by running projects at real-life companies, it is never a bad idea to gain some additional job experience next to your studies. Especially if the work experience is within your field of expertise. This is not only a great way to earn some extra money, but also to obtain even more relevant (practical) knowledge. The MKB Datalab provides data science students this opportunity.
To get a sense of what working at MKB Datalab looks like, we spoke with both Fabian, projectmanager at MKB Datalab, and Jeroen, a master Data Science and Entrepreneurship student at JADS, who is employed by the MKB Datalab.
Fabian, can you briefly introduce the MKB Datalab?
“The MKB Datalab attempts to bring value to both organizations and students. For companies, the MKB Datalab wants to make data-driven working more accessible for small and medium sized enterprises, in terms of expertise and finance. As for students, we allow them to acquire experience in the field of data science. Our students assist a company with a data problem or challenge within a short, well-defined project. Furthermore, we want to provide students the opportunity to find out whether entrepreneurship is something they like and, if so, in what forms and with what kind of businesses. And the extra bit of money they earn throughout that process doesn’t hurt them either of course.”
So when you work for MKB Datalab you become a freelancer, but with the support of the university?
Fabian: “Indeed, if you are to work for the MKB Datalab, you must first register as a freelancer at the ‘Kamer van Koophandel’. This really sounds like more work than it is, as it only requires a small amount of time and the MKB Datalab will guide you throughout this process. Also after this, we continue to provide support where necessary in both the freelance process and the execution of the projects.”
Jeroen: “The benefit of working as a freelancer is that it allows you to get acquainted with various types of companies. Being a freelancer in this scenario does not mean that you are on your own with the assignments; MKB Datalab provides good supervision in the form of a mentor who is always available to help. This way, the MKB Datalab offers a pleasant environment in which mistakes can be made and lessons are learned.”
Is there enough time to study next to this job?
Fabian: “Exactly what a student’s project will look like, and the amount of time invested in it, varies per student. We speak with students and see what fits within their current study program and how much time the student is willing to devote to work. Based on this, among some other criteria, a project is assigned to a student. On average though, projects tend to take about one day of work plus a meeting somewhere on a weekly basis as long as the project is running. As such, students generally treat working at the Datalab as a side-job, and we tailor it to also function as so next to your studies.”
Jeroen, how do you think that the master and the job connect/overlap?
Jeroen: “The things I learned at JADS, such as different algorithms and programming skills, I can now apply in a real-life setting. Despite the fact that JADS simulates these real-life settings in their programs, it remains within a controlled study environment. By applying my knowledge I have solved problems for different companies, which has made me feel helpful and has provided me with extra income.”
Fabian, what do you look for when taking on students?
“For joining the Datalab, we look for Master students who have at least some relevant programming experience in languages like R and Python, and an interest to do something practical with the knowledge and skills they gained. When pairing a student with a company, we consider the types of people that work at a company and whether the student’s personality fits in with theirs. Moreover, we consider the project’s complexity as well as the student’s expertise to find the optimal fit. Based on these factors, we hope to find the best match.”
If you still have some questions left, feel free to read through the FAQ document set up by the MKB Datalab, which should answer at least most of your questions. Or visit the JADS MKB Datalab website.
If you are interested in working at the MKB Datalab, you can submit your CV and motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org. The MKB Datalab will contact you for an introduction meeting. We would love to hear from you!