Evan Wong’s unconventional journey from student to data scientist included research that compared genetic data from humans and bees, and an internship in Hong Kong where he developed his expert machine intelligence skills. Conducting his post-collegiate job search in the midst of a global pandemic, his talent, resilience, and enthusiasm landed him a career with Booz Allen.
What’s it like starting your career during such a challenging and uncertain time? We sat down with Evan to learn more about his experience.
How have you adjusted to your new role during virtual onboarding?
My team has been welcoming and accommodating. I have a new hire buddy who answers all my questions and is always introducing me to other data scientists. Also, my team hosts virtual happy hours that have helped build my professional network and connect me with new people.
How have past experiences sparked your excitement about your new role?
During my summers in college, I developed my technical skills as an intern on a research project at the College of William & Mary, and at a startup company in Hong Kong. As a research program intern, I helped my professor compare data on genetic coding between bees and humans. This inspired my love for research and drawing tangible information from data. Last summer, I interned in Hong Kong where I developed my understanding of Python and neural networks. My experience there challenged me to take responsibility for my learning and grow valuable skills.
How are you strengthening your skills?
Booz Allen has many resources to help me grow as a professional. I’ve been exploring Booz Allen’s learning modules on Degreed, an online professional development platform. I’m interested in becoming a certified Agile Scrum Master, so I’m looking into courses and training opportunities within the company to achieve that goal.
What advice do you have for recent graduates?
If you’re eager to find a job opportunity, don’t be discouraged and keep looking. Instead of thinking, “it’s impossible to find a job these days,” change your thought process to, “how can I find a job that’s the perfect fit?” I believe you get back what you put in, so keep applying. For those who’ve started their first job, don’t be overwhelmed. Your company doesn’t expect you to be an expert right away. They’re excited for the opportunity to teach you and guide you to success.