Interview met Irene Westra

Irene Westra - student DSBG 2016-2017

Student Irene Westra

"I really like the Research Skills courses, for instance Data Processing and Advanced Programming (where you both learn programming with Python, from basic to more advanced), and Statistical Programming with R (where you learn highly useful stuff for your thesis, e.g. cleaning and visualizing data). Furthermore, the course Data Science: Regulation & Law teaches me a lot about law in general and specifically regarding data science, which is all rather new to me. I think this course offers content that every data scientist should now, at least the basics."


What Bachelor's program did you finish before starting this Master's track?

I did a Bachelor in Sociology at Utrecht University.

Why did you choose to study Data Science: Business and Governance at Tilburg University?

I am highly interested in everything about data science/data analytics/data visualization. I was looking for a rather 'beta' study, because I had only little experience in programming and wanted to learn (amongst other things) more about it. However, a lot of Data Science Masters in the Netherlands were a bit too focused on just data science for me (so only courses focussing on technical skills); I also wanted to learn more about how to implement/use data science in e.g. business, or what current regulations around data science actually entail. I thus searched for a combination between 'doing' data science and learning about everything behind data science and around data science. Data Science: Business and Governance offered this perfect combination for me.

What was your first impression of Tilburg University?

What really struck me at first was the very green campus :-) Furthermore, I like the 'campus vibe' hanging around here and the fact that there are a lot of facilities and places to sit, eat, study.

How are your experiences with the track so far?

I really like the Research Skills courses, for instance Data Processing and Advanced Programming (where you both learn programming with Python, from basic to more advanced), Statistical Programming with R (where you learn highly useful stuff for your thesis, e.g. cleaning and visualizing data). Furthermore, the course Data Science: Regulation & Law teaches me a lot about law in general and specifically regarding data science, which is all rather new to me. I think this course offers content that every data scientist should now, at least the basics.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I'd like to work in a technological, data-driven, innovative environment. I don't necessarily want to become a 'hardcore' data scientist, but would more like to be in a position where I am in between data scientists and organizations/companies to solve specific data-minded questions. In other words, I'd like to be in a bridging position and translate the results of data analyses into useful answers and practical applications. My personal interest is currently focused on combining data science with the social and public domain.

Do you have any tips for new students?

Don't be scared off, since the first weeks of your Master might be overwhelming. Getting trained in technical skills like programming may take time. And you might have to put more effort and hours into your study than you were used to. But it certainly pays off. You will find your own way and rhythm of working. As long as your are interested in the content and willing to go for it, you'll be fine :-)


Stel je vraag aan een student

Heb je interesse in Data Science: Business and Governance en heb je een vraag die je wilt voorleggen aan een student die het programma volgt? Dat kan!

Je kunt Irene Westra mailen op i.l.westra@tilburguniversity.edu

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