Max Darby, Musgrave

Max Darby on his career as a data scientist with Musgrave.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me as a data scientist usually involves meeting with project teams to help them solve problems that require some type of algorithm, code, machine learning or artificial intelligence.

I meet with the teams, go through the problem and solve the problem using coding, machine learning and data science.

What are the main skills you need to be successful in your roles?

To be successful as a data scientist you need to be able to think critically. This may not come naturally to everyone, but it is a skill that can be developed.

People will come to you with problems that need solving using data and data science. They won’t come to you with a to do list so developing critical thinking skills in university is very useful if you’re planning on becoming a data scientist.

What was your career break?

My journey to becoming a data scientist was a long and winding one. I studied digital humanities and IT in university. I then worked as an analyst for my internship which is where I developed my coding and analytical skills as well as my business understanding. But it was really through the graduate programme at Musgrave that I developed an understanding of business.

Once I developed this understanding, it made the transition to data scientist very easy. I had the analytical skills that I developed over my internship and college course, I had the critical thinking skills that I developed through my work in philosophy, and I had the business understanding to be able to take business problems and come up with viable and actionable solutions.

What advice would you give to a student?

My advice for someone wanting to do data science is to study data science, statistics, coding and mathematics but also develop the ability to think critically. You can do this by signing up to a module in the humanities such as philosophy. This teaches you to look at things from different perspectives while suspending all judgement

What do you like about your job?

What I love most about my job is its diverse nature. Every week I’m working on something different. I also love the problem-solving aspect of it. I love being able to block out a few hours to solve complex problems using mathematics.

How have you adjusted to working from home?

When I started working, we were working completely from the office. It was fantastic being able to work around people. But as a data scientist and an introvert, I typically block out time to work and focus deeply on work. So, I have absolutely loved working from home.

We are now working in a hybrid way, so the office isn’t somewhere where we have to be, it has become a resource.

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