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Accelerating career growth: How Pia completed a Data Science & AI bootcamp while employed

pia- data science alumni


In the ever-changing digital landscape, professionals understand the need to acquire tech skills to stay ahead. Meet Pia, a project manager at Accenture Belgium, who found herself at a pivotal moment in her career and decided to embark on a transformative journey with Le Wagon. In this blog post, we’ll delve into Pia’s motivations, her experience at Le Wagon, and how she convinced her employer to invest in her tech education.


What did you do before your bootcamp at Le Wagon?

I work as a project manager at Accenture Belgium, primarily involved in setting up IT solutions for Finance & Risk topics in the Banking & Insurance sector.


What made you consider Le Wagon?

Throughout my career, I played various roles on IT projects, from business analyst to project manager. However, I often felt frustrated when developers became bottlenecks during certain project phases, as I was unable to support them in their challenging tasks. I realized that I wanted to learn coding to become more independent and to better understand and collaborate with developers.


Had you already started learning how to code?

No, I had a good understanding of what’s required to build robust code and the pitfalls, but more from the perspective of clarifying business requirements and the logic to be implemented upfront.


What motivated you to work in the tech sector?

My entry into the tech sector was serendipitous. I signed my first contract with Accenture after graduating from university. Soon, I discovered that the tech sector was where I truly belonged. The ability to make existing processes and solutions more efficient was incredibly exciting. Embracing change and continuous improvement became my norm.


Why did you choose to join Le Wagon?

I was seeking an intense and concise program to transition into the world of coding. When looking into the various coding languages and skills I could acquire, I realized that Data Science was the part that I was most interested in. Le Wagon came highly recommended by former students for their Data Science program, and their positive feedback influenced my decision to enroll.


How was your experience at Le Wagon?

My experience at Le Wagon was immensely fulfilling. The program’s comprehensive curriculum and fast pace could be overwhelming at times, but they provided an excellent opportunity to explore various aspects of Data Science and determine my areas of interest. The project weeks, where we applied our newfound knowledge to real-life business cases, were particularly rewarding due to the fantastic teamwork and tangible outcomes we achieved.


What did you learn from your experience at Le Wagon?

I learned that coding has no shortcuts. While current solutions aim to simplify our lives, getting your hands dirty and dedicating countless hours to building your skills is essential. There’s no magic recipe, but the feeling of accomplishment when you finally debug that code you’ve worked on for hours is truly gratifying.


What was your best moment at Le Wagon?

The most memorable moments were the small victories during the project week. Starting with just an idea, our team gradually built a first prototype in just 10 days. Witnessing our progress and seeing our concept come to life was incredibly rewarding.


Le Wagon is a community first and foremost. How do you relate to this network?

The Le Wagon community has been instrumental in my journey. Connecting with like-minded individuals, sharing experiences, and staying updated on industry trends have been invaluable. The sense of collaboration and the entrepreneurial mindset within the community have greatly influenced my professional growth.


We have one final question for you. Considering your situation, where Accenture funded your training, we would be interested to know if you have any tips on how others can successfully negotiate this benefit with their employers. How would you recommend approaching the discussion?

I knew, regardless of the circumstances, that I wanted to attend the Data Science Bootcamp, whether my company funded it or not. However, the skills I would acquire directly correlated with my job and the work Accenture undertakes. Thus, I considered it worthwhile to make an effort to secure company funding from the allocated learning budget for employees. I diligently prepared for the scheduled conversation with the director of my department. Understanding the nature of the business world, I aimed to persuade him of the validity of my proposal and demonstrate that the benefits would outweigh the costs.

My main argument focused on how attending the bootcamp would enhance my capabilities as a project manager. I emphasized that it would deepen my understanding of the tasks at hand, leading to more accurate budget estimations and project planning. Moreover, it would enable me to better support and challenge my team members, stepping in to assist if timelines became tight.

Ultimately, the conversation proved to be successful. The director only requested that I consider sharing my newly acquired skills with other team members, perhaps by organizing knowledge sharing sessions.

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