When I was 6 years old, my father brought a computer with DOS OS to our home. This was a significant point in my life. I spent all day on that computer, which was the moment I knew I loved this device more than anything in my life.
I grew up with computers and technology always impressed me. My interest in computers led me to choose Software Engineering for my BSc and I graduated in 2014 in Iran. During my BSc, I created a company with a friend which provided computer equipment and web development services for companies in Tehran. After my BSc, I intended to leave Iran in order to progress my study abroad. During this time to prepare my documents to leave Iran, I attended a Startup weekend event which was held in Tehran. Subsequently, I organised four Startup weekends and one Hackathon with my friends in Tehran. In addition, In 2016 I was a volunteer at TEDXTEHRAN.
After my volunteering experience, I decided to create a company called IRMEDIC (health tourism company). This company aimed to help people in other countries to come to Iran for cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and transplant surgery. We arranged hotel bookings, the hospital appointment for an initial personal consultation and further treatments. We also introduced them to the attractive tourist destinations in Iran.
When I was working on IRMEDIC, I became familiar with Data Science and how it can help companies and the public in the current climate. It was such an interesting field for me and I decided to expand my knowledge of Data Science. Therefore I enrolled in and passed four online courses from Udemy and Coursera. I took the step to progress my study in this field when I heard that Salford University had launched MSc Data Science for the first time. It is the only university that has had this field of study in Europe in the last two years. I made the decision to leave Iran; my friends and family and my company IRMEDIC to pursue my dream of being a Data Scientist. While waiting for my visa, I volunteered for Mahak charity which supports children suffering from cancer. My role included befriending paediatric patients at the charity’s hospital and I was treasurer in their admin office. It was one of my best experiences in my life.
When I came to the UK, I intended to gain good knowledge in the field of data mining and big data at the University of Salford. This course was practical in that it could prepare us to work in the industry. During my MSc, I learnt Python, R, SAS, Hadoop, Tableau, Microsoft SQL Server and Scala. I worked on five projects during my MSc in the University of Salford which contained: Prediction of paying off loans to lenders; Prediction of shopping behaviour; Analysing the premier league data from Twitter using big data tools and techniques; Creating email marketing database and Creating the dashboard for world trade counties.
For my dissertation, I had to choose one of the projects which Lucy Lynch (the head of graduate partnerships at Eden Smith) provided from companies to the University of Salford. Due to my background, I chose VisitBritain Company which is a national tourism agency. My project was about creating a recommendation system engine for VisitBritain Company. The aim of this project was to suggest the new items to the users of VisitBritain based on their preferences and interests.
It was the challenging task for me to choose this project because I did not have any experience and knowledge about this project, which required having advanced programming in Python and I had only three months to complete it. However, I believe that people can do anything if they put their minds to it and that I could create the recommendation system engine with two different approaches (content based filtering and collaborative filtering) using Python within three months.
I have currently graduated MSc Data Science with a Distinction. In the field of Data Science, my interests include machine learning, deep learning and extracting meaningful information from the data. Also, my skills include proficiency in various analytical and visualising tools which I can utilise in my future position as a Data Scientist.
Finally, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my journey to becoming a Data Scientist. I want express great appreciation to the Eden Smith team especially Lucy Lynch, Dr Mo Saraee my academic supervisor, Ikenna Uzoh head of analytics at VisitBritain, and my family for their help and support during my MSc.
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