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Skills Bootcamp: Meet the Learners

NU London | November 19, 2021

Our skills bootcamps, in partnership with ServiceNow, have been running over the last few months. We caught up with some of the learners to find out more about them and their experience of the bootcamp.

Patrick Jabati

Patrick, originally from Sierra Leone is currently working as a Project Delivery Manager/Co-ordinator for a removals company.

How are you finding the Bootcamp?

As I am currently working full time, also studying for the bootcamp has been quite challenging. I have had to find time to squeeze in the live sessions and online learning. However, this is something I am really motivated to do and having to balance work and study has helped me manage my time well. The Bootcamp Team are so helpful and Alex (the Lead Tutor) has been helping everyone get the most from the course.

Outside of Bootcamps, what are you passionate about?

I enjoy learning and believe education is the key to greatness. I am motivated and like to make sure the people around me are happy. I enjoying staying up to date with international politics, listening to music and running (when I have the time!).

Have there been any highlights of the course so far?

Yes! I previously worked as a research assistant and knew that improving my digital skills would help me overcome challenges. I didn’t know about ServiceNow before the bootcamp, but even with just the basics I have learnt, I can see it is really useful for efficiency and effectiveness.

What difference will doing the course make to you?

It has enabled me to see the bigger perspective of the digital world and how ITSM can really help you to effectively manage projects and I have already been able to apply some of the knowledge I have learnt. I am excited about seemingly unlimited opportunities that I have seen so far.


James Whitehead

How are you finding the bootcamp?

I’m really enjoying it! As someone who suffers from dyslexia, I have often struggled with bootcamps in the past as they change topics before I have had time to process my learning, however I have found this bootcamp to be well-paced and easy to navigate. Alex (the Lead Tutor) has been so helpful and seems really passionate about his students, frequently giving me lots of recommendations for further reading.

Outside of bootcamps what are you passionate about?

I enjoy learning and am very keen on bettering myself. I am extremely motivated to succeed so I try to research around the area of data science in order to upskill as much as possible. I have always had broad interests in different industries and education, in particular computers and creative graphics. I like to play with computer software and hardware to see if I can figure out how to create something that communicates ideas and concepts in the most interesting and engaging way possible.

I am inspired by nature, harmony and balance so in my free time, I often travel to different places that are steeped in history, or have a unique story, and stroll around woodland and nature paths in meditation. I also enjoy dancing and have tried to incorporate my broad interests into 3D Graphical representations.

What was your background/what had you been doing?

I was a Judo coach for 15 years, but it wasn’t a sustainable career path for me. Before I started this bootcamp, I was working in security and I realised through this that I had a broad interest in data science, but I didn’t really know how to get into the industry having no previous education or training in it.

Have there been any highlights/challenge of the course so far?

The biggest highlight, for me, was being selected for this programme. I have always struggled with my dyslexia, so it feels like such an achievement and a massive confidence boost being chosen out of so many applicants!

I think my biggest challenge has been trying to organise my time effectively, allowing myself enough  time to go through the concepts and absorb all the information before moving on to the next topic. However, the Bootcamp team and Alex have taught me how to manage my time effectively so that I am able to work through and understand topics in a timely manner.

What difference will doing the course make to you?

The course will make a huge difference to me in terms of my career. I have always had an interest in data science but never thought it would be viable as a career path, however this bootcamp has provided me with multiple opportunities to progress in this field.


Gokhan Gokceoglu

What made you apply for the bootcamp? 

I was looking for something that would allow me to expand my horizons. With this being a bootcamp, it is not a learning experience in the traditional way, there is a lot of involvement and hands-on experience which is great for me as I have no prior experience in this subject area. I’m the new kid on the block but I have been really enjoying it for the last 8 weeks.

Why are you the new kid on the block? 

This is a completely new area for me in which I am fairly inexperienced. For the last two decades I worked in accounting, audit and ‘hard’ financial business consultancy areas. I was using applications like SQL during my time in audit so I knew digital was an area I would like to explore further and I have no regrets since starting. 

Are you planning to move away from ‘hard’ finance or will you be using the skills from the bootcamp to influence how you work in finance? 

This is a great question. I would like to move away from finance and use the skills I have acquired in that area to a career in digital. With the rate the world is progressing, I believe that every one of us will need to be a data scientist (to a certain extent) in the next decade or so and I would like to be ahead of the game. This bootcamp has allowed me to enrich my knowledge, upskill and expand my toolkit in an area I have limited experience in. 

What has been the best bit of the bootcamp so far? 

I enjoy the sessions and Alex is a wonderful teacher. I also like that it gave us access to a very valuable and insightful portal like ServiceNow. We can use the tool in our own time and we can develop our skills and gain a certain level of proficiency. Through the bootcamp I have gained exposure to ServiceNow and I hope to apply these skills to a new platform when I become a Certified System Administrator. This bootcamp has given me the ability to apply what I have learned into practice and this is hugely important as a transferable skill. 

What impact do you think the bootcamp will have on you? 

My technological literacy and general understanding of IT is much more advanced thanks to the bootcamp. There are lots of terms that I always heard and would go straight over my head as I never know what they meant, eg. artificial intelligence, deep learning, etc. Doing this bootcamp, I now not only have an idea of what they mean but a solid knowledge of these concepts and digital skills in general. 

How have you found the mentoring from ServiceNow? 

My mentor is also my role model. She came from an auditing background and has managed to build up a successful career in digital so she is someone that I greatly admire. We have regular meetings on a weekly basis and she has provided me with links, ideas and topics to focus on. These suggestions have proven very helpful in improving my learning. 


Diana Tomova

How are you finding the bootcamp?

I love it so far! The bootcamp has provided me with so much hands-on experience with ServiceNow; it gives everyone the chance to enter the field and build a sustainable future.

What made you apply for the bootcamp?

I am fascinated by the opportunities data can bring. Technology offers a lot of strategic opportunities for business development and the process of automation that ServiceNow provides is what first interested me.

What was your background/what had you been doing?

I have a background in European studies and languages and graduated from the University of Essex. I only recently discovered my passion for data and technology.

What has been the biggest highlight of the course so far?

The biggest highlight has been the amount of support provided throughout the bootcamp. Having the support and knowledge of the whole team as well as an incredible professor has been amazing. I have also really valued having hands-on experience with the ServiceNow platform and learning about SQL and data management as a whole.

What has been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge I face is balancing my studies alongside my job. I try to prioritise so that I can handle all my responsibilities and not become overwhelmed. Although it can be challenging, I am a very determined person and I believe where there’s a will, there’s a way.

At the start of the bootcamp, I was extremely overwhelmed by ServiceNow as it is such a big platform and I was fairly new to data, but with so much support, the simulator and all the tools that have been provided, I have found it much easier to get to grips with.

Outside of Bootcamps what are you passionate about?

I like to spend my free time in nature; I also enjoy singing. To further my data skills and knowledge I try to use visualisation tools as much as possible and practise with excel.

What impact do you think the course will have on you?

It will have an enormous impact. If it wasn’t for the bootcamp, my skills in data wouldn’t be nearly as developed as they are now. The bootcamp is not only a course on which to learn the skills but also to apply your learning to real life with the opportunity to secure a job.

Where are you hoping the bootcamp will take you?

I would really like to be involved in the ServiceNow ecosystem. Eventually, I would like to secure a job as a data analyst and potentially go into data engineering after that.


Judit Jega-Szabo

What made you apply for the bootcamp?

I was looking for opportunities to expand my skills in data and the bootcamp seemed like a comprehensive programme that I could benefit a lot from. These type of bootcamps are generally very expensive and I wanted something that was reasonable but that could also boost my skills in a short period of time. I want to transfer into a new industry as soon as possible so I was looking for something that didn’t take years to complete. I was also attracted by the endless opportunities that the bootcamp provided; it allows us to progress in any way we want.

What was your background/ what had you been doing before the bootcamp?

I actually have a background in the humanities so data is completely new to me; I have two Literature degrees. I started coding only a few months prior to applying for the bootcamp and started mini projects of my own in data analysis.

Have there been any highlights of the course so far?

The biggest highlight of the bootcamp has to be the ServiceNow training. The live sessions are incredibly valuable and the way the material is delivered is brilliant. The sessions provide a huge amount of background knowledge to understand how ServiceNow works which is really helpful to people who like me who have very little prior knowledge.

What has been the biggest challenge of the course?

I think the biggest challenge I have found is completing the bootcamp alongside my job. Unfortunately, my job doesn’t leave me as much time as I wish I had for the bootcamp. For someone who is fairly new to data analysis, there is a lot of material to cover and digest in a short amount of time, however I always make time to catch up with anything I have fallen behind on.

What impact will the bootcamp have on you?

I think it will considerably boost my employability. At the moment, I am lacking a lot of the key skills that are needed in this industry. We’ve had amazing help from the careers side of the bootcamp; in particular the sessions to build our CV’s and interview techniques will be hugely helpful.

Outside of Bootcamps what are you passionate about?

I am a keen reader which I believe has contributed to where I am now. Reading was the final push that led me to discover my passion for data. I read a book called Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men and was immediately hooked. The book explores the inherent bias and discrimination in large data sets that ultimately determine crucial decisions around the world.  This was the first time I had engaged with data and the vital role it plays in the world; it made me think I want to be a part of this, helping to eradicate this bias.

What are you hoping to do after the bootcamp?

I would like to continue with ServiceNow. As complex as it was at first, I really enjoy the platform and I am keen to learn as much as I can. I also want to learn more coding: Javascript is next on my list and we will see what comes after that.