Recognizing that he had always been more of a hands-on type of learner, Mohammed Adnan, a recent graduate of the Master of Science in Data Science program, said he knew that an internship would help give him the right start in a data science career. Therefore, he began the process of researching companies while pursuing his degree.
“I knew that I needed an internship to bolster my knowledge in Data Science,” said Adnan. “I researched various companies on LinkedIn and applied for various internships over the course of six months and also landed a few interviews.”
One of those “few interviews” would eventually secure him an internship opportunity with
T-Mobile Salt Lake City’s RF Engineering Department for the summer of 2021. The internship focused mainly on data management, visualization and analysis to facilitate informed decision-making.
Adnan, who was born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia, also has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a technical Diploma in Industrial Automation and Embedded Systems. With his technical knowledge and background, he thought this would be a great opportunity to gain some direct experience in the field of data science.
Before coming to the U.S. in 2019, Adnan worked for one of South India’s top three transformer manufacturing companies. It was during this time that he found that most of the work he was doing was becoming somewhat redundant and reliant on historic data.
“While developing smarter solutions for my company to be more efficient, I got into some basic python programming and machine learning, and quickly realized that I was professionally inclined towards Data Science,” said Adnan.
That realization led him to apply to the Data Science Master’s program after learning about UNT.
“I felt that UNT has always had a welcoming attitude towards its international students which made the transition to an international student a lot easier for me,” said Adnan.
“The Data Science program here at UNT was very well structured, enabling students to get a great deal of insight about important aspects of Data science, yet also allowing them to choose a specific branch that they want to specialize in. I especially enjoyed the Data Visualization classes as they gave me a lot of creative freedom in terms of assessing and visualizing the data,” said Adnan.
In addition to the learning that took place in the classroom, Adnan says the internship experience presented its own unique and varied learning opportunities, helping him with the application of the knowledge he had gained so far in the program, and reinforcing his reasons for pursuing an internship.
“Working an internship adds another dimension in terms of what we learn and how we apply it,” said Adnan. “The T-Mobile’s UofMagenta Internship program allows interns to get the full Magenta experience in terms of networking and learning new things. My favorite part of the internship was being able to network with other T-Mobile full time employees and understand the requirements and expectations of the professional world.”
Prior to his internship, Adnan also worked as a student assistant. He admits that it was often times difficult to juggle his classes along with his internship, but that time management was key. That meant he would normally allocate some time earlier in the morning for studies and tried to complete his assignments ahead of their due dates.
After completing his internship and graduating from UNT in the summer, Adnan was able to successfully transition into a full-time role as a Senior Analyst for T-Mobile Wholesale.
He says some of the classes that he took as a student in the program helped prepare him for this role.
“I often find myself leveraging the lessons learned in my SQL and Data Visualization classes,” said Adnan. “Furthermore, most of my classes were interactive which enhanced my confidence in better articulating my ideas in a business environment,” he added.
When asked about the important tools and knowledge needed to be a data scientist, Adnan says a proficiency in Python, SQL, Power BI, Tableau and Excel are valuable. However, he maintains that it is just as important to be adaptive in terms of knowledge application and tool management.
What advice does Mohammed have for current students?
“Be patient and trust the process," he says. “Good things take time and whatever happens, happens for the best. So, keep your chin up and keep applying. You will land that dream job of yours eventually!”