Alumni Spotlight

From Lawyer to Data Scientist with Turing College

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on October 6, 2023

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Indre Rimkeviciene spent years working as a lawyer, but as a mother of three, she was ready for a new, more flexible career. She leapt into data science and found a path that offered lifelong learning and freedom in a way she couldn’t experience before as an attorney. Indre breaks down how Turing College’s curriculum and dedication to student success ensured she landed her first data science job soon after graduating from the bootcamp. Plus, Indre shares her tips for making the most of this online, asynchronous Data Science bootcamp!

What inspired you to pivot from working as a lawyer to launching a career in data science?

I worked in law for many years but it was strict and rigid. I couldn’t work from home and I wanted a more flexible approach to work. I also wanted to explore a different place in the job market. I have three kids and was fortunate to have time while raising them to learn and explore my interests. I was seeking something interesting to learn, something that would inspire me, that would change every day, and that I could continue learning for the rest of my life. I wanted to be flexible and free! 

Why did you choose Turing College?

Two main reasons swayed me toward Turing College. First, I heard great feedback from employers who hired Turing College grads and were impressed with their skills, both technically and professionally. I also liked the flexible, asynchronous learning style that required independent time management to decide what and when to learn. 

What was the Turing College application process like for you? Did you feel like you had to know basic coding or data tools in order to apply?

I applied to Turing College twice. The first time I was searching for new possibilities and seeing if data science might be a good fit for me. At the time, I had zero coding knowledge, so Turing College encouraged me to complete self-study courses in Python and other coding resources, and apply again after that. I thought this was reasonable, so I took six months to learn to code by myself and applied to Turing College again. 

The second time I applied, there was a whole procedure to pass before acceptance. There was two weeks of prep work, tests to pass, an interview, and then a decision on acceptance. 

Did you receive any scholarships through Turing College?

My results to the application proved that I was capable of learning on my own and they offered me a scholarship that paid for my entire bootcamp tuition so long as I could meet certain conditions, which I did! 

What was a typical day like in the data science bootcamp? 

I was given the material upfront and there were required projects to be presented to the senior team leads. If I was ever stuck or needed advice, there were always people I could contact. Beyond that, the days were unstructured in that I had the freedom to determine what, how, and when I wanted to learn, while still committing to 6-7 hours a day to it. With the kids home all the time, I found any free hours I could in the day and night to learn. 

What did you actually learn in the bootcamp? 

The Turing College bootcamp is thoughtfully comprehensive. It starts with the easiest parts and builds on previous learning to lead you down a selective, intentional path. I didn’t have to figure out what to learn next, because everything was in the right place in the right order, which made it easy to learn.

We started with Python, main libraries like Pandas, and data cleaning for visualizations. Then we entered the exploratory data analysis phase, where we had to analyze and give our thoughts about the data, and present projects on certain tasks. We concluded with a machine learning course that explored different models to make and all the libraries that you need in that, like scikit-learn.

What were your instructors like at Turing College? Were they data professionals?

We had two instructors that were Junior and Senior Team Leads. Junior Team Leads were student peers in upper levels who were the first to review projects. They were available during office hours to answer questions. Senior Team Leads were actual data professionals from the best companies throughout Europe who met with each of us twice a week for standups to discuss progress, offer suggestions, and help us when we’re stuck, and who we presented projects to after the initial review. Insights from them were very useful because they were looking at projects from the daily life of data scientists.

What kinds of projects did you work on in the bootcamp?

All the projects were related to actual life and to actual data that is coming from real companies every day. For one project we had to predict a stroke from medical data about human health. We also had to predict if someone could get a loan based on financial data.

How did Turing College prepare you for the tech job hunt? 

The projects we built became important when job searching because my best work was placed in my GitHub, which helped show employers my approach for analysis and machine learning. Coming from the law industry, I didn’t know anything about the IT industry, and Turing College opened my eyes to the industry and what employers are actually looking for. We did standups, sprints, and quarters, which helped me when I entered a real company because I knew the structure and how they work.

The career services also include learning sessions from hiring partners and recruiters on interviewing and highlighting soft and hard skills. During the endorsement process, we had to pass two interviews: one from the recruiter and one from the technical side, where we were reviewed on our hard and soft skills. We also got feedback on how we did and what we could change in our interview. In the end, we also had to choose certain jobs and places where we would like to apply and present and talk as if we were in a real interview. After spending three years with my kids, it was helpful to review how to talk about myself! 

You’re now a Decision Scientist at the online marketplace company, Vinted! How did you land this job?

I was referred as a candidate for the Decision Scientist position at Vinted by the staff at Turing College! A Senior Team Lead at Turing College that I was connected to and who reviewed lots of my projects suggested I apply to the position. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that I would fit in but the position was nice and they encouraged me to go for it! I’m certain that the portfolio and feedback from Turing College were really helpful in landing the job. 

What does a Decision Scientist do?

Decision scientists are similar to data analysts. We work in cross functional teams with engineers and product managers and help make decisions based on data. We’re “decision scientists” because we search for all the answers through data, propose them to the whole team, then make a decision based on insights from data. We're related to data science but we mostly work on analyzing, AB testing, and machine learning.

What team do you work on at Vinted?

I'm in the cross functional team, so I work with engineers (back end, front end, and QA), and then with the designer and the product manager. We are the whole team that is responsible for the checkout part of the website and I'm helping them to make decisions based on data. 

Are you using what you learned at Turing College now on the job? 

Considering I didn't know anything about data science and data analytics before, I'm definitely using everything that I learned at Turing College! Plus, I’m still learning every day and will continue to. On the job I’ve learned about perspectives related to data, business, and product. 

Have you found that there are transferable skills between your law career and your new data career?

As a lawyer, I also had to dig into data to find the main points and leave the rest of the noise out of my decisions. I had to make decisions only on the main points from data, but I did it all on paper! As a data scientist, I’m digging deep into data but in a different format and I'm trying to find what's relevant and most important so I can make relevant decisions. 

At this point in your tech career, was Turing College worth it for you? 

Turing College changed my life! Firstly in my career — they helped me, believed in me, and encouraged me to stay motivated on my decision to make this career change. I’m also grateful for the smooth learning path that reassured me I was going in the right direction. I knew what to do next at every point, down to how to search for a job! I felt confident knowing I was capable, thanks to the dedication of the Turing College team, from curriculum planning and project prep to interview prep and how to make a great portfolio. 

Turing College is not like other bootcamps. Even in an asynchronous learning format, I was never left alone. I felt a part of a community that wants to help me. 

What is your advice for making the most out of the Turing College experience?

  • Ask even more questions. When you have standups and open sessions, dig deeper! Sometimes you don't need to be on your own and stuck searching for an answer when there are people who care about your success and want to help you find the answer. 
  • Explore your options. I encourage others to search for alternate paths in life — there are so many incredible and interesting things to experience!

Find out more and read Turing College reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Turing College.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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