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Data Science Alumni Spotlight: Meet Rakesh

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Rakesh Adhikesavan

Python Developer, Nielsen, Chicago, IL
Graduation Year: 2017

Rakesh Adhikesavan most valued the practicum in the Master of Data Science program, because it prepared him for real-world application. “This was a great real-world experience,” he said. “Illinois Tech’s training also helped me with project management and communication when it comes to gathering requirements or explaining/presenting my work to a technical and non-technical crowd.”

Adhikesavan completed the practicum in the IIT Institutional Advancement Department where he created visualizations to help staff understand the effectiveness of the phone system. He described his work in the practicum course as covering the entire “data science pipeline”—from gathering requirements, to writing code, creating visual dashboards, delivering results and most importantly, communicating the deliverables to a non-technical crowd. “I was applying these skills for the first time and I made a few mistakes here and there, but this was an important learning experience,” he said. “I also had to pick up new skills for this project. I learned how to use Tableau, which is a popular data visualization software used in the industry. The work experience also gave me multiple talking points during my job interview.”

Adhikesavan is from India. He enrolled in Illinois Tech’s data science program primarily for the blend of courses among disciplines. “I liked the program’s syllabus. It had an interesting and equal mix of computer science and mathematics/statistics. I was also attracted to the data science practicum course because this would guarantee that I had industry experience when I graduated.” Adhikesavan currently works as a developer at Neilsen, a global measurement and data analytics company in Chicago.

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