PhD转行之路

(更新)写在前面

大概是免责声明吧,这里只是一家之言的心路历程,当然不是说这么做就一定会转行找到工作(那叫鸡汤文学),没有宣扬人人都可以做xx21世纪是xx的世纪,希望大家结合自己的实际情况,多跟业内外的人交流,多了解行业情况,对自己负责,切莫跟风:D

1. 前言

拿到了人生中第一份工作offer!从无到有,从编程小白到数据科学。希望自己的经历能够给其他正在探索职业发展的同学们一点点启发。

May the Force be with you

My internship at Tapad has officially come to an end last week, after I gave a final presentation of my project (see the intro video below). It’s been a very memorable and rewarding summer. I not only learned about the latest technological development and application of machine learning and big data, but also got to experience the industrial work style and start-up culture.

Take the audience on a journey

During my final round interview at Tapad, the VP of Data Science noticed my academic background in neuroscience, and we started to discuss how neuroscience research could contribute to online advertising. Later in the interview, he asked “Have you heard of reinforcement learning (RL)?” And I said no. He explained this reward-guided learning paradigm, which immediately reminded me of my undergraduate research on aversive learning in fruit flies. After the interview, he emailed me the link to RL Courses on YouTube taught by David Silver, the leading scientist of AlphaGo.

Iterative learning

In my very first meeting with my mentor at Tapad, after an introduction to DeviceGraph and AdTech 101, we started to discuss the project I would be working on during my internship. The first week was very intense and my mentor understood my struggle in the face of information overload. He showed me his system of organizing information by writing down his incremental knowledge about certain technology as well as his spark of ideas. I adapted his system and developed my own archive to track my learning process and ideas using Google Docs (the picture above).  Now, 5 weeks have passed and I have continuously updated the documents as I learn: the more I know, the more I realize I do not know, and the more I want to learn. Learning is an iterative process.

Yes, and…

Halfway mark of my summer internship at Tapad! The past 4 weeks have been very exciting and fulfilling. Learning from experienced colleagues and marketing gurus is not only educational from a technical perspective, but also quite inspiring for my personal development. This Friday, we had a team-building improv workshop (I truly recommend everyone and every team to check it out. Really mind blowing!). I was impressed by the “Yes, and…” teamworking spirit and the power of encouragement.

Witty branding

“The winning team found a problem that most of us encountered, proposed a good solution, and developed a working prototype. Also, they had very strong branding!”  As the SVP of product made the announcement, the one-week intern hackathon came to an end. Although the product my team developed did not win the final competition, I really enjoyed collaborating with full time employees on my team, brainstorming, and building a product from scratch to solve a real business problem. More importantly, I realize the importance of branding.