There is so much bad content on the Internet, especially on the subject of data science and *especially* on the subject of building a career. I created this blog to share the truly useful strategies that I’ve leveraged over my decade in this industry, grounded in my experience hiring data scientists and leading data science teams. My goal is to open the black box on how hiring managers think, and to give you tactics for how to be more strategic (and more successful!) in landing your first job and further building your career.
My tips have been called “amazingly clever,” “incredibly helpful,” and “genius.” I think “amazingly clever” is the best description for the content you’ll find here. In a job market where opportunity often goes to the most well-connected over the most qualified, I want to teach you how to hack the system and make it work to your advantage. I believe the smartest people often lack the appropriate level of confidence in their abilities, so I am here to remind you of what really matters and what you’re capable of.
Susan Holcomb is the former Head of Data at Pebble, the world’s first major smartwatch company. At Pebble, she built the data science team from the ground up, from an empty database to a full-fledged suite of data-powered products (with a great data team behind them). Her work at Pebble was profiled in Fast Company, Forbes, Popular Science, and more. In addition to her work leading the Data team, she helped run strategy and write the campaign scripts for two of Pebble’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns, both of which still rank among the highest-grossing Kickstarter campaigns of all time.
Since leaving Pebble, Susan has worked as a data science consultant at both high-growth startups and multinational corporations. Before leaving to take a job in Silicon Valley, she was a PhD candidate in Physics at Cornell, where she won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She has bootstrapped a number of small SaaS businesses, and in 2018 she was a Visiting Entrepreneur working on economic development projects in Queensland, Australia.
Susan has hired and trained dozens of data scientists and continues to mentor students and professionals new to the field. Her mentees have gone on to work at Facebook, Google, Stitch Fix, Misfit, Wish, Flatiron Health, Kleiner Perkins, DFJ Venture Capital, and in director-level roles at other startups. Several have also gone on to found their own startups and data science consultancies.