This image shows Garry Campbell

Interview with Garry Campbell

Data Science graduate Garry Campbell shares his experience of the programme and how it contributed to his professional success. Garry graduated in 2022 and is currently working at a Junior Risk Data Scientist with AIB. 


Why did you choose to study Data Science at DCU?

I have always had quite a diverse range of interests which made it very difficult for me to pursue a narrow career path after I finished school. I chose to study Data Science at DCU because I knew that it would provide me with a skillset that was both transferable and valuable across many industries. 


Tell us about your experience of the Data Science programme in DCU

My experience in Data Science was that it was equal parts challenging and interesting. Thanks in part to the collaborative projects we engaged in, my class became very close which made it all the more enjoyable. Early in the programme, we built a really strong foundation in data science through modules in maths and programming. As we progressed, we moved on to learn about some really topical subjects such as advanced machine learning and natural language processing. 


What was your favourite module?

My favourite module was the Final Year Project. This is a year-long module in which you are given a lot of free reign to pick your own topic. As an athlete, the combination of sport and data science always interested me so for my project, I took the opportunity to model oxygen consumption of rowers using various regression methods. It was really cool towards the end of the year to see everyone’s projects taking shape and to see what topics interested different people in my class.


Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies in DCU?

I was lucky enough to be awarded an athletics scholarship to DCU so naturally I was part of the Athletics Society. We had some great success competing against other colleges and universities during my time there. Some of my closest friends now are people I met through athletics in DCU. The society is filled with great people and I would recommend that everyone sign up.


What did you do during your INTRA work placement? 

I did my work placement with ESW as an intern data scientist. ESW are an Irish eCommerce company who specialise in making international shopping feel local. In my time there, I worked closely with an experienced data scientist who was incredibly patient and knowledgeable. It was really cool to see how a successful eCommerce company operates and to see the role of a data scientist within such an organisation. 

I found the INTRA placement invaluable for a number of reasons. It bridged the gap between theory and the workplace, and it helped me become a “real-world” data scientist.

A huge benefit of completing the INTRA placement is that it allows you to accumulate relevant work experience that will help your CV stand out when you go out into the workforce. 


How did you find your career path?

So far in my career, I have worked in a research centre, an eCommerce company, and in finance. From my experience, I have found that the creative problem-solving side of data science is vastly improved through exposure to different industries and people. The core skills and principles of working as a data scientist remain constant across industries. Studying data science at DCU will equip you with these skills allowing you to go in whatever direction you choose. 


Did this programme prepare you for your current job?

I use the skills I learned at DCU daily in my current job. The programme helped me build the technical and soft skills that I need to work as a data scientist, and also gave me the confidence I needed to back myself. Beginning my journey as a data scientist, I lacked belief in my ability to learn some of the more technical things I was faced with. Gradually, as the programme progressed, I was getting constant proof that I could understand some really tough concepts and my confidence grew tenfold. When I started working in AIB, I knew absolutely nothing about finance or economics. Luckily, I had developed an ability to learn quickly and the confidence to ask questions when necessary. Over the past 18 months, I have thrived in my role and I have really enjoyed learning about the world of finance. 


Tell us about your current role

I currently work as a Data Scientist in the Risk Analytics department at AIB. Projects range quite a bit within Risk Analytics but my team focuses primarily on stress testing. In my day-to-day work life, I spend time coding, collaborating on projects, creating presentations, and performing various ad hoc analyses. 


Do you have any advice for prospective students?

My advice for prospective students is to allow your curiosity to set your path. List out your favourite subjects and interests so that you can narrow in on what courses may be right for you. If you are excited about a subject, you will be much more likely to fully engage in the content and stick at it in difficult times.