Alumni Profile

Madelyne Ventura

You worked full-time for several years before pursuing your master’s. What inspired you to pursue an MS in data science?

While working on different data science projects for the federal government, I reached an inflection point where my knowledge was not enough for what I wanted to do in the long term. My undergraduate Math program was heavily focused on theoretical, handwritten math and not enough coding, so I knew I wanted to pursue a data science program that had extensive coding as part of the curriculum. Taking time off from work to build my data science foundation and increase my coding competency was the reason why I pursued an MS in data science. 

What was the best career advice you received while in the DSAN program?

The best career advice I received while in the DSAN program was to stay on top of the latest publications and to constantly learn long after the program. The field of data science is constantly evolving and we need to stay current with the new technology coming out.

Do you have any advice for current DSAN students?

Do your best even when you think it’s not good enough. DSAN professors want you to learn and can help you bridge any knowledge gaps, so don’t feel like you have to be perfect all the time.

What was your favorite DSAN course at Georgetown?

My favorite DSAN course was Computational Linguistics with Professor Trevor. I enjoyed learning about linguistics and natural language processing concepts. Throughout the class, we also learned about coding best practices that I now incorporate into what I do.

What advice would you give to someone considering the DSAN program?

The advice I would give to someone considering DSAN is to apply because the program will prepare you for any data science career and you will gain relationships that will last a lifetime.

What were some of your best experiences at DSAN, both inside and/or outside of the classroom?

One of my favorite DSAN experiences was when my classmates and I had a picnic at the Georgetown waterfront to celebrate being done with our first year. Another great experience was when we went hiking at Great Falls!

What was your favorite project that you worked on?

My favorite project that I worked on was the project my group did for the neural networks class. We trained a CNN model to automatically identify the genre of an album using just the album cover. It was my favorite because it showed how CNNs, while very efficient for image classification, also can learn biases.

If you could have any superpower what would it be, and why?

If I could have any superpower, it would be the ability to fly because then I could avoid DC rush hour traffic.