Santiago Paz

Data Scientist, Mott Macdonald


Career Profile: Exploring data science with Santiago Paz

In this week's episode, we sit down with Santiago Paz to talk about his career journey as a Data Scientist and how he discovered the role. After studying Physics during his undergrad, Santi realized that he needed to find a more realistic job since physicists require a lot of degrees and peer reviewed papers, which he wasn't interested in. Research driven both personally and professionally, Santi researched trends in the job market to see what roles were taking off, which ones were predicted to be successful long term, and which ones were in demand. He stumbled upon data science, rumoured to be the "sexiest job of the 21st century". After completing a specialty and enjoying the experience, Santi decided to pursue a Masters in Barcelona.

The Masters program opened doors into a high-demand career, and Santi started working in the industry immediately out of his studies. He worked with a Spanish bank to develop a program that created predictors to identify potential customers who would be most likely to use credit cards. The model was hugely successful, allowing the bank to reliably identify prospects and increase acquisition. For Santi, data science was programmable problem solving, and companies definitely see the potential.

The Spanish market is less competitive than other markets, and in terms of career advancement Santi realized that he needed to move on. The average time that people in tech stay within a role is 2-3 years, so it was common to make a change. London, UK, has a huge tech market, and Santi and his partner decided to move. He didn't have a job offer when they made the move, so his job search started right after moving. The hiring process in tech has become really standardized, starting with a technical test, which could be time consuming and frustrating. Taking the search into his own hands he pushed back on the standard process to make connections with interviewers before the technical test, and it worked.

Today Santi is working for Mott Macdonald, a multinational engineering consulting firm, working in a data science team called Digital Adventures. It's tailored to try and bring technology and digital applications into construction. As the industry tries to embrace technology to become more efficient, data science opens that door. Learn more about how people like Santi can impact the future of business by listening to the episode above, or on your favourite podcast app!

That's the sexiest part of data, because you're trying to predict the future.

Santiago Paz

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