Karla Santos | IE Lifelong Learning

Karla Santos

About me

I’m from the Dominican Republic, where I live and work. Luckily, IE provides the opportunity to do its bootcamps remotely, and I decided to take a course on data science to broaden my professional horizons, as I’m an economist by training. I have a mastery of programming languages such as SQL and Python, and I specialize in managing and training data analysis teams. I currently work for Casa Brugal, but in the past I’ve worked for other Latin American companies such as Claro RD, BanreservasRD, and Banco Popular Dominicano.

Karla Santos
Commercial Finance Manager at Casa Brugal
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Data Science Bootcamp
Fondo testimonios

“If you are out there looking for encouragement to learn data science, remember that nothing is hard enough if we have the conviction and desire to try it.”

Karla Santos

Karla saw an opportunity in the data science field and quickly realized that she wanted to take advantage of the IE program to grow professionally, even outside of the Dominican Republic. Thanks to her prior education in economics and data analysis, and the added value provided by the Data Science Bootcamp, she now works as a commercial finance manager.

Why did you decide to further your education at IE?

There were several reasons that I decided to take the leap and enroll in the Data Science Bootcamp at IE. First, with my extensive experience in data analysis and reporting, I felt that I needed to broaden my horizons and learn data science. I didn’t want my professional career to be limited to just acquiring and transforming data, but rather I was eager to discover hidden patterns and make predictions that would help me provide value and make the right decisions for the business. Additionally, in my home country, the Dominican Republic, there are very few professionals trained in data science, so graduating from the Data Science Bootcamp made me part of a very small niche, opening the door to countless opportunities for professional growth in the short, medium, and long term.

Moreover, IE’s international prestige helped me achieve my objective of becoming a professional with an international profile. Finally, the educational material and faculty, made up of top-level professionals, was the perfect mix to develop synergies that drive learning.

Do you think that your time at IE has changed your focus in your career?

Without a doubt, my time at IE has transformed my professional outlook, as it allowed me to discover a world that I had barely scratched the surface of. Today, when I receive a database, I think of the infinite ways I can add value using the data.

Plus, incorporating Agile methodology into our final project transformed my perception of how teams should be managed in order to be more efficient and productive.

What is your current professional status?

I am currently commercial finance manager at Casa Brugal. I was offered this opportunity shortly after completing the Data Science Bootcamp due to a combination of factors, including my prior experience and education in economics, finance, and data analysis, as well as the organization’s prevailing interest in making processes more efficient and incorporating data science as part of its strategic objectives.

What is the most valuable lesson you learned during the program? Do you have any inspiring stories you’d like to share with your classmates?

I would say the most valuable lesson I learned was that our limits are the ones we self-impose. I still see my bootcamp diploma today and feel immense satisfaction. Participating in the program was truly a challenge for me, not only because it was in another time zone that forced me to readjust my sleep schedule to participate in classes at 3 in the morning, but because I started the program when I was 25 weeks pregnant.

In fact, I finished the program less than one month before giving birth. My classmates often joke that my daughter is going to start writing Python scripts soon, since she was also a bootcamper.

Anyone can learn data science if they want, regardless of their academic or professional background. Plus, times of uncertainty like this pandemic that upended our world are perfect for putting our lives in perspective and focusing on bringing out the best in ourselves. This was exactly what I tried to do: use the resources available to grow professionally, learning the science that will transform the world.

Finally, I’d like to mention a famous Albert Einstein quote: “There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity, and nuclear power: the will.” If you’re looking for encouragement to challenge yourself to learn data science, remember nothing is too difficult if we have conviction and the will to try.