Ravit Mesika brought her contagious smile and positive energy to the Data Science Fellows program at ITC. Originally from Jerusalem, Ravit has an M.Sc. degree in Biochemistry (specialization in bioinformatics) with honors from the Hebrew University. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in psychobiology, a joint program for outstanding students specialized in neuroscience, also from the Hebrew University. Her love for teaching and learning involves working as a Teaching Assistant & Statistics lecturer in an introductory Data Science course launched by iXperience, a company dedicated to students with no tech background. She also worked as a TA during her M.Sc. in molecular biology for two years. On top of that, she is currently serving in reserve duty in the 8200 unit of the IDF, in a classified role.
We sat down for chat with Ravit to learn more about what inspires her and drives her in the tech field.
How did your interest in data science start? Were you always interested in this field? If not, why did you transition?
My academic studies in psychology, biology, neuroscience and biochemistry at the Hebrew University included many mathematics as well as statistical courses, basic and advanced python programming courses and specifically specialized python courses to explore Quantitative Biological big datasets using extensive data science tools. During this period, I discovered how thrilling it is to work with big raw datasets, tackle and solved complex challenges, explored statistical patterns and designed sophisticated algorithms of machine learning in order to finally be able to infere crucial consequences. I also applied the tools I studied in my thesis. Consequently, when I finished my degree I decided to do the transition to data science as I find this field extremely intriguing, and accordingly I took few independent courses to broaden my knowledge in the field.
Why did you decide to join this ITC program? What made you choose ITC over other training providers?
Though I acquired extensive knowledge in data science and the subjects associated with it during and after my academic studies, I found out it is quite hard to find a job in Israel for people who did a transition to data science (or in other words don’t have a second degree in machine learning). Therefore, I was trying to find a way to enter the High-Tech industry. And this is how I got to ITC.
A good friend of mine, a data scientist who studied with me during my BA, as well as an employer recommended me to join ITC. I thought it was indeed a good idea, and I was happy to broaden my knowledge in this field, which is highly complex. Plus, you can always study some new things.
What’s one advice you would give aspiring women in tech?
Don’t be afraid to make decisions, usually you’ll find out you discover yourself on the way, and change paths till you get to the right one.
Always believe in yourself, and along the way do self-analysis to understand what you’re passionate about, and go for it.
How can women get the most out of the ITC experience, and how can they best get ready for their next job during the training?
- Prepare yourself for hard work, and minimal leisure.
- Build yourself a strong network. Friends will be the first to support you along the way, professionally and personally as well.
- Don’t forget to enjoy the ride and take a moment to breath with some coffee breaks 🙂
What has been your proudest achievement in this field so far? (A cool project you worked on, a topic you wanted to learn, a challenge you overcame)
Me and my partner (also a woman) worked on a data mining project which included scrapping data from allrecipes.com site as well as additional APIs into a well-planned sql DB, in addition it enabled the user to choose recipes according to various queries such as: calories, specific ingredients, rating etc. Finally we created summary graphs such as 3D scatter plot showing the dispersion of recipes according to three chosen features.
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
Being an example to other women.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not coding?
Painting, wildlife watching + birding, nature photography, jewelry art (making jewelry), traveling.
What’s next for you? Where would you love to see yourself in a few years?
My dream is to find a job in data science which would combine neuroscience with complex analytical challenges.
Would you like to join ITC’s Data Science Fellows program and make a difference in the tech world? Please fill out the form below to get in contact with us: