Sam Gomplewicz moved to Israel with an abundance of love with food and tech, so joining the ITC Data Science Fellows program seemed like the most natural choice. Not to mention, there is also a love story intertwined with her fiance Boris, who is an ITC alumni from the ITC Fellows Cyber Security track. Her charismatic personality shines through and her advice for those wanting to learn Data Science is a prime example for you to take tips from!
Sam is 25, soon to be 26 years old, and grew up in France. She is one of the recipients of Cheryl Saban’s Self-Worth Foundation for Women & Girls grant. She received this grant on the basis of her excellent academic records and motivation. Her academic journey began with preparatory school for 2 years (equivalent of Bsc in Advanced Maths and Physics) then, Engineering school for 3 years (Ecole des Mines de Nantes) for an MSc in Energy Systems. After graduating in September 2016, she opted to travel to Israel for a bit, which lead her to making Aliyah only after 6 months! While living in Israel, she worked as a data analyst in an Israeli startup called Preen.me and then joined ITC’s Data Science & Machine Learning cohort in May 2019.
We sat down with Sam to learn more about her thoughts on the Data and Tech world – read on to see her interesting perspective on it!
How did your interest for tech/coding/data science start? Were you always interested in this field? If not, why did you transition?
I always wanted to work in this field, because I understood very early on its potential. However, the way French schools introduce the subject is so bad that I ran away from it very early.
When I made Aliyah, I looked for a job in my field (Energy Systems and Renewable energy) but it was a very hard market to enter in Israel for a young graduate that doesn’t speak Hebrew. But, what can an engineer do? WORK WITH DATA. So I started to apply for data analyst positions and I got hired at Preen.Me where I learned a lot. After a year, Data Science sounded like the natural next step in my new career.
Why did you decide to join this ITC program? What made you choose ITC over other training providers?
My fiance did the ITC Cyber Security program 2 years ago, so I have a lot of friends that became Data Scientists in great companies through ITC. It was a natural choice for me to choose this one over the others.
What’s one advice you would give aspiring women? How can they get the most out of the ITC experience?
Honestly, I’ve never felt a difference in my professional life compared to my male colleagues. And I went through a very masculine courses through my studies. So dear Ladies, just do it, you will not feel it either :).
However, Ladies AND Gentlemen, take ITC very seriously, there’s a lot of work but it’s extremely stimulating. You learn a lot in no time and you see an exponential improvement of your skills which is very rewarding.
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)
While working at Preen.Me, we analysed a lot of social data, more specifically the one from Instagram. In 2017, the Bitcoin craziness started to enter the social world and I asked my boss if we could study the effect of the social conversation on Instagram over the Bitcoin value. We found a 96% correlation between our social metrics and the price of Bitcoin!
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
Being treated like a man: In the tech Industry, you don’t get a job, or recognition for your work because of who you are, but because of what you’ve done. If you’re a genius, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, you’ll be treated as a genius.
Oh, and you don’t have to wear heels and suits in the tech industry.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not coding?
I love food, making it, eating it. It is my second hobby (I also have a food Instagram @fatandfurious_tlv)
I’m a big cinema/TV show fan. I spend a lot of time watching my favorite shows and movies.
Shabbat dinners with friends are also something I love!
What’s next for you? Where would you love to see yourself in a few years?
I’d love to work in the animation world, in a company like Dreamworks or Disney or in the video game industry. If not, Netflix is good too 🙂