The first Accenture Data Science Scholarship has been awarded to Daniel Bestard '17. The scholarship includes a full tuition waiver for the Barcelona GSE Data Science master's progam and an industrial practicum at the Accenture Analytics Innovation Center during the final term of the academic year.
In order to be considered for the scholarship, candidates must have an outstanding academic background and a demonstrated interest in working as a data scientist in a consulting firm.
The data science scholarship is the latest demonstration of Accenture's confidence in the potential of Barcelona GSE students. The consulting firm comes to the Barcelona GSE to give recruitment talks to students in all master programs, and over the years has hired Barcelona GSE graduates for consultant and analyst positions in its offices in Barcelona, Johannesburg, Milan, Stockholm, and Verona.
Accenture recruiter talk at BGSE, November 2016. At left, Gaston Besanson '15, now Analytics Consultant at Accenture Barcelona.
Interview: Daniel Bestard '17, first recipient of the Accenture Data Science Scholarship
How did you decide to get into the Data Science field?
After becoming a member of Pompeu Consulting Management during my third year of my bachelor at UPF, which is a student organisation that specialises in helping other students to build skills to perform consulting tasks productively, I realised that consulting companies have to deal with large amounts of data that require very specific and technical abilities. Given that my priority is to start my career path at a consulting company, there is not better way to get started in such field than providing data science knowledge to such kinds companies.
Your education has taken you abroad to Belgium and the United States – why did you decide to come to Barcelona for your masters?
During my bachelor in Economics at UPF there was only one exchange program that was made by the department of statistics of two universities, which were UPF and UCLA. Given my interest in the data science field, I thought that going a whole year to the United States to study statistics was the best way to achieve my dream of working in a data science consulting company. After the exchange program, I decided to take a master in data science to get more specialised knowledge. This goal took me all the way from Los Angeles to Ghent, in Belgium, where I took an MSc in Statistical Data Analysis.
After doing this master, I thought that I was ready to jump into the labor market until I found out about the content of the recent master in Data Science at BGSE, which is absolutely up to date to the consulting company needs. For this reason and, of course, for the fact that BGSE has an outstanding worldwide reputation, I decided to wait one more year to jump into the job market to be able to live the incredible experience of studying a master program at BGSE.
You've worked in marketing, policy assessment, and at your family's restaurant. As a data scientist in training, do you look back at those experiences with new eyes?
Absolutely. Getting you hands dirty with data analysis makes you realise the hidden power of data. Data is worthless if there is no expert who can clean and analyse it in order to obtain useful information that can ease the decision making process of any institution. The more I learn about data science, the more I think that I could have extracted more value from the data of my past jobs.
You'll have the chance to do just that during the practicum at Accenture next spring.
Given the strong position of Accenture in the Data Science field greatly thanks to their Centre of Innovation here in Barcelona, doing a practicum with them is definitely something that fits in my priority list. The Accenture scholarship is clear proof of the determination of Accenture to be a leading company in data science for the long term, which is something that I definitely prioritise when choosing a consulting company to work for.