Columbia Data Science Career Fair Attracts Major Employers

Dozens of recruiters interviewed more than 200 master's degree students for summer internships during the Data Science Institute at Columbia University's (DSI) spring career fair on Friday, February 7. Walmart, Point 72, SquarePeg, Mt. Sinai, and Moody’s were among the employers.

Many of the recruiters indicated that hiring from DSI was a priority for their companies, which view data science as one field upon which their success depends. Some are DSI alumni like Jack Wang, a quantitative analyst at Moody’s Investor Service who came to recruit interns for the machine learning and modeling teams.

“DSI students excel at analyzing financial data,” Wang said, adding that these coveted internships often lead to full-time roles after graduation. “I have a great job building financial quantitative models used to analyze the performance of companies and the economies of entire countries. Moody’s is a great place to work and a great fit for DSI students.”

Another recruiter, DSI alumnus Jack Gilligan, is a machine learning data scientist at Itemize, a company that does AI-powered document data extraction for receipts, invoices, and hotel bills. The technology makes it easier for companies to electronically process cumbersome paperwork. Gilligan seeks interns to work on machine learning models that recognize characters in receipts and transform them into text data.

“We allow interns to tackle any problem they want to solve using machine learning,” said Gilligan, who started at Itemize as an intern and was later offered a full-time role. “It’s a small company, so interns can learn the entire business, which they can’t do at bigger companies.”

Glassdoor, the job website, has ranked data scientist the best job in America for four years in a row – a ranking based on median base salary, job satisfaction, and number of job openings in the field. The LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report, which identifies the fastest-growing jobs in 17 countries, ranked data scientist as the top job. In 16 of the 17 countries covered in the report, data scientist was also listed as the fastest-growing job.

Given such strong demand, students who attended the fair said they were grateful for the opportunity to meet employers personally. Romane Goldmuntz, a master’s degree student from Belgium, is hopeful that she will get a call from at least one of three employers she met. Many companies in Belgium have yet to wholeheartedly endorse data science, she said, so she wants to do an internship and later also work full-time for an American company.

“The company I work for is of less importance to me than the content of the internship and the skills I will learn,” Goldmuntz said. “I want an internship that will teach me pure data science and machine learning and allow me to apply the skills I’ve learned in my classes [at DSI]."

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