DSI Students Visit Spotify Headquarters for Career Advice

The excursion was part of the DSI on Tour initiative launched by the Institute's career development office to support students as they plot their career trajectories.

More than 20 students from the Data Science Institute (DSI) at Columbia University's master’s degree program recently visited Spotify’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan to learn about the roles of data scientists at the popular music streaming company.

The group was hosted by Alison Davis from Spotify’s global talent acquisition office, and Eric Farng, who is a Spotify data scientist and Columbia alumnus at 4 World Trade Center. Four of the day's five panelists were Columbia alumni.

“Each panelist discussed her or his job responsibilities with our students, detailing which data skills they use and how they work in teams," said John Hyde, DSI's assistant director of career development and alumni services. "They also recounted how they were hired at Spotify, what the interview process was like for them, and offered advice based on how they landed their great jobs.”

Maxime Tchibozo, one of the students on the tour, said he appreciated the advice from the Columbia alums and the additional insight into their day-to-day work.

“Behrooz [Afgani, a Spotify data science manager] told us since data science is so broad, what matters most is that we find jobs that fit well with who we are," Tchibozo recalled. "And that we should focus less on conforming to what everybody says we should do, and instead craft a career that’s in line with who we are and what we are passionate about.” 

Jesse Cahill, another student, remembered the Spotify data scientists' emphasis on persistence.

"All the data scientists said they applied several times before finally getting hired," he said. "It made me realize that while I might not get the job right off the bat, I just need to keep on trying.”

Media Contact: Robert Florida | rsf8@colmbia.edu | 201-725-6435, mobile

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