Telling Stories with Data: Jealyn Montes’ Journey to Tessellation
As a child, I was always fascinated with learning and helping others. I was fond of going to school just so that I could learn one new thing a day. Even when I was stuck on a problem or didn’t know how to do something, I would keep at it until I could figure it out. Watching my parents always persevere in everything allowed me to learn a very valuable lesson. Growing up like this, I knew I wanted to have a career where I could keep learning and help others along the way. However, coming from an immigrant family and being an immigrant myself, I believed that the only path to achieve this dream would be by becoming a doctor or a lawyer. That is until I got to college.
How I Started a Career in Data Analytics
I started at the University of Virginia as pre-med because that was the only way I could define success. However, I soon realized that I was not enjoying that path and instead wanted to further explore my passion for helping others. I wasn’t sure of where to go and was willing to try new things. While on this track, I found that I loved the numerical aspect of the sciences and was a quick learner with the computing software required by these courses. So, when I went to my academic advisor about my experience, she suggested I try statistics. Advanced analytics was and is present in every field, which would allow me to be in any field I wanted. Specifically, I could go into the medical field by doing a concentration in Biostatistics if I wanted to keep going.
Within that track, I became so fascinated by the statistics classes I was in. Particularly, a business analytics course I took. The two main projects required us to come up with a real-world business problem. Then, we would analyze and visualize the data to solve the issue. Once that was done, we would teach the class what we had learned from the data, utilizing words that would be easily digestible. Within these projects, I was introduced to machine learning and Tableau. These tools allowed us to predict what could happen in the future using past and current data, all while visualizing our model. With these two tools, the possibilities were endless.
Even after this class, visualization became a big part of what I did and enjoyed. Whether it was using Tableau, R, or Python, I knew that the visualizations created would help tell a story based on data findings. No matter what type of data I encountered or what needed to be conveyed, I knew analysis with a good story would help people understand the statistics around them every day.
After graduating from college, I was at a loss again when trying to find a new job. I knew consulting was something that I could see myself doing, but I wasn’t sure where to start. That is when I came across Tessellation. I was fascinated by all the analytics and visualizations they had created, all while using a variety of data. I was intrigued by their Data Coach program and knew that it would help further develop my learning side. Now that I’m here, I can say that I have been on a path to achieve just that. Seeing myself succeed here at Tessellation shows that my parents’ hard work paid off and that there is truly something out there for everyone.
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