"A core trait we value at Kubrick is being willing to take on new challenges. A dedication to learning, coupled with a recognition of the importance of data and technology in today’s world, will get you far."
Brandon Barnes, Data Product Consultant at Kubrick, shares his experience graduating from Indiana University Bloomington and transitioning into a tech career with Kubrick.
Tell us a bit about yourself – what did you major in and what else did you learn during your time at IU?
I double majored in International Law and Institutions as well as Political Science. I also minored in Informatics and Intelligent Studies. My studies gave me a solid foundation with a small amount of coding and understanding of the fundamentals of data science. I also was part of the Indiana Political Analysis Workshop through the Political Science department which allowed me to step out of my comfort zone a little bit and try some analytical programming. It was that opportunity that fully introduced me to the world of data, and it helped build the interest that led me to what I’m doing now. From then, I knew going forward with studies in political science that I was more interested in working in the research and data aspects of the field.
I was balancing this new interest in data and technology with my focus on the legal sector since my other major was international law. I did want to be a lawyer, and I still think one day I might consider it again, but I was determined to find a path that would allow me to explore these multiple interests of mine in the first few years of my career. Ultimately, by incorporating data science into my degree, I realized that it was something I wanted to keep learning.
How did you find Kubrick?
Kubrick’s talent acquisition team identified me as a potential candidate on Handshake and reached out directly. It was the spring of my senior year, and with only a few months left before graduation, they came to me at the perfect time. Previously, I had an interest in consulting and had applied to those sorts of roles before, but Kubrick’s training made them stand out to me. They offer 4 months of paid training in a variety of key data and technology skills, including SQL, Python, cloud technologies, as well as business practices like agile and project management, which is the main reason as to why I decided to apply.
During my time at IU, I had worked as a Peer Coach for the Walter Center for Career Achievement, where I had told many of my peers about other companies I applied to or would recommend because of familiarity or name recognition. So, it was also a surprise that I ended up joining an organization that I hadn’t heard of before! I had received lots of messages from companies large and small, but nothing grabbed me until Kubrick. I saw the opportunity to join a company that was new to the US but had the backing of a large UK headquarters. They are looking to expand more into the US, and I wanted to be there early, to be a part of something special from the beginning. I really liked the whole idea of startup since they're still in that rapid growth phase. There’s a lot to learn and I will hopefully be able reap a lot of benefits from it in the future.
With my interest in international relations, I’ve always wanted to be part of a global company, so that was another exciting aspect of Kubrick. With a lot of interaction from our London headquarters and all the staff that moved over from the UK, it simultaneously feels part British, part American, and part global.
What does your day-to-day look like at Kubrick?
Most days have been pretty different! I just completed my training period, which ranged from learning business analysis to stakeholder presentations. I also had a lot of training in Python and SQL, where we would spend intensive weeks focused on building our programming skills. I'm now working on tech-related projects before beginning a client engagement, so I’m combining my business and tech skills in practice. I’m part of our US Data Team, which has allowed me to gain experience on internal projects with the company as well as being able to advance certain skills I learned in training.
What advice would you give students looking for full time jobs or internships, and what are the skills that might help a candidate stand out in Kubrick’s application process? What do you think made you stand out to Kubrick?
You’ve got to be persistent. I threw out a ton of applications my senior year and got really tired and discouraged because I got plenty of rejections or simply never heard back. But the key is being patient; as long as you keep trying, it will pay off eventually. But make sure to use the incredible resources around you from IU to see how you can improve or search for opportunities on how to better yourself. You should also keep your eyes (and mind) open to those places you haven't seen or heard of yet, which was my experience with Kubrick. I never thought of doing something like this but found myself here and feel very fortune for it.
For anyone interested in applying to Kubrick, you should know it's okay to not have a technical background. It can actually be a strength in the recruitment process because it can help you to demonstrate your desire to grow and expand your knowledge. That’s really a core trait we value here: just being willing to take on new challenges. That dedication to learning, coupled with a recognition of the importance of data and technology in today’s world, will get you far.
To stand out in the application process, one of the most important things you can do is show you can think analytically and outside of the box - I believe that is what helped me get here. Besides highlighting my interest in data, I also felt comfortable in my academic background and how it applies to this field. I was able to show I had valuable transferable skills from my liberal arts degree, like communication, public speaking, and critical thinking, which can and should be applied to a tech role.
Kubrick has trained over 1,500 consultants from all majors and backgrounds in the most sought-after skills across data, AI, and cloud technology . Interested in becoming a Kubrick consultant? You can learn more about our specialisms and apply to start your journey today: https://www.kubrickgroup.com/u...