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18: Build a Portfolio of Projects and Experiences to transition into Data Science (Jonathan Ortiz, Data Scientist and Knowledge Engineer, Data.World)

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Data Science is a rapidly growing field within technology. But how do you make the transition into getting your first role? How do you navigate the terms, jargon, technical references and more when you’ve never worked in the role before.

Jonathan Ortiz, our featured Empjoyee sheds a light on all of this for us today. Jonathan made the move from media to data science and spends this episode not only sharing his journey, but diving deeply into several elements of the world of Data Science.

You’ll get his take on the programs and tools you should get familiar with, the places you should put your attention to when entering the field, and how to deal with the mental roadblocks so you can reach your next goal (and the ones beyond it).

Plus, we get an inside look into the Semantic Web, an area that that has quickly become a specialty of this newly made data scientist. Get ready to make some moves today!


Listen now to learn how Jonathan:

  • Leverages past experiences and skill sets developed in media and marketing to create value on the job as an data scientist within months
  • Creates a unique internship through a fellowship that provided money to the company to cover internship costs
  • Navigates switching location, job, and relationship status all at once to now live a life that was proactively created

TL;DL (Too long; Didn’t Listen): 3 Actionable Takeaways

  • Stay the course towards what you truly believe you want out of life – it will always be easier to go back to what you know, but your future lays in front of you, not behind you.
  • Make use of open source programming languages like R or Python and programs like Jupyter to build your skills and experiences first-hand
  • Demonstrate your experience to potential employers by building a portfolio of self-driven projects, leveraging data sets like those found at or competitions through Kaggle and supported through targeted learning via online courses.

But wait there’s more! Share your #1 takeaway with today’s featured Empjoyee and other Empjoyees in the Empjoyment community!

From Insight to Action

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Jonathan is big on committing to taking action and then doing what it takes to make it comes to life. Let’s honor that with today’s joyney.

Jonathan opened our eyes to a world of fellowships & grants that could potentially cover the costs of an internship or provide an opportunity to build your portfolio for the job that you’re looking for.

Your Joyney: Take some time to find and research a grant/fellowship/internship that could provide you or others with similar opportunities within the Empjoyment Community. (use hashtag #joyney18)

IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE IN YOUR AREA OF INTEREST OR GEOGRAPHIC AREA. We’ll not only create a unique repository of alternative solutions, but also practice Jonathan’s suggestion of seeking first to help and then receiving help in multiples when changing careers.


Additional Resources to Accelerate your Growth

Getting to Know Today’s Featured Empjoyee: Jonathan Ortiz!

Jonathan Ortiz is a data scientist and knowledge engineer at, an Austin startup that’s building the most meaningful, collaborative, and abundant data resource in the world to help people solve problems faster by creating new ways to discover, prep, and collaborate on data projects.

He is a former student at the University of Texas – Austin Data Analytics and Big Data Program. Prior to his work in data science, Jonathan accumulated extensive experience in media, marketing, and consulting.

Most recently, Jonathan served as Director at Scratch, a division of Viacom that drives innovation by channeling the power of brands like MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon.

Jonathan received a Bachelor of Science in Economics with concentrations in Marketing and Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Spread the Joy to Help Others Experience Empjoyment

Kudos to you for taking another step towards experiencing enjoyment through employment through today’s episode.

If you find this podcast helpful, we would greatly appreciate if you took a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast in iTunes. They’re extremely helpful when it comes to helping new Empjoyees know that this is a podcast that really has their interest at heart. Plus, we read each and every one personally!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure that you never miss an episode, share the episode with one person you know who would benefit from today’s episode, and let us know if you’d like to share your story as a featured Empjoyee to help others learn from your experience too.

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