Practicum Translates to Work Experience

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Rakesh Adhikesavan most valued the practicum in the Master of Data Science program because it prepared him for real-world application.

“This was a great real-world experience,” he says. “Illinois Tech’s training also helped me with project management and communication when it comes to gathering requirements or explaining/presenting my work to a technical and non-technical crowd.”

Adhikesavan completed the practicum in Illinois Tech’s Office of Institutional Advancement, creating visualizations to help staff understand the effectiveness of the phone system. He described his work in the practicum course as covering the entire “data science pipeline”—from gathering requirements to writing code, creating visual dashboards, delivering results, and most importantly, communicating the deliverables to a non-technical crowd.

“I was applying these skills for the first time, and I made a few mistakes here and there, but this was an important learning experience,” he says. “I also had to pick up new skills for this project. I learned how to use Tableau, which is a popular data-visualization software used in the industry. The work experience also gave me multiple talking points during my job interview.”

Adhikesavan currently works as a developer at Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company in Chicago.