Daniel GrewalData Science
One of the most underrated features of a university, is the support given to students in all matters not just course-related, where City staff excels.
Santander UK plc is a British bank, wholly owned by the Spanish Santander Group. Santander UK plc manages its affairs autonomously, with its own local management team, responsible solely for its performance.
Why did you decide to study at City, University of London?
I decided to study at City, University of London for both its ideal position in the heart of a bustling tech scene, as well as the opportunity to be taught by what I believed to be one of the strongest Computer Science faculties anywhere in the world.
What was your favourite aspect of your course?
My favourite and probably most important aspect of the course was the invaluable guidance and advice I received from lecturers and faculty staff. I struggled right up until the end of my final year deciding what career path I wanted to take. One of the most underrated features of a university, is the support that staff can give students in all matters not just course-related. City excels in this area.
Can you tell me about your time at City?
It was a real pleasure to have been a student at City, University of London. Amongst the stress and anguish of exams and tough coursework deadlines, there were a lot of fun memories with friends that made studying and learning a much more enjoyable experience.
What was the highlight of your time at City?
The highlight of my time at City was unexpectedly winning the Best Final Year Project award at an exhibition during London Technology week.
What did you do after graduating?
After I graduated, I took the advice I received from a staff member and went to study for my Master’s degree in Data Science. From there, I’ve worked for a global consultancy, built predictive models for a San Francisco tech startup and am currently working in the banking sector for Santander.
What was the main benefit of completing a course at City?
The main benefit of completing a course at City, University of London was the recognition it received from future employers and also how favourably it was looked upon when applying for a Master’s degree.
How did City prepare you for your chosen career path?
City, University of London prepared me for my chosen career path by A, having a place on an intense course taught by leading computer scientists and academic researchers and B, having the patience to help me figure out what I’m good at and what I enjoy.
How would you describe your current working environment?
Working for a Spanish bank, my current work environment is definitely a place of diverse culture. I work in a large team of about 120 people and we all have different backgrounds and skill sets that compliment the department. It is quite a relaxed and friendly work environment and we are encouraged to integrate with each other as much as possible so as not to create a silo working environment. I’m quite lucky that I work under some fantastic leadership where ideas and innovation are greatly encouraged.
What has been the biggest challenge with regards to your job?
One of the biggest challenges of my job as a Data Scientist in banking is being able to provide solutions to complex business problems whilst working to tight deadlines. I would also add that as a Data Scientist, you have to find time to stay up to date with new changes not just in the banking sector but also in the world of A.I. and machine learning advancement.
What has been the most rewarding experience?
The biggest reward about my job is being able to develop predictive models whereby the tiniest % performance increase can potentially be worth £hundreds of millions to the bank. Optimising and improving how current processes are implemented on top of model building means that I have a highly satisfying job whereby each day presents a new and different challenge.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
My advice to someone who wants to become a Data Scientist would be to take on a curious mindset and most importantly, do something that you enjoy. Data Science is a multi-disciplinary field. Working as a Data Scientist in banking is very different to working as a Data Scientist in say, the retail sector. Experiment in your spare time with different data sets using Kaggle until you find an area you want to make a difference in.