Tag: #TD

Paragon One and the Extern Program

Through its flagship Externship program, The Edge by Extern, or widely known as Paragon One is an innovative platform that provides real-world employment experiences. An externship is a flexible, remote work experience program that links students with businesses in a range of sectors, made possible by Paragon One. This program aims to close the knowledge gap between professional and academic settings by giving students practical skills and insights that they may use for their future jobs.

Opportunities Offered by Paragon One’s Extern Program:

  1.  Diverse Industry Access: Students have access to externships in a multitude of industries, including marketing, finance, technology, and business. Students can explore several professional options and discover their areas of interest thanks to this variety.
  1.  Real-World Experience: Students obtain practical experience, which is frequently necessary in the job market, by working on significant projects from businesses. Building a résumé and improving a student’s employability both depend heavily on this experience.
  1.  Networking: Professional networking and mentoring possibilities might arise from students’ interactions with professionals and industry experts. These relationships are very important since they can affect career advice and future employment opportunities.
  1.  Skill Development: The externships are intended to assist students in acquiring critical professional skills including project management, communication, and specialized technical knowledge pertinent to their field of choice.
  1. Flexibility: Students with demanding academic schedules who yet want to obtain professional experience can attend the program since it offers a flexible timetable that can be adjusted to fit around school obligations.
  1. Project-Based Learning: The assignments and projects that are given during the externship are designed to resemble real-world duties. By ensuring that students can apply theoretical information in real-world situations, this project-based learning approach improves their comprehension and competency.
  1. Tailored Experiences: Through the use of its platform, Paragon One frequently connects students with externships that complement their academic backgrounds and individual professional ambitions, resulting in a tailored learning and development opportunity.
  2. Development of Soft Skills: Externs acquire soft skills like problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership in addition to technical talents. These abilities are essential for long-term job success and are widely sought for in any professional situation.

To sum up, the Extern program offered by Paragon One is an advantageous endeavor for students who aim to supplement their academic pursuits with hands-on, real-world corporate exposure. Students who take part in this program not only get valuable experience and skills, but they also put themselves in a great position for success in their future employment. Paragon One offers a helpful stepping stone into the working world for students hoping to maximize their academic careers. You can explore their opportunities here. 

Comparing Data Analyst vs Data Scientist

The degree of proficiency in using data is what separates a data scientist from a data analyst. A data scientist needs to have greater experience with sophisticated programming methods and computer equipment than the other. A data scientist should also be more skilled in creating algorithms and data models. For a data analyst, the profile is primarily exploratory in contrast to an experimental work profile of a data scientist.

Having a better understanding of the many ways that organizations use data can also help to clarify the functions that they play:

  1. Descriptive Analytics –  This category of analytical solutions addresses the What and Why aspects of business problems. By recognizing patterns, trends, and anomalies in previous data, they offer insights that can be put into practice. Descriptive analytics can be used, for instance, to determine how customer involvement has changed over time and the factors that have contributed to that shift.
  2. Predictive Analytics – This class of solutions uses historical data trends and machine learning algorithms to predict the future. Predictive analytics is used, for instance, to determine the likelihood of cross-selling a product to a customer based on their prior engagement.

Data Analysts are more focused towards descriptive analysis by addressing the theoretical parts of the business, along with some predictive analysis but as a whole, predictive analysis is mastered by Data Scientists who need to play more with data and coding to predict the outcomes. 

Now, let’s dive deeper into how the project life cycle of a data analyst differs from that of a data scientist. 

Data Analyst

  1. Data Extraction 
  2. Data Cleaning and Preparation – Tidy up the data and carry out data manipulation in order to create useful results and visualizations.
  3. Data Exploration – Exploration of reasons behind trends observed in the business.
  4. Data Visualization and Reporting- An analyst creates user-friendly dashboards and management reports with business commentary, which they then distribute to the relevant parties. For this, a number of self-serving business intelligence technologies, such Tableau and Power BI, are frequently employed.

Data Scientist

  1. Data Extraction
  2. Data Cleaning
  3. Feature Engineering – The practice of using cleansed data to build variables predicted to have a stronger predictive power on the desired outcome is known as feature engineering. For instance, BMI can be included as an extra input to a predictive model in addition to height and weight to determine a person’s chance of developing diabetes. In this case, weight and height are used to calculate BMI, an engineered feature.
  4. Model development using AI/ML techniques – A machine-learning system is fed the data to generate predictions. 
  5. Model Testing – Here, data scientists check for whether the model they produced are accurate or not. When the results are not satisfactory, the scientist goes back to the model’s parameters and adjusts them to get the desired outcome.
  6. Productionalizing the Model – Build model pipelines that are ready for production. This makes it possible to integrate with the data flow seamlessly. They next concentrate on formalizing the code and putting it into the production environment as a last step.

Salaries for Data Analysts typically range from $80,000 to $135,000 whereas for Data Scientists, they range from $95,000 to $160,000 on average. 

While they handle data differently, data scientists and analysts share the commonality of working with large amounts of data. Some of the most important factors that set them apart are the amount of data they work with and how much programming they do. A data scientist is likely to receive a better income, but there are more demands and obligations in this position. To help you select which method of dealing with data you prefer, you might wish to initially try one or two courses from each path if you’re still not sure which one to take. 

Beyond the Code: Your Secret Superpower for Tech & Data Success

We all know coding chops are like kryptonite to a computer – essential for bending technology to your will. But hold up, budding tech wizards, because there’s a secret ingredient even more powerful than a perfect Python loop: soft skills!

Yep, you read that right. While coding languages and data wrangling are your tools, soft skills are the superpowers that unlock their full potential, turning you from a lone coder to a tech titan or data demigod.

So, what are these mystical soft skills? Think of them as your social superpowers, like:

  • Communication: No, it’s not just about writing clear emails (though that’s important!). It’s about explaining complex technical concepts to non-technical folks, like that one neighbor who still thinks “the cloud” is a fluffy white thing in the sky. It’s about active listening, understanding different perspectives, and building trust with teammates and clients.
  • Collaboration: Tech and data aren’t solo sports. Imagine building a spaceship using only duct tape and bubblegum – that’s what working without collaboration feels like. You need to work effectively with diverse teams, share ideas, give and receive feedback, and celebrate victories together (because let’s be honest, debugging can be a warzone!).
  • Critical Thinking: This isn’t just about spotting typos in your code (although, good eye!). It’s about analyzing problems from different angles, questioning assumptions, and coming up with creative solutions. Think of yourself as a data detective, sniffing out insights and uncovering hidden patterns in the digital haystack.
  • Problem-Solving: Remember that feeling when your code finally compiles without errors? Pure euphoria, right? Well, that’s just the beginning. Tech and data are all about tackling challenges, big and small. So, sharpen your problem-solving skills, embrace mistakes as learning opportunities, and get used to thinking outside the binary box.
  • Adaptability: The tech world is like a rollercoaster on fast-forward – ever-changing, always unpredictable. Be a chameleon, not a grumpy cactus. Embrace new technologies, learn new skills on the fly, and stay flexible in the face of change. This adaptability is what separates the innovators from the tech dinosaurs.

So, how do you hone these secret superpowers?

  • Practice makes perfect: Volunteer for presentations, join project teams, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes. Remember, every stumble is a step closer to mastery.
  • Seek out mentors: Find experienced professionals in your field who can guide you and share their wisdom. Bonus points if they’re as cool as Obi-Wan Kenobi!
  • Get involved in your community: Attend workshops, hackathons, and conferences. Network with other tech enthusiasts, share your knowledge, and learn from theirs.

Remember, soft skills are the superpowers that elevate your technical expertise to legendary status. They’re the secret sauce that makes you a team player, a leader, and a valuable asset in any tech or data landscape. So, don’t just focus on lines of code, but also cultivate the social superpowers that will make you a force to be reckoned with in the exciting world of tech and data!


Now go forth and conquer! And remember, the force of soft skills is with you!

NACE Career Excellence Spotlight – Teamwork

Logan Olson is a senior Student-Athlete Double-Majoring in Math and Economics. This past summer he had the opportunity to work as an intern at Craig-Hellum Capital Group, a trading and investment firm in Chicago.

This article’s NACE competency focus is Teamwork. We had the opportunity to speak to Logan about how he was able to use his teamwork abilities as a student-athlete at Lawrence to succeed in his internship. Here is what we asked him.

Describe a situation where you had to collaborate with team members who had different work styles or perspectives. How did you adapt to ensure effective teamwork? 

During my summer internship at Craig-Hallum Capital Group, I served as an analyst in their Mergers and Acquistions team where I played a critical role in engineering sophisticated financial models. These models were instrumental in providing potential investors with the insights needed for informed decision-making and a comprehensive evaluation of our clients. Additionally, I was responsible for synthesizing financial information into Excel, which enabled accurate forecasting for model development. One of the most valuable aspects of my experience was attending management meetings with private equity firms and strategic buyers, which allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of deal lifecycles and sell-side operations.

In the fast-paced world of investment banking, teamwork emerged as a necessary behavioral skill that was crucial to my success at CHLM. Constant communication among team members was paramount — I frequently received feedback from vice presidents and managing directors, ranging from financial models to confidential information presentations (CIPs). In response, I adopted a collaborative approach, completing my tasks, sending them to fellow analysts for additional eyes, and then forwarding them to the VP. These submissions frequently returned with requests of the smallest of adjustments, such as formatting and alignment. In each instance, I promptly addressed the feedback, resolved the issues efficiently, and sought clarification when necessary. Drawing from my experience as a student-athlete, I recognized the foundational principles of being a team player as instrumental to my success at the firm. In a collaborative environment, it is necessary to carefully listen to others while also being accountable for individual and team responsibilities. These skills not only improved my performance as an analyst but also reinforced the importance of teamwork in the demanding world of investment banking.

Logan Olson ’24

Logan’s ability to collaborate in a team, embrace feedback, and remain coachable was a valuable asset during his internship at Craig-Hallum Capital Group. His openness to feedback, and being a “coachable” person allowed for quick improvements, making him an effective team player in the fast-paced world of investment banking.

And you? How would you answer that question? How are you showcasing your ability to work in a team in your resume?

If you would like to know more or have questions on how you could showcase your skills on your resume or in an interview, feel free to email me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or schedule an appointment here.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

Why Internships are Essential for Your Career Development

Many students feel lost when it comes to finding internships and understanding their value. With so much information available online, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. However, internships can be a powerful way to gain hands-on experience, explore different career paths, and gain clarity on your future goals. In this article, I’ll share my personal experience interning at M3 Insurance and how it helped me gain a deeper understanding of my career aspirations. Join me as we dive into the many benefits of internships and learn how they can help you find your own path to success.

Gain valuable experience

Internships offer students the opportunity to gain real-world experience. Quite often, that can be more valuable to hiring managers than coursework or degrees. Even if an internship isn’t directly related to a student’s desired career path, it can offer valuable insights into a specific work environment and develop new skills. By participating in internships, students can build a portfolio of work to showcase to future employers and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Build a professional network and your personal “brand”

Internships offer a unique opportunity to build a professional network and develop a personal brand. Working alongside industry professionals, students can gain valuable insights and build relationships that may lead to future job opportunities. By showcasing their work ethic and willingness to learn, students can establish their own “brand” and become more memorable to potential employers to possibly get hired in the future, or get referred to someone they know.

Understand what you don’t like

Internships allow students to experiment with different career paths and gain clarity on their professional preferences. By trying out various roles and responsibilities, students can gain valuable insights and identify things they don’t like about a job or an industry. Sometimes, instead of trying to find the perfect dream career job right away, it’s better to try out different things and start crossing off the list of what you know you don’t want to do. This will help you understand more about what you need and make more informed decisions about your career paths.

My experience interning at M3 Insurance

Last summer, I interned at M3 Insurance in Green Bay, and although I had never considered the insurance industry before, I discovered many fascinating aspects of it. Through the internship, I had the opportunity to meet inspiring professionals who generously shared their insights and advice with me. I developed valuable skills such as public speaking, project management, and client communication, which will benefit me regardless of my future career path. My internship experience opened up new possibilities for me and was a significant stepping stone in my career journey. It played a crucial role in helping me secure another major internship opportunity at Deloitte in my junior year, which I don’t believe would have been possible without my prior experience.

Internships provide students with the opportunity to get significant experience and get a head start on their peers right out of college. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed at first, but remember that no matter what you do, you will learn if the industry or career you are in is what you want, and you will be able to utilize that as a stepping stone to finding what you are truly interested in later on. Use the internship to meet new people and try out new things; you never know where it’s going to take you.

If you would like to have more questions about looking for an internship, or about my internship experience at M3, feel free to reach out by email (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or schedule an appointment here.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

Jumpstart Your Career: Why First-Years and Sophomores Should Consider a Discovery Internship

If you are you a freshman or sophomore looking to gain valuable experience in the business world, you may want to consider a Discovery Internship. These internships are intended for younger students who want to explore various industries and departments in hopes of discovering their passions and career paths.

This is also a good way for large companies to find new talents early and bring them back every year while the student is still in college so that they can hire them out of college knowing that they already have one, two, or three summers of experience in the company, making it simpler for them to reach their full potential and succeed in their job right out of college.

Interns in a discovery internship are expected to rotate between departments and work on a variety of smaller tasks.

Personally, I didn’t know about these internships until later in my college career, and I wish I had discovered them earlier. Here are a few reasons why:

  • I would have had the opportunity to intern with a larger company earlier and gain exposure to different sectors
  • I could have tried out various departments within a company to better understand my interests
  • Having a big-name company on my resume early on would have made my life a little bit easier when looking for an internship in one of these big companies in my junior year

Some examples of Discovery Internships in the business and entrepreneurship fields include programs offered by Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. These internships typically last for 6-12 weeks and provide a range of experiences such as project management, finance, data analysis, marketing, and more. Like most internships in big companies, make sure you start looking early while they are still open (August, September, October for the following summer)

Here are a few job postings that I have found (still open at the time of this article):

By taking part in a Discovery Internship, you will be able to develop valuable skills, interact with industry professionals, and explore potential career paths very early in your career. Also, having this experience on your resume will help you differentiate yourself from other applicants and secure future internships and jobs.

If you want to learn more about Discovery Internships, or have any questions, feel free to email me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or schedule an appointment.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.