Starting my Career in Data Science Through the Emerging Leaders Program

Lauren is a Senior Data Scientist on our Data Science Digital Product team based in New York City. Lauren began her career in Nielsen’s Global Technology and Operations (GTO) Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) as a Data Science associate, where she was able to play a role in developing and adapting complex methodologies for data collection.

When I graduated from college  in 2016, I was energetic, smart, determined and unfocused. I had a lot of passion for understanding human behavior and telling stories through databut not a great understanding of how to harness my excitement and knowledge into something that was impactful.

I was ready to jump in head first, but I wasn’t sure where to jump.

Thankfully, I was recruited into Nielsen’s Global Technology and Operations Emerging Leaders Program as a Data Science Associate. This program provides 10 weeks of cumulative training throughout the duration of four, six-month rotations, which allows associates to experience different roles and learn more about the abundance of opportunities and data at Nielsen.

As an associate in this program, I was given the unique opportunity to learn an incredible amount about how to transform noisy, incoherent data into a valuable asset for our clients. I was also provided the opportunity to truly learn what it means to be a data scientist.

The ELPs four rotation schedule afforded me the ability to experience life on four teams: International Data Science, Watch Methods, Digital Client Service and Data Science Digital Product. This experience proved invaluable, as it helped shape and guide my interests and hone the skills I had come to Nielsen so excited to leverage.

Each team allowed me to learn a little more about what it means to be a data scientist, and how vast that title can really be. On the International Team, I learned how to adapt complex methodologies to fit individual market and client needs. On the Watch Methods team, I studied predictive models to understand how to provide more concrete insights for our TV clients. As a client service representative on the Digital Client Service team, I directly supported and interacted with clients, allowing me to listen to their concerns, questions and interests. Lastly, on the Data Science Digital Product Team, I was able to leverage everything from my previous three rotations to build complex, international methodologies, alongside our clients, answering  their questions and meeting their needs.

After the program ended, I moved into the Data Science Digital Product Team full time, where I now enhance and create Nielsen’s digital measurement products. This role is a true cumulation of each experience I had during my first two years at Nielsen and I couldn’t be more excited to continue to learn and grow on the Data Science team at Nielsen. I am grateful for the role that the ELP played in launching my career in data science. I now have full confidence that I am undeniably better equipped to do my job. With my knowledge of technical tools, methodology development techniques and understanding of the business landscape, I am able to execute on deliverables in a way I could not have without my experience in the ELP. Now I can make sure that as I continue to jump head first into new and exciting roles I know where I want to jump.