7 years of The Data Lab MSc Programme celebration!
At Year 7 of The Data Lab MSc programme with 884 students through our doors, we thought it was time to celebrate all our programme has achieved with the first ever alumni event at The Oran Mor, Glasgow, on Monday 22 November.
A bit of background about The Data Lab MSc Programme
The Data Lab MSc is a collaborative programme between The Data Lab and Scottish universities. It facilitates industry involvement and collaboration, and provides full funding and resources for students who follow a unique programme of networking, employability and innovation workshops to develop the soft skills that are essential for a career in data science and AI.
The Data Lab MSc programme started in the early years of The Data Lab with Gillian Docherty and Brian Hill’s imagination and Josh Ryan Saha’s flair and vision. The programme was brought to life with specialised knowledge from partners such as MBN and Scottish universities as well as generous support from business partners across all sectors of the Scottish economy and our funders The Scottish Government through the SFC/ESF-DWS funds.
The Alumni event and its success!
We started planning our Alumni event way back in spring 2021, just as we were starting to slowly inch out of lockdown, when social interaction with REAL LIVE people seemed like an unimaginable leap into the unknown. We drew breath, crossed our fingers and put feelers out to our alumni to see if they would join us at a grand social event, with dinner and some fabulous entertainment. But the biggest attraction was to come together with classmates, cohorts and course leaders old and new to party with The Data Lab Community.
To our delight more than 100 alumni from all years and most universities signed up.
And what did we learn?
- That the bonding and networking that goes on when we bring a group of clever and motivated data people together through The Data Lab MSc programme can be lasting;
- That human experiences, throwing in the unexpected, the ups and downs of physical theatre during design thinking and the joys of a shared dorm at the Glasgow Youth Hostel (and food poisoning) creates lasting stories and bonds;
- That connections can be made in the virtual environment – I loved meeting my Innovation Week 20-21 yoga buddy after all these months;
- That it was HARD to be a student in a global pandemic;
- That we have two sisters on our AY 20-21 programme (we would NEVER have known);
- That we have a couple of TDL MSc couples;
- That our The Data Lab Alumni love tech judging by the mass participation and enthusiasm during our entertainment set by Fox Dog Studios; and
- That data people like a party!
But most of all we learned that so many of our students have gone on to build successful data careers in Scotland, and they recognise the strength of our community and network. Many want to give back by supporting current and future cohorts, sharing their skills and experience and so building the legacy of The Data Lab MSc programme and The Data Lab Community. And, the news is out, we have volunteers to organise the next The Data Lab MSc alumni event!
And if the measure of a party’s success is that the hardcore guests have to be turned out onto the street at the end of the evening, then our The Data Lab MSc Inaugural Celebration certainly was a triumph.