Celebrating the Springboard Mentors Who Have Been With Us for Four Years

Kindra CooperKindra Cooper | 8 minute read | June 29, 2021
springboard mentorship

In this article

At Springboard, mentors are a key conduit to helping our students land exciting jobs at top tech companies after they graduate. Not only do mentors work 1:1 with students each week to offer project feedback and review concepts, but they also assist with career planning, offering job search advice and interview tips from an industry insider’s point of view.

Mentors at Springboard are part of a high-caliber group of professionals handpicked by the Mentor Operations team. Only one in 10 applicants are hired. In addition, the Springboard mentor program:

  • Includes 800 active mentors in 67 countries
  • Mentors represent 60+ Fortune 500 companies
  • Mentors collectively hold 8,000 student calls per week
  • Overall, students rate their mentors 4.88 out of 5 stars

Most Springboard mentors say the number one reason they join Springboard is to give back and help others succeed in their chosen career path. Mentors join a community of peers in their field from around the globe and have access to mentor-specific events and perks.

This month, we’re launching a new program to recognize all mentors who have been with us for more than a year. We would like to start by highlighting those who are celebrating their fourth anniversary with Springboard in the past six months. We will run the program again in the fall as more mentor anniversaries come up. 

Check out their profiles and stories below and visit our mentorship page to learn more about mentoring at Springboad.

AJ Sanchez

Springboard mentor AJ Sanchez

Current position: Chief Data Scientist and Principal Software Engineer at Exodus Software Services, Inc.

Career track: Data Science Career Track
AJ is the president of Exodus Software Services, Inc., a company that offers software engineering and data science services to organizations that need to implement, optimize or evolve their data-driven decision-making processes. With over 20 years of professional experience, Sanchez has covered the entire data life cycle, from acquisition and integration within business workflows to design, implementation, deployment, maintaining complex analytics pipelines, and building feedback bridges to support enterprise decision-making. In addition to mentoring at Springboard, Sanchez offers data science consulting services for C-level executives and other professionals to help large and small organizations become more productive using analytics techniques such as machine learning, text analytics, data mining, and data visualization.

“Springboard’s mission aligns with one of my lifelong goals,” said Sanchez, “which is to positively impact other people’s lives through education—that is why I am a mentor.”

Logan Larson, a data analyst at Centriam and former Springboard student, had this to say about Sanchez, who mentored him while he was enrolled in Springboard’s Data Science Career Track: “For every single question I ever had throughout my time in the course, he had an answer that he could either explain through his own experience, or he was able to seemingly tell where my question was coming from, and then give me a blueprint for how he would go about it.”

Sanchez holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Andrew Maguire

Springboard mentor Andrew Maguire

Current position: senior machine learning engineer at NetData

Career track: Data Science Career Track

Andrew Maguire is a machine learning engineer who works on anomaly detection in the monitoring space. Anomaly detection algorithms identify observations that deviate from general data patterns, and are used to detect and intercept a cyberattack or credit card fraud. Maguire enjoys curating playlists of data science videos on YouTube to help other current and aspiring data scientists access the best learning material—starting from introductory videos for those who are new to data science to playlists about more specific topics such as deep learning or Python packaging. Maguire also volunteers with DataKind, where he works alongside a U.S.-based nonprofit to leverage data on homelessness and the carceral system from the Department of Corrections to drive policy insights. He is also the data science community manager at Springboard, where he builds, nurtures, and develops the student community within the Data Science Career Track.

“I am 50% motivated by my own personal desire to keep learning and stay current, and mentoring with Springboard is the perfect way to do this,” says Maguire. “The other 50% is being able to help people from all different backgrounds and at different stages in their life learn new skills that can help them ultimately get paid to do really interesting jobs.”

Srdjan Santic

Springboard mentor Srdjan Santic

Current position: Principal data scientist at Logikka

Career track: Data Science Career Track
Shortly after joining Springboard as a mentor, Santic met his future business partner, Branko Kavic, also a mentor for Springboard’s Data Science Career Track. Together, they founded Logikka, a machine learning and AI consulting company based in Belgrade, Serbia. After graduating with an M.S. in Economics from the University of Belgrade, Santic landed a job as a statistician at The Nielsen Company, a global market research firm, where he learned everything he knows about data analysis, data wrangling, exploratory data analysis, and building predictive models. As a mostly self-taught data scientist who learned how to work with data from a combination of boot camps and taking MOOCs on EdX and Coursera, Santic recognizes how hard it can be to learn something new without mentorship or structured course content—hence why he takes his role as Springboard mentor so seriously in order to give students a valuable resource that he never had.

“Sometimes, mentoring is also about providing a listening ear when my mentees need to vent–six months in a boot camp is a long time, so if they get discouraged, I’m their ‘hype man,’” said Santic. “I’m also able to shed light on the data science career path since I follow the industry in its technical progression and the latest job requirements in the market so I can help students understand it better.”

Max Sop

Springboard mentor Max Sop

Current position: Senior AI program manager at Microsoft

Career track: Data Science Career Track
Max Sop has over nine years of experience helping organizations in the retail, finance, and agriculture industries leverage their data assets to scale up, improve decision making, create new revenue streams and automate operations. Sop was one of the first mentors to join Springboard in August 2015. In fact, he was hired by our co-founder, Parul Gupta, herself. Despite his busy schedule as senior AI program manager at Microsoft, Sop values the opportunity to mentor other aspiring data scientists.

“Springboard provides a great platform for mentoring, and had a vision early on that data science could be taught through a boot camp as opposed to a traditional university,” said Sop. “The curriculum is tailored to what students need to know practically in order to have a successful career.”

Sop graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a M.S. in computer science with research focused in machine learning/data mining.

Neal Fultz

Springboard mentor Neal Fultz

Current position: Principal consultant at NJNM Consulting.

Career track: Data Science Career Track

Neal Fultz is a software developer turned data scientist and computational statistician. He has worked with a wide variety of interesting datasets as a consultant, from the demography of injuries and dental implants among senior citizens to Super Bowl ad statistics, the Code Red computer virus, and even inter-species lizard aggression. He has a knack for taking on “orphaned” open-source projects—projects that are otherwise left to stagnate after the death of the original developer. Fultz presented at the SoCal Data Science Conference in 2017, where he discussed the end-to-end implementation of a news personalization service with the SciPy stack on Amazon Web Services. He has authored a number of Python, R, and Javascript libraries, and is a core contributor to the DeclareDesign project at UCLA Political Science. Fultz has a Ph.D. in statistics from UCLA.

Hobson Lane

Springboard mentor Hobson Lane

Current position:
Co-founder and CTO at Tangible AI

Career track: Machine Learning Engineering Career Track

Hobson is the CTO at Tangible AI, a consultancy that helps organizations in the social sector to enhance their operations using artificial intelligence. He is also an instructor at UCSD Extension, an online research university offering educational and personal enrichment courses. An advocate for using data science for social impact, Lane is on a quest to build a team of humans and prosocial machines that assist rather than manipulate. He has worked as a data scientist in a variety of industries, from electronics and robotics to real estate and education. He has designed and built state-of-the-art machine learning pipelines for major corporate laboratories like Intel and Sharp, as well as startups like Talentpair, Building Energy, Pellego, Squish Media, Hack Oregon, Hack University, TotalGood, Aira.io, DeepCanopy, Manceps, and Midcurrent.io. He is the lead author of Natural Language Processing In Action by Manning Publishing.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of a new data scientist’s journey and see the world with fresh eyes. I’m forever inspired by my students—and it’s a real rush to help them find a job in data science that they are passionate about,” Lane said of his experience as a Springboard mentor. “The ongoing interaction with students after they graduate is an added bonus. I still collaborate on personal and professional projects with many of those first students I taught four years ago.”

Shmuel Naaman

Springboard mentor Shmuel Naaman

Current position:
Consultant at WorldQuant

Career track: Machine Learning Engineering Career Track

Shmuel Naaman is a consultant at WorldQuant, a quantitative investment firm, where he develops high-quality financial signals that are used to create trading strategies. Naaman has extensive experience developing predictive algorithms for startups, especially in the B2B marketing space. Shmuel has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, a master’s degree in geophysics, and a bachelor’s degree in physics.

Nischal Harohalli Padmanabha

Current position: Director of data at Scoutbee, where he drives data initiatives.

Career track: Data Science Career Track

Nischal Padmanabha drives data initiatives at Scoutbee, a SaaS company based in Germany that optimizes supply-demand connections to transform the way organizations discover and connect with suppliers. He has built various AI-powered systems for e-commerce from scratch, including catalog management and recommendation engines. Padmanabha has also led workshops on deep learning across the world.

He is a big believer in open-source code and loves to architect systems that are fast and reliable. In his free time, he enjoys discovering different genres of music and traveling to remote places. He started his career at SAP as an associate software developer, where he built various data crawlers and intention mining systems, as well as the foundations for a text mining analysis pipeline. Having worked in the industry over the last 10+ years across enterprise companies and startups, Padmanabha says he has had the privilege of being part of teams that have used data science to solve real-world problems.

How can you become a Springboard mentor?

If you’re as passionate about mentoring as you are about design, coding or data science, we would love to hear from you! Springboard is always looking for talented, engaged mentors to work one-on-one with our students.

  • We look for professional and educational qualifications, as well as evidence of technical competence through portfolios and published work.
  • If you make it through the technical review, we’ll invite you to do a video interview. Here, we assess empathy, communication skills, and passion for your field.
  • Never mentored before? No problem! You’ll receive guidance and training from us to enhance your mentorship skills.

If you’d like to become a mentor, you can apply directly at the links below, or join our waiting list where applicable.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to us at mentorrecruiting@springboard.com and we’d be happy to chat!

Kindra Cooper

About Kindra Cooper

Kindra Cooper is a content writer at Springboard. She has worked as a journalist and content marketer in the US and Indonesia, covering everything from business and architecture to politics and the arts.