Data Analytics Career Track
Jo Liu
Before Springboard:
Real estate analyst
After Springboard:
App quality analyst at Snap Inc.
"“The curriculum is very systematic and we get help and support all the way. That's something I really appreciate because as a mom with two kids and no technical background, I had a lot of difficulties finishing the course.”
"“The curriculum is very systematic and we get help and support all the way. That's something I really appreciate because as a mom with two kids and no technical background, I had a lot of difficulties finishing the course.”
Meet Jo Liu, a graduate of Springboard’s Data Analytics Career Track.

After having her first child and taking time away from the workforce, Jo Liu wanted a career that would give her flexibility. Working in real estate made sense at the time—realtors are generally self-employed and set their own hours—but she felt isolated and missed having coworkers.

When the pandemic pushed her to re-evaluate her career path yet again, she reflected on her prior work experience and she realized that what stood out to her were all the times she’d worked with data. She loved unearthing insights from data and making presentations to convince stakeholders to see her point of view. That’s when she decided to pursue a career in data analytics.

As a mom with two kids and no technical background, Jo was looking for a program with a structured curriculum that would hold her accountable, but still provide the flexibility of asynchronous classes and self-paced learning. Springboard checked all of her boxes.

Six months later, she landed a job at Snap Inc. as an app quality analyst, where her role is to collect and analyze customer feedback on the Snapchat product and share her findings with the dev team to continuously improve the product.

How would you describe your career path before Springboard?

When I moved to the US from China, I had to quit my job at Microsoft. I earned my Master’s degree and then I went back into the field as a technical recruiter for an IT company. I like the culture of an IT company—it’s laidback, people don’t care what you wear, and you don’t have to be in the office by 9:00 a.m. sharp as long as you finish your work.

After I had my first child, I decided to become a realtor so I could have flexibility. However, I didn’t enjoy it that much because most of the time you work alone and I really missed working in a team. So as my kids got bigger I started to think about what I wanted to do next.

I realized that in all the jobs I’d held, the part I enjoyed most was working with data and making presentations to convince my colleagues to understand my findings. Then my friends told me about Springboard and I quickly enrolled.

Tell me about your new role at Snapchat.

I'm an App Quality Analyst at Snapchat. My daily job is to collect customer feedback about different features of the Snapchat product, extract insights, put them into a presentation and show it to the team so they understand how the customers perceive the product. For example, are there any problems? How can we make improvements? The data analysis team at Snapchat is like a window to the outside world.

You started in this new role very recently. How was your first day?

My first day was way easier than I thought it would be. Snapchat is a big company, so there is a lot of onboarding training you need to do. Also, there are specific tools I need to use and a lot of training associated with that. Img

What kind of company culture do you value the most when you’re searching for a new role?

Some companies are very competitive and colleagues on the same team have to compete for projects. That sounds intimidating to me. At Snapchat, the culture is kind. They encourage the employees to support each other, so it's not like a wolf pack, which suits me better. They also offer flexible work arrangements—you can choose to work remotely or go to the office.

What advice do you have for how to stand out from other applicants when applying to jobs?

Ask your friends to share your resume directly with the hiring manager whenever possible instead of going through the company’s online referral system. This is pretty ineffective because then your resume ends up in the same pile as the other job seekers. When I requested a referral at Snapchat, my friend handed my resume directly to the hiring manager and that’s how I had the chance to interview.

What initially interested you in Springboard?

What attracted me the most was Springboard’s job guarantee. I also needed a systematic program that would keep me on track. Springboard job guarantee gave me that motivation and also the proper guidance and accountability to make sure that I finished the course. I also really valued the mentorship and career coaching that I received from Springboard. Img

How was your relationship with your mentor?

My mentor was Julia Kho [associate operations research developer at Southwest Airlines]. She kept me accountable throughout the course and she would often share very practical tips from her day-to-day work. We had a pretty good relationship. I aspire to become a seasoned data analyst like her one day.

What was the most valuable part of your Springboard experience?

I think it was the moment that I decided to sign up for Springboard. I took a short assessment test and I spoke with a representative named John. I asked a lot of questions because I wasn’t sure if I had chosen the right career path. At the time, data analytics seemed like a very technical role and I had no experience. Talking with John gave me confidence that I could go through with this.

You overcame a lot of challenges to make your career change. What is your advice to others who are also considering changing careers?

The pandemic made me realize that life is short. So why not make a change? Find something you really want to do. There are a lot of resources out there to help you reach your goal—Springboard is one of them. I went through a lot of self doubt and being lazy and wanting to stay in my comfort zone. But now, here I am, a full-time data analyst at Snapchat, and I’m really glad I took that first step six months ago.

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