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AI Leaders Podcast, Episode 7: Journey to becoming a data science consultant

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Math was by far my least favorite subject in school. It wasn’t until I took a statistics class in my senior year of high school that I realized how much fun math can actually be when you apply it in real life.

I never thought I’d be coding in my career, but now I’m doing that and more, using data and math in the work I do every day as a Data Science Consultant with Accenture.

I recently got to share my story in episode seven of our Accenture AI Leaders Podcast.

I’m learning and experiencing new things with every client project, using the power of data and analytics to do some pretty amazing things.

Forging my own path

I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in statistics, and as a first-generation college grad, I was ready to jump in and get to work.

Originally, I thought that I would become a data analyst to do basic descriptive statistics and build visualizations and graphs. Then I thought maybe I would pivot to becoming an actuary. While I was figuring out the best fit for me, my research took me to the Accenture Consulting Development Program (CDP).  

I was hired into the CDP, but I quickly realized that I wanted to be a part of applied intelligence team—because that's where all the cool data science stuff happens. 

Becoming ‘the data science girl’

While I was in the CDP, I established my brand and reputation so that people knew that I was “the data science girl.” I love data. I wanted to build models, and I wanted to code. 

The thing I love about working at Accenture is that I've gained experience in a variety of industries—from retail to finance—and have been able to work in so many roles across data science. And through all my projects, I've built my data science background. 

Two particular projects come to mind.

The first was a project for a government client that required data visualization skills. When I started the project, I had no prior knowledge working with Power BI or Tableau, but I learned on the job. 

The second project was really intense where I did brand marketing effectiveness, or marketing mix modeling, for a finance client. 

My latest project is doing something totally different. I'm using Python—a coding language I've never used before to help solve a supply chain operations problem for a client in the utilities industry.  

Advice for future data scientists

If you’re thinking of a career in data science, the first thing you should do is learn to code. Coding is a valuable skill to have and is applicable to every industry (and I personally think it’s a fun thing to do!). And if you’re in college, start learning about data science—there’s so much to learn and things are constantly changing, so you’ll never be bored.

And if you're ever struggling, just reach out to find people to help you learn. I think what I love the most about Accenture is that you can always find people who are willing to help you learn if you're willing to put in the hard work.

Learn more about my role as a Data Science Consultant at Accenture.

Tune into our Accenture AI Leaders Podcast and hear from our experts on industry trends, opportunities and challenges related to AI, analytics and data.

Take charge of your own career path and help shape the future with the power of AI and data analytics. Join us.


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Kimberly Nguyen

Data Science Consultant, Boston

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