“Using data and AI to improve processes is fun, particularly when the result has a positive impact on fellow citizens.”

Dr. Jakolien den Hollander | Senior Data Scientist

“Using data and AI to improve processes is fun, particularly when the result has a positive impact on fellow citizens.”

Meet Senior Data Scientist Jakolien

Jakolien joined Ginkgo Analytics as a Data Scientist in March 2021. Back then, Ginkgo Analytics was a small company with nearly 20 colleagues. Despite working remote during COVID, she appreciated the friendly atmosphere among colleagues and the mutual support. 
 
Before her career in Data Science, she developed a diagnostic tool for patients suffering from speech and language problems after a stroke. Her work on this project in neuroscience and linguistics was awarded with her Ph.D. degree from five universities in Europe and Australia. While waiting for her manuscript to be approved, she took part in a data science bootcamp, which sparked her enthusiasm for AI and gave her the opportunity to escape a career in science.

“Using data and AI to improve processes is fun, particularly when the result has a positive impact on fellow citizens.”

Dr. Jakolien den Hollander, Senior Data Scientist

Her background in science served as a good foundation for becoming a data scientist. Yet, the transition from science to data science and consulting required a steep learning curve. In science, she was the only user of the code she wrote to deal with data she collected. To provide value to the customer, she rapidly learned how to write maintainable code that could run in production. Being able to learn many new skills in a short time was one of the reasons she chose to work as a consultant.
 
Consulting is a male-dominated industry, and in combination with technical topics like data and AI the number of female colleagues who code is even more sparse. Also at the customer, she works in a male-dominated team of developers, which she genuinely likes. She feels though, that as a woman working among confident men, she is more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome. Given the current awareness of the importance of diversity, she wishes that diversity initiatives may improve the male-to-female ratio in the industry for the future.

In her spare time, she likes to travel and experience different places. When being at home she enjoys baking, playing piano and gardening to relax.
 

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