From Contractor to Business Analyst: How One Student Gained the Skills Needed to Land a Career with Uber

A position at Google is a dream for many tech-lovers, serving as a haven of innovation and opportunity. But, as Daniel Tang found, it’s not the right place for everyone.

After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in business, Daniel was lucky enough to score a coveted contract position at Google Express. For three years, he worked hard to gain foundational skills that support a successful career in business analytics.

The problem? Google mainly uses its own toolbox. He realized that if he wanted to advance his career, he would have to look elsewhere. “I realized that if I ever wanted to work outside of Google, I’d need to pick up skills beyond Google’s arsenal of analytic tools—I’d need to learn Python, Tableau, and JavaScript,” said Daniel.

So he decided to upskill.

Discovering a Data Analytics Boot Camp

Daniel started to look for resources to help him fill in the gaps in his data education. When he came across a data analytics boot camp powered by Trilogy Education Services, a 2U Inc. brand, he knew it would be a perfect fit. In just 24 weeks, he’d gain fundamental skills that could carry him beyond any one company, making him a more attractive candidate in the long-run.

On the first day of boot camp, Daniel felt excited—but mostly, he was overwhelmed. 

“In the first week, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to maintain a good work-life balance. I wasn’t confident that I’d be able to juggle both my work obligations and my homework assignments,” said Daniel.

Tackling the heavy workload is easy, thanks to expert instructors

Luckily, Daniel’s worries were no match for his commitment to learning data analytics, and thanks to guidance from his expert instructor and TAs, the work was manageable.

“My instructor Dani was awesome. She knew her stuff. It was a great wealth of knowledge to have in the classroom,” said Daniel.

For Daniel, his instructor’s level of expertise was the best part of the boot camp. He was surprised that Dani could condense so much technical information into such a short amount of time—and that she could teach it in a way that allowed him to master it quickly.

“I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did,” said Daniel. “And the fact that Dani could go into each topic, give an overview, and teach us to apply it in a meaningful way was amazing. It set the foundation for us to build projects that we were proud of.”

A chance to master public speaking

Beyond the hard skills involved with data analytics, Daniel’s instructor helped him master the art of public speaking. In the first week, each student had to choose a topic they were passionate about and put together a formal presentation. It didn’t have to be technical—it was just a way for the students to practice presenting their ideas and talking to the class with confidence.

“The fun presentation at the beginning made it much easier to present my data projects later on when I had to tell captivating stories using data,” said Daniel.

Both sets of skills served Daniel well when it came time for his next challenge: an exciting career. A few months after graduating from boot camp, a recruiter from Uber reached out asking to interview Daniel for a full-time Business Analyst role. At first, he wasn’t sure if he would be a competitive candidate. “I was worried I didn’t have enough practice with my new skills,” said Daniel. But he decided to test the waters and submit his application.

As part of his interview, Daniel had to prepare a visualization for a data set using Tableau, then present it to an Uber manager. After months of practice with the language plus his newfound public speaking skills, Daniel was up to the test.

Changing in a contract position for a meaningful full-time career

Finally, Daniel had the skills he needed—and Uber thought so, too. Within two months of graduating from a boot camp, he said goodbye to contract work and hello to a new, full-time position with Uber.

“So far, working with Uber has been awesome,” said Daniel. “Using data, I empower decision making on a global level, improving safety for our riders and partner drivers. The boot camp gave me the skills I need to do this work effectively.”

His last bit of advice? “Go in with the curiosity and passion for mastering this stuff. It’s a lot of work, but in the end, it’s well worth the effort,” said Daniel.

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