MANUEL STEINER: DATA SCIENTIST

FROM THE SWISS ALPS TO CAPCO LONDON: MY DATA SCIENCE JOURNEY


Bonjour everyone! My name is Manuel, and I am originally from Switzerland. I grew up in a small village in the Swiss Alps eating succulent creamy Swiss cheese and skiing down some vertiginous slopes, before deciding that it was time to broaden my horizons by learning a new language, meet new people from diverse backgrounds, acquire new skills and step out of my comfort zone.

What a journey it has been since I set foot in Durham in 2014. While enjoying my immersion in the friendly and bubbly North East of England, I had the chance to broaden my knowledge by pursuing a MSc in Economics. Having been fascinated by various flavours of linear regression learnt during my Master’s, I wanted to go even further and know more about how non-linear modelling techniques could solve problems differently. I then decided to pursue a MSc in Statistics at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

This was, without doubt, the best decision as not only did it satisfy new intellectual learning opportunities but it also equipped me with the right mindset, knowledge and tools to apply to my career as a data scientist at Capco in London.

All the R programming skills and paradigms I learnt at university have proven to be highly transferable and fruitful when I started to use Python on a daily basis at Capco. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given to use skills learnt at university to solve real business problems. I’ve been involved in exciting projects such as using machine learning to predict a client’s profitability, using natural language processing to analyse traders’ comments to fix bonds settlement inefficiencies, and using econometric regression modelling techniques to predict a firm’s future revenues.

Aside from the technical aspect of the job, I have been able to quickly develop my people skills; from learning to shape and deliver presentations to large audiences to regularly interacting with senior clients to ascertain their business requirements. Through this exposure, Capco has given me the opportunity to rapidly develop and hone my business acumen. The nature of the industry we are working in has heightened my understanding of why banks hire consultants: we bring a valuable outside-in perspective and much-needed skillsets to help clients accelerate the implementation of critical solutions.

The learning opportunities do not stop there. As a Capco employee, you have access to an online learning platform where you can enrol in courses that are either of personal interest or of direct value to your client account. You are also actively encouraged to get industry certifications for various data science tools and cloud platforms, which keeps you constantly on your toes and provides you with new growth opportunities.

The chance to get involved more broadly is there as well, either in the account you are working on, the capability you are in, or for Capco internally. You can help conduct interviews for potential new colleagues, support with writing request for proposals (RFPs) to pitch to new clients, write and deliver courses internally – there are endless ways to add value back to the firm and you’re recognised for these efforts.

Upon reflection, amongst the many things I like at Capco, the facet I enjoy the most is the collaborative spirit that reigns. While being a consultancy, the structure of the organisation is flat, akin to a start-up environment, which makes it very easy to interact with senior management. At Capco, you are actively encouraged to voice your opinions, whatever your position. This can be on a technical method used to solve a problem or brainstorming on how to define a business proposition. Having my perspective heard and acknowledged reassures me of the value I bring to the team. The expertise and capability of each and every individual of our team is echoed in the quality of the projects we deliver, and the high impact change we achieve for our clients.

We also definitely make the time to have fun. On a Friday night, you’ll find a bunch of us celebrating our achievements and camaraderie with a drink or perhaps at some group activity such as bowling and axe throwing (COVID-19 restrictions permitting, of course…)!

If you would like to know more about being a Capco data scientist, please reach out to me at manuel.steiner@capco.com