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Student Spotlight: Soha Gad

Photo of student Soha Gad

From diagnosing issues with legacy Sales Tax Administration systems and overseeing their updates to recovering lost databases worth millions of pounds in Mobinil (Orange Egypt), Soha Gad has never hid from a problem. While Soha didn’t always have the traditional qualifications or experience that her supervisors or superiors expected, she armed herself with the necessary knowledge for addressing the issue at hand and moving forward.

However, when she launched her own company just as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, she realized that there was still more to learn.

Discovering WorldQuant University’s Applied Data Science Lab was “a lifeline.”

“Anyone with a passion for problem-solving and a desire to make an impact should join the Lab,” she says. “ The program is perfect for technical individuals and business analysts who want to sharpen their skills and make a name for themselves in the field of data science.”

Not only did she acquire the skills necessary to take her career to the next level, but she also rediscovered her innate passion for problem-solving. The Lab served as a powerful reminder that not only was she adept at rolling up her sleeves and tackling the toughest of challenges, but she also derived immense satisfaction from doing so.

“I was always the one helping my teams overcome obstacles” she said, “and the Lab reminded me of that.”

Despite spending half of the year in Egypt and the other half in Saudi Arabia and running a company based in the UK, Soha was able to apply to and complete the Applied Data Science Lab at WQU. The experience was transformational.

The hands-on experience and exposure she gained at the Lab, equipped her with the skills and knowledge necessary to make meaningful contributions to the mission-driven projects she works on today.

Now at Tech4Good, Soha found the Lab to be a crucial stepping stone in delivering on the company’s mission. She was able to develop their flagship product, Shika, which uses CBT and evidence-based weight loss strategies to tackle the obesity problem faced by women. Using IBM Watson Assistant, a no-code AI tool, Soha brought her vision to life. However, as the product progressed, she realized that to take it to the next level, she needed more in-depth knowledge of ML and NLP - which the Lab provided in abundance.

Soha is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Applied Data Science Lab and for the instructors’ engaging and empathetic approach to teaching a complex subject. “The session on the ethical use and interpretation of data was particularly enlightening for me,” said Soha, “and it’s something that I will carry with me throughout my professional career.”

Soha insists that more women should pursue data science. “Gender equity in the field of data science is imperative,” she says. “The data itself is neutral, but the interpretation and utilization of it is subject to human biases. The increased participation of women in this field will no doubt lead to a more equitable future.”

For those, especially women, looking to advance their careers in data science, Soha’s advice is simple - patience and self-motivation. “Data science can be a challenging field, but with persistence and a willingness to learn, practice, and challenge oneself,” she says, “the rewards can be immense.”

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