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Employee Spotlight: From Learning Quantitative Finance to Selling Data Fluency

Q&A with Mehdi El Hamzaoui, a Senior Corporate Account Executive at DataCamp
Apr 2020  · 5 min read

What was your journey to joining DataCamp?

About 3.5 years ago when I was an account executive in IT consulting, I started developing an interest in finance, specifically in quantitative finance. Quantitative finance, in short, is the application of statistics and mathematics for analyzing financial markets. When my interest grew, I decided to take a break from work and pursue a postgraduate degree in the field.

That year challenged me to refresh and expand my math and stats knowledge, and I was introduced to a variety of interesting topics, including Python programming and data science. Students who had never used Python before, like me, were encouraged to use online learning platforms to get up to speed. One of the platforms I was introduced to was DataCamp!

DataCamp’s approach to teaching programming was a good fit for me and I was able to go from literally zero to...well, not necessarily hero, but I was able to quickly learn how to manipulate data with pandas. DataCamp’s quality of content and delivery stood out to me. Fast forward to December 2018, when I was enticed by DataCamp’s mission to democratize data science education worldwide and join the company as an account executive, leveraging the knowledge I had gained during my postgrad studies. Today I help organizations, small and very large, to become more data literate with DataCamp for Business, our Enterprise platform.

Describe your current team. What do you find most interesting about your role?

I’m part of the Corporate Sales organization at DataCamp. As the Senior Account Executive based in the Leuven office in Belgium, I’m mainly responsible for providing B2B services to our corporate clients in the EMEA and APAC regions. My manager, the VP of Sales, and direct colleagues are all based in the New York office, so team meetings and one-on-ones are held through video conference by default.

There are a couple of things that are interesting about my role. One is getting to know the challenges faced by organizations across industries and geographies, be they in Singapore, Tokyo, Basel, Paris, or London. I get to witness first-hand what the fourth industrial revolution means for organizations in terms of the data skills gap it has created and is continuing to create, and the different levels of urgency that different entities are tackling this phenomenon.

Another thing I find interesting is my interactions with different stakeholders. My conversations with an L&D manager are sometimes vastly different than my conversations with a Head of Analytics, as the former is usually (not always) seeking information about the ease of use of the platform while the latter is more interested in the content. Ensuring that each person receives the information they’re looking for is a key component of my role.

How has your career grown since joining DataCamp?

Prior to DataCamp, my professional experience was limited to Belgium and the Netherlands. Since I started working here, I’ve been able to represent DataCamp in London, Paris, Dubai, and Singapore. Getting exposure to clients from a variety of places has helped me to engage with different cultures and put to practical use (I remember this from a management class)!

What are you most excited about in 2020?

Right now, getting out of the house and seeing family and friends again 😅.

As a member of the Sales team, I’m excited about continuing to help establish DataCamp for Business as the go-to Enterprise learning platform for data fluency for all types of organizations. There is a real and growing trend of initiatives and learning programs around upskilling and reskilling employees to make them future-ready. Every time I get to introduce an organization to DataCamp’s Enterprise platform is an opportunity to shape their view on the importance of data fluency.

What do you like best about working for DataCamp?

The sheer excitement that DataCamp learners demonstrate on social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram! Every time I come across someone posting their progress on DataCamp or showcasing (as they should!) their Statements of Accomplishment or DataCamp Signal assessment scores, I feel that my colleagues and I are contributing to something great.

What are your favorite DataCamp cultural values and why?

My favorite DataCamp cultural value is to “Seek out the truth.” I’m a firm believer in questioning things continuously and not taking them at face value. The more you can hone your nonsense-detecting skills, the closer you can get to the truth.

If you could choose anyone as your mentor, who would it be?

If I could choose anyone as a mentor it would be Richard Feynman, Marcus Aurelius, or a patient version of Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Would you like to join Mehdi at DataCamp? We’re currently hiring in New York; London; Leuven, Belgium; and remote locations. Check out our open roles.

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