Interview Diego Olaya
Tell us Diego, who are you?
Well, I’m a 32 year old Colombian who ended up in Belgium because of love. (laughs) While I’ve been in Belgium for seven years, I still return to Colombia once a year to see my family. I met my partner in Germany, where I was an exchange student at the time and naturally decided to continue my studies in Belgium. At the VUB in Brussels, where I studied International Business, I had the chance to pursue a PhD in Business Economics. After university I wanted to keep on working on data science, but only hands-on experience, with real-world data and on applying data science tools to business cases. So, once I started working in the industry I mainly focused on applying data science tools to business cases.
And can you describe yourself in just one word?
How did you end up at MbarQ?
Actually, a HR-recruiter of MbarQ contacted me, asked whether I would be interested in joining MbarQ. She arranged our first meeting with managing partners Stefan and Erik, during which we mostly discussed the purpose, vision, and values of MbarQ. I got really motivated on the idea that business also has a value within data and AI. After a few more meetings, I was genuinely intrigued by their strategy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“One of the greatest joys in life is experiencing fulfillment through your work, and sharing that satisfaction with a team of passionate colleagues who are dedicated to bringing AI closer to people.”Diego Olaya, Data Scientist
What do you do as a Data Scientist?
I’ve been working at MbarQ for a month and a half now. I started by getting my Microsoft certificate Data Scientist Associate in order, as one does. Later I began working on several initiatives in an effort to improve current data and AI applications. mainly to increase their intelligence and speed. For instance, I’m now working on a smart application called the CompanyFinder that connects the consumer with the correct expertise center. A chatbot would make this application even faster and more effective.
Where does your fascination for AI and data originate?
Well, I studied Economics and Economics is data. The quantitative topics in school have always been my favorites over the qualitative ones. Let’s just say that I could be excited about forecasting and calculating economic indicators. So during my PhD, it became clearer and clearer to me. I no longer wanted to explore the theoretical side of economics and data, but I wanted to work in developing data science applications.
“I no longer wanted to explore the theoretical side of economics and data, but I wanted to work in developing data science applications.”Diego Olaya, Data Scientist
Are you ambitious?
I’m ambitious in the sense that I’m always learning new things, which is related to my constant curiosity. Following the many fresh developments in machine learning tools is definitely the first step in doing this. In the near future, I would like to have accumulated enough knowledge and confidence in the industry to advance to a leadership position, where inspiring others is key.
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