From Working in HR for 7 Years to Tech: An IQ Success Story

From Working in HR for 7 Years to Tech: An IQ Success Story


Dania graduated with a psychology degree and worked in HR for a several years. Feeling the need for change, she decided to enroll in Oklahoma State’s data science program and is now preparing to start her full-time job at Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.

In this success story, we’ll explore how Dania transitioned from working in HR to attending OSU’s data science program, and ultimately being hired for her very first data science position.

Can you tell us more about yourself?

Absolutely! I started with a psychology degree, worked in HR for about 5-7 years, and then felt the need for a change. That led me to Oklahoma State (OSU), where I initially dove into an MBA program.

However, the buzz around data science caught my attention, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic shaking things up. I decided to pivot to the business analytics and data science program, mixing my business know-how with new tech skills.

It’s been a fun, challenging journey, and I feel like I’m in the right place, learning and preparing for what’s next.

How was your experience with OSU’s data science program?

The OSU data science program was no easy feat, especially with all the math. But what truly stands out is Dr. C, our program director. His passion and care for each student’s journey made a huge difference.

From day one, we got hands-on with real projects, like a text analytics project with a cloud company, which was a steep dive into the field considering my non-tech background.

The program’s boot camp and diverse cohort fostered a collaborative learning environment, making it easier to tackle tough concepts like statistics. It’s been a blend of theory and practical experience, keeping us busy but also serving to be incredibly rewarding.

Tell us more about your internship.

My internship was with Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores. It’s a chain that caters mainly to professional truck drivers, of course offering fuel, but also providing a place to shower and pick up trucking supplies.

This experience offered me a unique view into the retail and customer service world, focusing on a niche market of road warriors rather than everyday consumers.

Landing the internship at Love’s was a testament to Dr. C’s extensive network and OSU’s advisory board, connecting students with companies like Love’s for real-world experience.

It wasn’t just about applying; it was about being recommended through the program’s connections.

This approach not only set us up for interviews but provided a significant advantage in gaining practical experience as part of our coursework.

How was the interview process and interview prep for you?

The interview process involved meeting key figures from Love’s, focused on behavioral and technical questions, especially around SQL. Despite my limited experience with SQL, the emphasis was on learning potential.

They seemed to understand the gaps in our program and were willing to invest in interns from OSU, looking for a willingness to learn over perfect technical skills.

The technical questions focused on my familiarity with SQL and explaining data model results to non-technical stakeholders. My experience was limited, but I was honest about my eagerness to learn, which they appreciated. It highlighted the program’s strength in producing well-rounded candidates ready to grow.

Can you tell us more about your full-time job offer?

My full-time offer came from Love’s after I interned. It was perfectly timed to follow Dr. C’s gift of an Interview Query premium subscription. This resource was crucial for brushing up on SQL before starting my role, helping me transition smoothly from an intern to a full-time position with confidence.

Using Interview Query was a game-changer, especially for someone needing to beef up their SQL skills quickly. The SQL learning paths were just what I needed to feel prepared. The platform’s interactive and engaging approach to learning made a significant difference, and the practical, real-world application of skills kept me motivated.

What were your thoughts on IQ overall?

My overall experience with Interview Query has been extremely positive.

The blend of interactive learning, real-world applications, and practical insights into what companies are looking for in candidates has made the learning process both relevant and fun.

The platform’s case studies and interview questions from actual companies like Walmart have been incredibly insightful, making me feel more connected to my career goals.