March 2, 2022

Starting Your Career at phData after Graduating College

By Katie Zwiefel

Landing your first role fresh out of college can be daunting. With little to no experience, it is difficult for many to “get their foot in the door” in the data industry. However, looking back at my decision to start my career at phData, it goes down as one of the best decisions I have ever made.

If you are about to graduate college, you may have seen “entry-level” jobs asking for four years of experience and a plethora of skills you have yet to develop. While the search is exhausting and might make you question your ability to land any role, there are opportunities out there that value your freshness to the industry and will embrace your first step in the journey. You may just have to look beyond the big companies that fill your LinkedIn feed.

This post will cover my experience joining phData soon before I graduated college. From the interviewing process to my career nearly a year later, I hope this blog post is informative and inspires you to look beyond what others your age may be doing.

Why Should You Start Your Career at a Small Company?

One of the biggest hesitations about joining a small company was that I was the only one out of my friends to do so. All I heard about joining a small company was that it was a lot of work and didn’t have the same resources and processes in place that a Fortune 500 company would offer. However, with those rumors in mind, I decided to go for it. Here’s what I found:

Is it a lot of work? Yes. But with that work comes an even bigger payback. More on this later.

Does it have a lack of resources for its employees? This couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, I felt that I have more support because I am part of a learning community where it is encouraged to ask questions, and everyone is here to help you get to the next level in your learning and career journey.

Small companies also allow you to have a voice where you work. Your ideas and opinions matter at phData. Higher management encourages feedback often and takes your thoughts about the company and career to heart.

What Are the Biggest Advantages of Starting at a Small Company?

As I mentioned earlier, it is a lot of work to start at a small company. I believe I had a unique experience when I started at Tessellation, which was later acquired by phData. At the time when I was hired, I was the entire marketing team. Just one person right out of college. That meant a lot of long workdays Googling answers to questions I was never taught in college and creating processes for marketing efforts.

The beautiful part about that was experiencing areas of my role that would otherwise take years for me even to have the chance to sit in on a meeting for if I worked at a large company.

Anything I had the interest to be part in was fair game, so I gained experience right after I was hired that may have taken others years to have the opportunity to be part of.

“I’ve been given a lot of responsibilities that I wouldn’t have been considered for if I had worked for a big company right out of college.”

The amount of professional and personal growth you have at a small company like phData is limitless. Even in an entry-level role, you work on projects that matter with some of the most brilliant people you will ever meet. These folks are more than willing to help with any questions and encourage you to not be afraid to ask for help on any project or task–big or small.

phData has cultivated a community surrounded by teaching and learning. We learn from each other by sharing our knowledge and resources openly and are happy to see each other succeed in our roles. Outside of messaging one another, phData also offers access to Data Coach, an e-learning platform with numerous data analytics courses available to all employees to use.

“Within a month into to analyst program, I was applying what I have learned to projects.”

If you are comfortable with occasional ambiguity and have no issue asking for help, working at a small consulting company is for you.

Okay, Sign Me Up! Where Do I Apply?

We love the enthusiasm! If you are still in college and looking for a role in the data analytics industry, we encourage you to reach out and ask about our analyst program. This program is for those with no prior experience or looking for a career change in the data space. 

If you have a few years until graduation and someday wish to work in data analytics, we recommend aligning your major and continuing to upskill.

If you are interested in current roles, check out our careers page to learn more about data careers and operational roles such as sales, marketing, and human resources.

What is phData?

If you have never heard of phData, let us introduce ourselves! 

Founded in 2014 by three leading cloud engineers, phData focuses on solving real-world business data and analytics problems with the best cloud platforms and products. From Data Strategy to MLOps consulting to dashboard development, our team helps you get more value out of your data—whether it’s just connecting the dots or rewriting the whole book. 

With innovative customers in a range of industries and phData’s best practices in hand, our engineers, consultants, and architects love taking on new challenges.

Data Coach is our premium analytics training program with one-on-one coaching from renowned experts.

Accelerate and automate your data projects with the phData Toolkit