Data scientist lands an OPT job at Google

“This is the place everyone should go to learn cutting edge technology.”

“I’m completely lost,” says Renato Roschel Ribeiro, who is clearly delighted to have started a full-time business data analytics job for search engine giant Google. “They say I’m on the right track if I’m lost.”

Roschel, an international student from Brazil who recently completed certificates in Database and Data Analytics as well as Computer Programming, is putting his new skills to work as a senior business analyst at one of the most well known Silicon Valley companies in the world.

“I’m working with data and trying to understand and get insights from the data to leverage business,” Roschel says. It’s a great opportunity for his career.

Roschel, who applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows him to work for up to one year on an F-1 visa, got his job through a company that provides contractors to Silicon Valley companies.

After the contracting company set up testing and an initial digital conference interview that focused on hard skills such as SQL problems, algorithms, business scenarios and even a puzzle, Roschel was invited to Google’s Mountain View campus. Two interviews focused primarily on the business side of things and company culture. They asked how he might handle different work situations. After a week, he had a full-time job offer.

“It wasn’t difficult,” says Roschel, who has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA. He started as a software engineer in 2000. Like many of the professionals updating their skills at Extension, he has several other careers. He worked as an IT manager and was head of e-commerce at a retail chain in Sao Paulo. His experience with Google products as a digital marketer gave him an edge in the hiring process.

Roschel studied English in San Diego with EC Higher Education, a partner of UCSC Extension, and he learned about the Silicon Valley-based UCSC Extension certificate course in data analytics.

“It’s a very hot topic now,” he says. The nine-month certificate programs included machine learning, predictive analytics, and the statistical tools for data analytics. “This is the place everyone should go to learn cutting edge technology.”

The best courses were the hardest ones, like Intro to Machine Learning and Data Mining with Shashidhar Sathyanarayana, Ph.D., an instructor, author, and founder of an algorithm product company. (He also holds 20 patents in machine learning and ultrasound imaging.)

“It was pretty deep and the assignments were demanding so I had to work hard to get the point,” Roschel says.

While he was still taking Extension courses, an international student advisor helped him get a five-month internship as a data scientist with Eros Now, an on-demand Bollywood and regional language entertainment network with an office in Redwood City.

“I could apply some of the machine learning that I learned there,” said Roschel who built a recommendation engine for movies and music. “I got lucky.”

He also joined classmates at local Meetups in the area on predictive analytics and machine learning. It was a chance to visit great local companies like Nvida, Facebook, and Google.

“It was great for people studying there to have those things available.”


You can find more information about international programs on our website.

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