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Back in 2018, I was deciding whether to leave the world of education. I enjoyed my time working in astrophysics, but I wanted to do something a bit more down to earth, and I wanted to feel like the work I did mattered. Co-op really appealed to me for a variety of reasons. My Dad worked for a co-operative in Ireland, so I knew I shared similar values with the co-operative movement. Plus, I felt working at Co-op would give me the opportunity I needed to do something more meaningful with my skills.

A new adventure

As an astrophysicist working in education, I needed to be good at statistics, modelling and coding, but most of my time was spent writing papers and proposals. Here at Co-op, I get to spend a lot more time working on things that excite me. Now I use my skills to solve interesting problems and make good things happen. Plus, I get to work more closely with other people, which I love.

Working together

When I first joined Co-op, it took some time for me to adjust, but the team were always checking in to see how I was getting on. My old astrophysics colleagues work in cities around the world, so I didn’t have many opportunities to work closely with them, but now I feel like I’m part of a team. At Co-op, I’m always working with someone else towards a shared goal, and for me, that’s much more engaging. Now I can see the impact my work has on the rest of the team, and I know my work is valued.

Learning new skills

Here at Co-op, you need to be flexible and ready to learn. We’re all encouraged to spend time learning new skills and techniques, and we always set time aside so we can share what we’ve been working on. So far, I’ve gained new skills in SQL, Pyspark, Databricks, and Azure machine learning. In fact, I feel like I’ve learnt more in my two years at Co-op than in my last few years in academia. 

A day in the life of a Data Scientist

As a Data Scientist at Co-op, you’ll have the opportunity to work with lots of different types of data from all across the business. Recently, I worked on personalised digital offers for Co-op members, and it was really satisfying to see my work in action on the Co-op app. Plus, we just moved over to a cloud-based system, and it’s been great getting hands on with the new tools. With the diversity of Co-op data and the new resources provided by the cloud platform, there’s nothing our team can’t do. Co-op is a really exciting and energising place to be.

Thérèse Cantwell

Data Scientist

Data & Loyalty

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