Class of 2020
“I am so grateful for my work-based learning opportunity and my team at WakeMed. Because of the close relationship between Wake Tech and WakeMed, I was able to learn firsthand the skills and knowledge I need to be successful in a business analytics career.”
— Smitha Ruddarraju
After one semester working in the Information Services Department at WakeMed, Smitha Ruddarraju, a data science degree student at Wake Tech, not only gained valuable data modeling skills, she landed a full-time job too!
Smitha earned her Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in data science from Wake Tech in December. After gaining hands-on experience at WakeMed, in February she started her new career in a newly-created position as a business intelligence junior analyst. Her hire also illustrates the potential for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics) careers.
“I am so grateful for my work-based learning opportunity and my team at WakeMed. Because of the close relationship between Wake Tech and WakeMed, I was able to learn firsthand the skills and knowledge I need to be successful in a business analytics career,” Smitha says.
Work-Based Learning (WBL) is an opportunity for students to gain valuable job skills and competencies while earning college credit. Students are able to apply what they have learned in the classroom with a paid, supervised work experience that’s directly related to their field of study. They typically work part-time, from 10 to 30 hours per week while attending school and earning academic credit.
Wake Tech’s Data Science and Programming Support Services degree program prepares students to design and develop desktop and web application with an emphasis on business logic and data-driven applications. During her WBL assignment, Smitha enhanced her Tableau software skills to help her create visualizations and reports for WakeMed. Smitha said she enjoyed the experience so much she often worked extra hours.
“I wanted to do all that I could to learn the workspace and environment more,” she said. “It was awesome.”
Smitha encourages other Wake Tech students to pursue Work-Based Learning opportunities. She started her degree while she juggled a full-time job in education and was raising two children.
“My goal was to earn my degree and get a job in my field by the time my son went to college. I met my goal, and that’s proof that you can start anything, at any time, and be successful,” she said.
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