CWRU Data Analytics Boot Camp: Why I Drive 4 Hours 3 Times A Week

Sam Hilliard Headshot

Sam Hilliard, Jr. is an IT Project Manager in Network Architecture at Robert Half Technology. He joined the Case Western Reserve University Data Analytics Boot Camp in the Spring of 2019.

Prior to attending the CWRU Boot Camp, Sam’s experience with data visualization was as a consumer of data. He encountered scenarios in data architecture and data modeling as a project manager. He also attended an executive education course on predictive analytics and decision-making models. These experiences fueled Sam’s decision to gain more data analytics and visualization skills through the CWRU Boot Camp.

Sam is extremely passionate about learning. To participate in the CWRU Boot Camp, he drove from Columbus, Ohio, to the CWRU campus three times a week. “Driving 12 hours each week was the commitment I made to obtain a hands-on education in the data analytics field,” Sam said.

When asked about highlights from his boot camp experience, Sam began with a hearty laugh. “Learning Python coding was definitely my favorite because there is a tremendous amount of depth. From visualization to machine learning algorithms to Python’s learning library, I can continue to grow and continue to learn. I’m excited to create data models and prototypes with my knowledge of Python, machine learning, and Big Data.”

Sam expressed deep appreciation for the boot camp teaching staff, including lead instructor, Rocco Soma. “His grasp of the subject matter was superior. He was able to explain the content to us and determine the learning priorities in terms of the real world.”

Interviewed prior to his graduation, Sam was looking forward to presenting his final project at the CWRU Boot Camp Demo Day. Demo Days are quarterly events where the CWRU Boot Camp graduating classes present their capstone projects to the public. On a typical Demo Day, dozens of representatives from area companies attend including hiring managers, and human resource staff who are recruiting to fill open IT positions.

Beyond the CWRU Boot Camp Demo Day, Sam was also considering opportunities to participate in startup pitch competitions.

“The CWRU boot camp allows you to look beyond just doing a project for a project’s sake and getting a good grade. I’m hoping to commercialize my idea, to develop a product that has the potential to create a startup.”


Find out more about CWRU Boot Camps today.