members of the Peak data science graduate scheme

Introducing the Peak data science graduate scheme!

By Amy Sharif and Sorcha Gilroy on September 29, 2021

We’ve launched our first ever data science graduate scheme at Peak this week!

We’re very excited to have welcomed eight amazing graduates to the team. Here’s a quick look at why we’ve launched this data science graduate scheme, what the hiring process looked like and what our new joiners will get out of it!

Why we launched this scheme

Due to Peak’s continued growth, our data science team has been almost doubling in size each year – we started with one data scientist five years ago and now have almost 70! We hire a lot of great people straight out of university having just finished a BSc or MSc, so this year we decided to offer a more structured training programme to give new joiners the best possible start to their careers in data science!

The recruitment process

We received 210 applications for eight roles, which was an amazing response for our inaugural scheme. We advertised the graduate scheme on LinkedIn, the Peak website and also got in touch with some of the university contacts we had within the team which really helped to drive applications.

The initial application process was for candidates to upload a CV and to answer four questions telling us a bit about themselves, their interests, and why they want to work as a data scientist at Peak. Asking these questions really helped us to evaluate the applications better than if we just had a pile CVs to trawl through – particularly as most applicants had strong technical undergraduate degrees, making it very difficult to decide who to choose!

We narrowed the 210 candidates down to 28 who were invited to take part in the next stage – allowing for several drop outs as we expected graduates to be interviewing at multiple places at the same time.

The recruitment process was one of the best I have experienced. On the Assessment Day I managed to meet a variety of people from Peak and was able learn more about the company and the work culture.

Henry Ang

Graduate Data Scientist, Peak

The next stage was a technical challenge and an assessment day. The technical challenge involved analyzing and building a predictive model with a chosen data set. We decided to limit the challenge to one day (sending it at 09:00 with an 18:00 deadline) to prevent people from spending too long on it. We also ran it on a different day to the assessment day to give the candidates enough time to properly understand the assignment and give it their best shot!

We held a virtual assessment day that 15 people from Peak helped to run. We had a variety of tasks throughout the day to challenge the candidates in multiple areas. These included some quick-fire questions (e.g. What’s your superpower? What’s your main strength?), a deep dive into their approach to the technical challenge, a group presentation and an individual interview. It was an exciting day that not only helped us to select our frontrunners, but also meant that the graduates had a chance to meet and chat to lots of data scientists from Peak!

The recruitment process was a unique experience I wouldn't want to miss. The welcoming and friendly atmosphere throughout the interviews and group exercises made me immediately feel at ease.

Nikolas Heinloth

Graduate Data Scientist, Peak

The graduate scheme

We’re keen for the graduate scheme to give an all-round view of what being a data scientist is like, so that they can develop a range of skills and also plan what career path might appeal to them in the future.

The graduate scheme is 12 months in total and includes:

  • Four three-month placements across our retail, manufacturing, insight and R&D data science teams. Here the graduates will learn what data science is like in practice, from working with our customers to developing tools other data scientists can use
  • A group project that they’ll work on together from beginning to end, so they can see how our projects usually unfold
  • Graduate training sessions every two weeks that will build a solid foundation across both commercial and technical skills, as well as the opportunity to attend other data science training sessions!

The questions in the initial application were interesting, the small data project was fun to do and the interview process was more than great. Everyone was so friendly and nice!

Simona Stoycheva

Graduate Data Scientist, Peak

The graduates

This week we’ve welcomed eight graduates into the Peak Data Science team. They have studied a variety of degrees including Business Analytics, Medical Sciences, Operational Research, Maths, Physics and Machine Learning. Between them, they also speak eight different languages!

We hope they have a fantastic year at Peak and we can’t wait to hear about everything they’ve learnt by this time next year!

Interested in a career in data science?

We're always on the lookout for new brilliant minds to join our ever-growing team. Head to our careers page to learn more! ?

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