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A good challenge

Thursday, October 15, 2020

A self-described “lifelong technology enthusiast,” Max Niebergall enrolled in the Master of Data Science & Artificial Intelligence (MDSAI) program to launch a impactful career in data science.

Max Niebergall sitting on a lime green boxAs an undergraduate student in computer science at Wilfred Laurier University, Max realized that he was only just beginning to skim the surface when it came to developing critical skills in data science. “The MDSAI program gives me the opportunity to double down and master skills in AI, machine learning, statistics, data mining and other areas that will be foundational for the future,” he affirmed.

As he completes his first months in the program, Max points to the quality of the Waterloo Math community as the clear highlight of his Waterloo experience so far. “I’ve always believed in the power of community,” he reflected. “I learned how to make a positive contribution through participating extensively in Laurier Rotaract and other student clubs, and I hope to make a similar contribution at Waterloo.”

Max is well on his way. He recently joined the Board of Directors of the Graduate Studies Endowment Fund as the representative from Waterloo Math, and he has also thrown his hat in the ring in the election for the role of Director of the MDSAI program.  “If I win this election, I plan to organize events for my fellow MDSAI students that bring us closer together,” he shared. “The ongoing pandemic makes long-term friendships significantly more challenging, but more important than ever to build.”

In the meantime, Max continues to engage with other students through video calls and class projects. While he hopes to resume in-person interactions as soon as possible, he is busy charting out his next career moves. As he considers potential co-op employers, he dreams about joining a large tech company that provides concrete opportunities to solve problems, even on a small scale. “At this stage of career, my priority is to get as much hands-on work as I can,” he expressed.

While Max aspires to work his way up to a director-level role in data science, he doesn’t discount the possibility of starting his own business one day. “Wherever I land, I’m looking forward to taking on meaningful, rewarding work,” he said. “The MDSAI program has certainly had its challenges as I work to build my career and build community, but I like a good challenge. It’s preparing me to take the next step.” 

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