‘Aalto is a safe place for building your skills and confidence’
When Linh Nguyen went to high school in Vietnam, she enjoyed studying mathematics and probabilities. But at the same time, she was also very interested in social sciences, and on her spare time she did, for example, volunteer work with her friends.
Before starting her Data Science studies at Aalto University, Linh had already lived in Finland for a couple of years, as she studied information technology, business and web development elsewhere. Therefore, she was already working as a Web Developer when she started her studies at Aalto.
‘In order to develop good and maintainable software, you need to have a very good foundation. That’s why I had been looking for Data Science courses in Helsinki, and that’s when Aalto opened the Bachelor’s Program in Data Science,’ Linh tells us now.
She finds it important to break the stereotype according to which all coders are men, and encourage more women to study technology and data science. She points out that, in some schools, girls are still discouraged to study science – back in school, that was her experience, too.
‘All my female friends in the Data Science program do really well, and at Aalto, no one will tell you that you cannot do it. Instead, they really value your points and input – it’s a really safe place to build your skills and confidence.’
‘As a data scientist, you have the power’
When Linh decided to apply to study at Aalto, she thought it would be important to obtain a degree with good job prospects. The English program in Data Science seemed like a good choice.
Now, Linh is a second-year student and happy with the choice she made. The program has provided her with valuable tools that help her in her current job as a Web Developer. She also enjoys studying at Aalto where people are always ready to help each other.
Living in Otaniemi is the kind of an experience that every Aalto student should get
‘The professors and teaching assistants here are willing to listen to students. They encourage you to give feedback on courses, and you actually see that they make changes based on it.’
Linh lives on-campus in Otaniemi. ‘Living in Otaniemi is the kind of an experience that every Aalto student should get. The student life here is great! It’s convenient to go to school, but there are also a lot of clubs and activities that welcome everyone.’
Her plan is to start working on her Bachelor’s Project in fall 2020. She would like to work on a project focusing on either social networks or some type of a biological or medical application – and she is still very keen on working for a better society.
‘As a data scientist, you have the power because you know technology and math. Data science can help to tackle many societal problems, for example. You can use it to recognize fake news and polarized content but also to solve many other problems.' After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree, Linh wants to continue her studies in a Master’s Program.
Helsinki is safe and ideal for traveling in Europe
Linh thinks that Helsinki is a perfect place for studying in Europe. ‘When you live in the Helsinki region, you can easily access other places in Europe, but at the same time, you live in a very well-functioning society which you always feel safe in and which isn’t too busy.’
She says she has recommended studies at Aalto, and in Finland, for her relatives and friends who are still in high school. ‘This is a really good university, but you need to do well on the SATs to get in. If you get really high points, you may even get a scholarship.’
If Linh moves away from Finland in some point, she will surely miss the nature and the forests. ‘Many people think that nature is present everywhere in Europe, but in many places that is not true. But in Finland, you can just walk out of the city center and you’re already in the forest.’
Linh Nguyen, BSc student in Data Science
Will graduate with a Bachelor of Science (in Tech.) in 2021
Lives in Otaniemi
Comes from Bac Ninh, Vietnam
Greatest study-related accomplishment: Linh and her friend won a sustainability challenge at Junction 2019 (a hackathon organized in Helsinki) with a project called ‘Ecof.ai - Find pareto-optimal cost and emissions tradeoff for conference locations from flight data.’
Joined the Aalto Debating Society. ‘I debate a lot! Many people think that debating is just yelling and getting angry at each other, but it’s not true. Instead, you get to talk about different issues that you do not normally talk about in our daily life or in school. Debating can also help you to improve your critical thinking and public speaking skills.’
Dreamt about becoming a painter or scientist as a child. ‘Looking at my paintings, I can see why my painting career didn’t go anywhere! Science is very powerful, interesting, and it calls for creativity. We also need more women in science.’