Isabel Chaves, Data Scientist at Farfetch

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Early years and where you came from?

Well, I am still in my early years. Once I started college, I had no idea where I would be after getting my bachelor's but those years helped me connect to what I like to do and my passion for math.

How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?

During the last year of my bachelor's, I knew that I loved what I learned, but I was not entirely on the right track. Having a bachelor in Medical Computing and Instrumentation Engineering is challenging and opens doors to different worlds. The one that I liked the most, and where I was investing my free time was computer science. Once Farfetch opened a Data Scientist spot during the plug-in program, I knew that was my opportunity.

Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.

I like to say that I am a Data Scientist by day and a master student by night, at least for the last one and a half years that is my reality. I am a Data Scientist at Farfetch ranks team, the team that revolutionizes how fashion products are displayed on the platform.
During after-work hours, I am doing my masters on Modeling, Data Analysis and Decision Support Systems at Faculdade de Economia do Porto. Currently, on the process of writing my thesis, so stay tuned.
Besides that, I am also part of the Data Science Portugal (DSPT) community, a group of Data Science enthusiasts that creates events and content promoting the Portuguese data science community engagement and growth.

What part of what you do, you love the most?

Creativity. Honestly, being a data scientist also means that you are allowed to be creative, and there is not only one way to solve a problem.

How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?

Well, having a bachelor's in Medical Computing and Instrumentation Engineering (and even the first year of Neurophysiology that I accomplished before starting my bachelor's) can give you a sharp eye for the details and the feeling you can keep learning and improving. During the bachelors, since we work with hospital systems and machines, we always need to look deep into how everything works, even for the small details.

What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?

Do not be afraid, it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Surround yourself with people like you and do not stop your curiosity. Most importantly, follow people that inspire you and challenge you to be better and go beyond.
Besides that, if you’re not convinced, I challenge you to talk with me, and I will try my best to guide and help you.

Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese women in tech.

I am not a happy morning person, so I usually start my day with a cup of coffee. I work in an open space office, in Porto, so office hours are similar to most of the readers. My typical day includes coding, researching and being creative to propose new ideas to solve the new problems and challenges that come along.
I am also a member of the Data Science Portugal (DSPT) community so if you go to our Porto meetups feel free to say ‘Hi’.
Besides that, I am also a book lover, so I always have a book with me to read some pages on unexpected free time.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Don’t give up. You can do it!”
You are probably thinking about how cliché are those words and how likely you are tired of hearing them. For me, I have been hearing them since I was a small baby trying to give my first steps. However, it is still true, as long as you set your mind to do it, you can do it, it only depends on yourself.
Don’t give up of doing the simple things (like getting out of the bed in the morning) to the hardest and crazy ideas that you might have even if that means that you want to do skydiving or becoming a scientist.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Spotify for sure! Pycharm, Google (and all of its apps), Medium, Slack, and many more.

👉Find Isabel on LinkedIn

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