Insight Data Engineering Program Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any recommendations for how I can prepare myself to transition to data science?
In addition to learning on your own and doing side-projects, we recommend taking some introductory computer science classes[a][b] (first 2-3 courses in whatever the core CS curriculum is for undergraduates at your university). This will provide you with an extremely solid foundation that will serve you well in your research, as well as a foundation for doing data science and anything software related in the future. Additionally, we would also recommend an introductory statistics course and a machine learning course if it is available. For more tips, check out this blog post.
About the Insight Program
What is the program cost?
There is no tuition fee to participate in the program.
Do you offer funding for Fellows?
If you are invited to participate in the program[c], you will be eligible to apply for a need-based scholarship, which is intended to cover some of the costs of living, but not all of the costs. This scholarship could also fund relocation expenses and other essential day-to-day living needs.
Can you provide a list of companies that are hiring this session?
Unfortunately, we don’t have a comprehensive list of mentor companies; hiring at tech companies is done very quickly, and they don’t usually plan their hiring needs this many months in advance. The list of companies that hire out of the program varies a bit from session to session; the white paper and the Fellows page includes a representative sample of these companies.
Do you plan to have programs in other locations in the future?
We are currently focused on our Silicon Valley, New York, and[d] Remote program locations, but as a quickly growing company, there is possibility in the future to expand both our programs and our locations.
Do you partner with companies internationally?
As of this time, we do not currently work with companies internationally, but we are open to this idea and would like to expand our partnerships to companies located outside of the US.
Does everyone who completes the program receive a job offer?
As a result of completing the 7 week program, Fellows interview with mentor companies and are offered jobs. The amount of time it takes each Fellow to receive and accept an offer varies. The Insight team works with everyone very closely to determine the best fit for them to ensure they are successful and happy in the new role.
Admissions procedure / qualifications
Am I qualified to participate if I don’t have a PhD?
Unfortunately, at this time we only accept candidates who have completed or are approaching completion of a PhD. However, you may be interested in our Insight Data Engineering Fellows Program, which does not have an education requirement.
Is there an age limit to participate in the program? Do I have to be a recent grad?
We do not have an age limit on program participation, and welcome you to apply as long as you have a PhD.
After submitting an application, when can I expect to hear back?
After submitting your application, we will be in touch-how does rolling work? Current answer on site: [e]While we sometimes accept applications up to a year in advance, we typically do not begin reviewing applications until 2-3 months before the session is scheduled to begin. In the meantime, the Insight Notification List is the best way to stay up to date on new sessions and application deadlines.
Can I edit my submitted application?
If the edits to your application are minimal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the changes you would like us to implement. If your edits are more substantial, please submit a new application. If you would like to update your resume/CV, please email email@example.com with a PDF file and a team member can update your application accordingly.
If I apply for a session and I am not accepted, can I re-apply for a future session without being penalized?
If you are not admitted, we would absolutely welcome you to reapply without penalty. When you reapply, we would encourage you to update your application with any new projects, tools or classes you have worked on since your last submission.
Can I submit an application for more than one session?
If you are interested in both the New York and Silicon Valley sessions[f][g][h], we ask that you please take the time to consider each location and submit your application to the location you are most interested in working in. Remember, Fellows in the Silicon Valley session will be introduced to and interview for jobs based in Silicon Valley, while Fellows in the New York session will interview for jobs in New York. We[i] expect admission for the two locations to be equally competitive. Your choice should be based on where you prefer to live and work.
How many applications do you receive/what is the acceptance rate?
Insight is indeed a competitive program, as we typically have ~1000 applications for each cycle of the Data Science program. As a result, we currently have many more applications than we have spaces in the program, but we are always looking for ways to grow the number of people who we can help in their career transition.
Do you keep a wait list for future sessions of Insight?
Unfortunately, we do not keep a wait list and require applicants to reapply for each session of Insight they are interested in. I would recommend that you sign up for the Insight Notification List to hear about future opportunities to participate in Insight.
What visa do I need to attend the program? Do you accept applications from non-US citizens who are not currently based in the US?
There are no specific visa requirements to participate in the Insight program, so as long as you can legally be in the US for meetings/conferences. If you need a visa to work in the US, you will have to apply for the January session of Insight because of the April H1B deadline for employers.
What does the interview look like?
The interview consists of a 30 minute Skype chat with a Program Director. You will be given specific information prior to the interview, with enough time to prepare.
When will the next program be offered?
In the past, we have offered three Silicon Valley, NYC, and Remote program sessions of Insight per year - January, June, and September, and expect to continue this pattern going forward. The sessions currently accepting applications are listed on the application page. The Insight Notification List is the best way to stay up to date on new sessions and application deadlines - we will send out a notification as we confirm future session dates and application deadlines.
Before coming to the program
Can I talk to an alumn of the program?
We are more than happy to connect you with an Insight alumn once you have been invited to participate in the program.
How long will I need to stay in the program location area once the program ends?
You must intend to get hired as a full-time data scientist after the program is finished and agree to interview with mentor companies immediately after the program. This process typically takes five to eight weeks following the conclusion of the 7 week program.
What if I am accepted and have to miss a few days of the program?
Participating in the program is a full-time commitment, and you are required to be present every day. Missing a day could result in falling behind. With that said, we understand that sometimes life happens and if something comes up and you are unable to attend a day or two, we will work with you to catch you up on what was covered.
About the remote program
Could I get more details about how the remote program works in comparison to the local sessions?
The re[j]mote program is identical to the in-person programs, with the only difference being that the companies in the remote program are located all over the US but not in NYC, Silicon Valley, or Boston. You can participate in the remote program from anywhere in the US. [k]That being said, if you are more interested in working in Silicon Valley, NYC, or Boston, then we recommend applying for those programs versus the remote program.
Can the remote program be done from any location, or the candidate has to be in the USA?
You may participate in the remote program from any location, but you must be eligible to work in the US upon completion of the program. Also, please note that as a participant in the program, you must be available generally from 9am-6pm Pacific Time, which may make participation in the full-time program difficult from vastly different time zones.
What is a "remote" session? Does that mean an online-only version?
Our remote program consists of using a live video conference system to interact with Fellows and the companies we work with, which is online only. This does not consist of watching videos, as this environment is completely live.
If I apply for the remote program, does that mean I can also interview with NYC and Silicon Valley hiring companies? Or would I only be able to interview with companies outside of NYC/SF?
If you would like to work in SF or NYC, we would recommend for you to apply for those programs versus the remote program. If you participate in the remote program, you would only interview for companies outside of SV and NYC.