close icon for contact modal

Xccelerate Stories: From Assistant Manager in Retail to Now a Data Scientist

Xccelerate HK
October 13, 2021
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

"Upskilling myself with Python, data analytics and data science gives me a competitive advantage in the market. Also, there is no harm in learning a new trending skillset." - Fiona Fong, Data Science & Machine Learning Graduate (Cohort 12)

[Invalid image]

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Hi, I am Fiona - a recent graduate of Data Science and Machine Learning Bootcamp at Xccelerate. I come from a non-tech background where I was working as an assistant manager at a Japanese apparel retail brand (Uniqlo). Before that for my undergraduation, I majored in sociology.

Why did you decide to switch your career into tech and why Data Science specifically?

I signed up for Data Science & Machine Learning Bootcamp as Big Data is going to be the future trend for various industries.

In my previous job, I was required to draw insights from the sales data for reviewing the sales trend and best-selling products to further boost the store's sales and profit. Knowing your customer better with their spending behavior also helps businesses to target better with suitable marketing campaigns.
This is the power of Big Data that is going to be so crucial in the future amongst different industries!

One day, an idea popped up in my head - What if I can work remotely from anywhere around the world? Wouldn’t it be nice? Around March, I saw an Instagram post about the Women In Tech Scholarship program at Xccelerate, and instantly I signed up for it! In brief, Xccelerate provides scholarships to women who want to transit into the tech industry, even without a solid/rigid tech background. Though I couldn’t make it with the 50% scholarship, Xccelerate did provide a subsidy to me for studying the course. And this definitely started a new chapter in my life!

In addition, I think upskilling myself with Python, data analytics and data science give me a competitive advantage in the market. Also, there is no harm in learning a new trending skillset.

At first, I expected the course to be very difficult, but I can tell you that data science is much more interesting and amusing than I expected.

[Invalid image]

How has your journey been at Xccelerate’s bootcamp?

Prior to signing up for the Women in Tech program, I did look up online data science bootcamp and free data science resources. However, since I come from a non-tech background, I thought that I need to learn data science in a more systematic way where a team of professionals are there to answer my question. That’s why I chose Xccelerate. I also looked up online to learn about Xccelerate background and past participant reviews.

In the beginning, I was scared that the course was going to be tough with all that tech jargon or mathematics - but in reality, data science is much more fascinating than I had imagined. I really loved the deep learning part - using only a few lines of code & algorithms that generate a predictive model that will learn the mistake itself. That is so cool! And honestly, the application of this predictive model did make our life much easier - like the google translator or Grammarly.

The bootcamp has been quite intensive. Besides a daily assignment and a weekly quiz, there is a project after learning a new module. The project helped me reinforce the theoretical concepts, technical coding skills and strengthen my presentation skills. In my capstone project, my groupmate and I used data visualization tools like Tableau and seaborn to visualize the data in a graph that better explains the data insight to the audience.

Overall, my experience at Xccelerate’s bootcamp was very fruitful and satisfying with what I have learned from this course. Not only acquiring technical skillset and interview tips but also building/expanding connections with UX/UI and software engineering students/participants. Xccelerate provides a simulated working atmosphere preparing us to adapt to a real-life working environment.

What is something you would like to solve through Data Science & Machine Learning

I would like to leverage the power of data science to solve social problems faced and discussed in society. A simple example is to reduce food waste. Reducing the food waste of a restaurant by forecasting its sales and predicting the amount of food needed to support the sales. Not only reducing the food waste problem but also reducing restaurant costs.

Joining the data science bootcamp was just the beginning of my journey in becoming a data scientist. I will continue learning new topics of data science to acquire knowledge and expand my skill set while staying updated.

[Invalid image]

Do you have any tips for women planning to start a career in tech and especially Data Science?

My advice is to not be afraid and step out of your comfort zone, encourage yourself to try new things and that’s the start. To me it’s not the end, it’s just the start. Even for me, it’s the start of my journey.


Bootcamps are one of the best ways to increase your skillset in a shorter span of time. The IT industry is growing exponentially across the globe. Check out the current Hong Kong market of Web Development, Data Science and UI/UX Design to be well-informed.

If you’re keen on changing your career to the tech industry - Xccelerate offers the courses for you! Check out our full-time tech bootcamps. Learn more about our Data Science & Machine Learning instructor who have over 10 years of experience in the design field and loves to teach! Xccelerate has received 'Best Web Development Bootcamp 2021' and 'Best Data Science Bootcamp 2021' on SwitchUp.

Related Data Science & Machine Learning Training Courses in Hong Kong

Need more advice?

If you are at a choice point in your career and need someone to help you navigate professional challenges. You can make an appointment for our complimentary 1-on-1 Career Consultation and receive personalised career advice.