University of Michigan School of Information
Faces of UMSI: Nesma Silman
Nesma Silman is driven by human connection.
It’s the quality that has guided her career as a Customer Care Supervisor for Vodafone and it’s why she chose to pursue a graduate degree as part of the MADS Winter 2020 cohort.
After earning her bachelor’s in civil engineering, Silman began studying Data Science through massive open online courses (MOOCs). She first encountered the MADS program on Coursera while taking the University of Michigan’s “Applied Data Science with Python” course.
Silman noted, “I have a great passion for the field of data science and was going through a self-paced learning path. However, at many points I had self-doubts about fitting into the Data Science role, and I felt stuck and unmotivated, especially because I’m not a computer science graduate. So, I felt I needed a mentor to guide me through my journey.”
She had taken MOOCs through multiple universities, but ultimately chose the MADS program because the majority of her courses had been taught by University of Michigan professors and she was “really impressed with how easy the learning process was” online.
A native of Egypt, Silman is currently completing her degree from her home country. MADS was her dream postgraduate program because the remote format afforded her a high caliber education, including learning from leading academics across the globe, while continuing to work at Vodafone. She’s completed two semesters and is currently enrolled in the “Being a Data Scientist” course.
As a MADs student, Silman is learning how to weave her interest in technology and connection together. She said, “Being involved in the daily customer care operations, I realized how Data Science can play a great role in enhancing customers’ experience as well as helping the company’s decision makers to spot the gaps and plan ahead on how to improve the workflow.”
Finding community has been of the greatest rewards of the program for Silman. Despite MADS online nature, she and her classmates have found meaningful ways to bond. They’ve created Slack channels for each of the courses they’re taking, projects and different topics related to data science.
“I’ve been very happy with how helpful and responsive everybody is, including faculty, staff, and my colleagues. And how all students collaborate and help each other throughout the program. I have received so many useful tips, articles and recommendations from everyone to help me with my journey,” Silman noted.
The wall’s in Silman’s room where she studies are her favorite color: blue. She’s enjoyed adding U-M stickers to match, so continents and oceans away she can be reminded of her U-M community.