48. Landing a Data Science Career with Carlos Lopez

October 26, 2022

48. Landing a Data Science Career with Carlos Lopez
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In this episode, Brock speaks with Carlos Lopez, a connection facilitated by Veterati. Veterati is a platform for connecting service members with common goals, career searching , and networking. Carlos is former SF with specialty in intelligence and after 20 years of service, is seeking a job in data science and analytics. Veterati allows mentees to reach out to and connect with people in specific fields visible through LinkedIn which is why Carlos reached out. We discuss the skills needed to enter the data science field, landscape of jobs available, how to decide what sector to go into, and how to tailor your resume to experiences to the job with experiences in the military.

Show Notes:  
(02:14) - Carlos introduction
(05:05) - How to narrow your job search
(09:19) - What are your current interests and what formed those conclusions
(12:30) - Applying interests to sectors and specific job types
(19:23) - Going deep into one programming language or casting a wide net
(29:26) - Taking experiences from the military and leveraging those on your resume
(37:29) - MBA experience and how the military makes everything easy
(42:03) - Specific company search

The Scuttlebutt Podcast - The podcast for service members and veterans building a life outside the military.

The Scuttlebutt Podcast features discussions on lifestyle, careers, business, and resources for service members. Show host, Brock Briggs, talks with a special guest from the community committed to helping military members build a successful life, inside and outside the service.

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Brock Briggs  0:00  
Hello, and welcome to the Scuttlebutt Podcast, the show for current and former service members who aren't interested in settling. I'm your host Brock Briggs coming at you with a different format style today. On previous episodes, I've talked about the platform Veterati, which connects service members who are transitioning, seeking a new career or just looking to network with other vets. As a mentee, you get to search mentors who have connections and job experiences you're looking for. As a mentor, you get paired up with people looking for advice and needing help. I've had the pleasure of mentoring about 20 people over the last eight to nine months and found it extremely rewarding not only giving back, but from the new connections I've gained because of it. You've heard your network is your net worth. There couldn't be more truth to that. Today's episode, you're hearing a conversation I had with a mentee I got connected with through the platform, Carlos Lopez. Carlos is former SF with a specialty in intelligence and seeking a career in data science. I received permission from him to record our conversation and hopes that someone else can learn from it. You'll be hearing a raw and unedited conversation around the skills needed to enter data science, the landscape of jobs available, how to decide what sector to go into, and how to tailor your resume and experiences that back why you're a great candidate. This was a fun episode for me, and I highly recommend checking out Verratti. I'll also put out an offer to anybody interested, if you're currently active duty transitioning out have been out and looking for a new career field or just want another professional connection. I'm happy to talk with you part of why I enjoy doing this podcast so much as I get to learn in order to help and teach others. If I can offer personalized advice for you please let me know. Reach out to me on social media, my email addresses on the show notes. For now please enjoy this conversation with Carlos Lopez.

So do you want to go ahead and basically kind of like maybe introduce yourself a little bit tell me where you can get into the data analysis, and whatnot, but give me like a little bit of background about like, who you are, where you are in, like the process of like getting out or if you're already out. And then we can kind of like dive into the data analysis and go from there.

Carlos Lopez  2:35  
Yes. Um, so I I'm already retired. So I've been out for about six months. My my background, you know, I started in the military as a combat arms tanker did 10 years on that, then I'm moving to SOF, Special Forces Green Berets, but as lead intelligence for them. So intelligence. So my, that was my last couple years, you know, the the full 20 years? Well, my last I will say, five years at the military intelligence deploy couple time. So I felt that as you know, I work with data pretty good, you know, be able to put out all kinds of data together whatnot. So I was, I am interested in doing something kind of like the outside, right. But one of the biggest problems that I have what I have right now is trying to translate what I already know to like the civilian world, so although I have my I have a lot of skills, and you know, you get all these training in the military, like, it just kind of hard to like pinpoint what was the actual job that does the same thing. So I, I started, you know, like, I mentioned that I was doing my MBA about to be done with it in a year. And I one of the reasons for that is that to just relax about some type of civilian qualification, just in case. But right now, I'm mainly you know, I took my first my first couple months, a few months to kind of relax and reset. And now I'm trying to see how can I get back into the workforce, but when I go work, I would like to get a job that enables whatever my goal is.

Brock Briggs  4:50  
Yeah, no, that's really good. And I'm glad that you're like taking some time after retiring like, did you do full 20 Or did you go over?

Carlos Lopez  5:01  
Full 20. Just a little bit over 20 but not

Brock Briggs  5:05  
good for you. It definitely like warranted some downtime and hopefully get to spend the last few months hanging with some family and recouping. I think one of the best places to start with questions like these is really kind of dig into it. So you've got this interest in data and like data analysis. But I want to like take a step back and talk to you about what you think that you want to do in terms of like a job. I think that a lot of people when they get out and this I, like, went through this myself and so I'm speaking from personal experiences, like I was very focused on, hey, this is like the job that I'm trying to pursue, and not thinking a lot about, like maybe the life that I was trying to live. And because I guess a little bit of my background, like I was interested in finance, and I thought that I wanted to go and work in New York City, work on Wall Street, do the whole, like traditional finance route. As I got further into it, I found that, you know, going an entry level position doing that, I'm going to be working 60 to 80 hours a week, and just like really grinding on that, like life. And when I kind of found that out, I realized that that's wasn't actually what I wanted. And so one of the things that I think is helpful is to kind of frame what you see yourself doing, what type of work environment that you see yourself working in? Is it you know, working from home? Do you want to be in an office? Do you want to be working with other people or solo? Asking those types of questions, and then kind of can narrow back to the job that kind of meets those qualifications, if that makes sense?

Carlos Lopez  6:55  
No, yeah, it makes sense. But definitely, you know, after grinding in the military, and being four different times, you know, you, you know, you got your middle duties, random times, or looking weekends, and I definitely don't want to be losing weekend, I want to have the time with my family. So the autonomy, like I would like to be able to take care, like, really, like maybe like a remote, something that if I need to take care of my kids, go pick him up for one night, I just go through that. And finish the task, because I'm really good at finishing whatever. Somebody tells me that needs to be done. Right. And I don't necessarily have to be sitting down from nine to five or a desk, you know, to accomplish that, so occupied accomplish for and not there, you know, all those times where I feel like sometimes wasting, wasting time. I don't like wasting time.

Brock Briggs  8:05  
Yeah, me either, I am in the exact same boat. And a lot of times with your job, you're we're coming out of a job where the military like was your life and job. And now like, you have the opportunity to like separate those things and say, Hey, we can have your job, but then you can also have your home life. And that's one of the cool things and why I'm a really big proponent of working remotely is because when you understand what the job needs to be complete, quote, unquote, you can self manage, and self direct and like work, get into a position where you can kind of make your own schedule, as long as you're meeting your own deadlines. And finding finding employers that kind of work with that type of working rather than saying, hey, you need to be clocked in from nine to five or, you know, whatever that looks like.

Carlos Lopez  9:00  
No, yeah, thoroughly. Does it that's, that's, that's really like, I guess at the end of the day, that's, that's more we're looking for. And just, I noticed that that's one other thing that I noticed about the data analytics, like I noticed that a lot of physicians, some of them were remote, and I think that attract me to it.

Brock Briggs  9:19  
Ya know that I think that that is spot on a lot of those analyst type positions, you're going to be working remotely. So we've kind of established that you like the idea of working remotely and maybe working self directed or, or asynchronously. And I want to make a call out about what these these types of questions maybe seem redundant a little bit, but I think it's helpful because you have just like eliminated a bunch of jobs that it knowing that you want to work remotely, you have like, instantly, any job that's in person, you can just scratch it off. And when you're approaching jobs, it's easier to eliminate things rather than and saying, you know, what can I do? I could do anything like, No, we got to, we got to narrow down the focus a little bit. So, the next question that I have is what kind of gets you interested in data analytics data analysis to begin with? I'm sure that you kind of had a wide ranging experience across a lot of different things. 20 years in the service. What kind of leads you to being interested in that to begin with?

Carlos Lopez  10:29  
Well, you know, one, I guess, it began with the word analysis, right. I, I, just coming out of the CEO intelligence analysis, I figured, I thought, because it's not not not really the truth. But I thought, you know, that, if at least something we analysis, and I know that they're like financial analysts, analysts, or anything that has analyst at the end, I will match for exposure, I know that that's not, that's not the case. But I did, as I started going to school and doing some Python and stuff like that, I find myself with some projects that I will like, miss a set of data, and I will start exploring the data. And then it's like, I found myself going further than they say, the assignment. Because I feel like, you know, like, I have gone through that it was even more like something that I could do for a long time, I didn't feel like you were worth it. So like, it was like, you know, use that separation strength to me to find, you know, find a way to show somebody something that they never seen, you know, and that you get to find that, you know, I guess that diamonds, you know, I think that's that's kind of what what leads me to a little bit that the fact that you know, that I found when I looked around in the in the internet for like jobs, what remote jobs, and a lot of those jobs were remote. And I think, and then I figured that I had I got a strong analytic background, too. So hopefully, that will help. You know, I give me an edge. When it comes to that.

Brock Briggs  12:27  
I think that it's a really good sign, when you're, you're talking about, you're looking at a data set or something like that. And you're, you get excited about finding something. And then like, being able to share that with somebody like that is such a good indicator that you're like on the right track for like finding a career that aligns with your personal interests. So I that's super exciting, like good for you. And that that's a great realization. Do you find yourself? I know, you said you're working on your MBA right now. Do you find yourself drawn to understanding business? Or are you just more and like, well, let me back up? Do you find yourself more interested in business? Or do you find yourself focusing on just hey, here's, here's the data, and here's how I've like shaped it? And here's what we can find. And then now I'm done with it, where do you kind of like fall on that spectrum?

Carlos Lopez  13:32  
So I do, I do like business? And I do like fine. So I would say, I will say that I am I might be fitness fanatic and finance fanatic, you know, I like to implement, I look at the markets and stuff like that. But you know, I think I could get any, any type of data set and you're so so I mean, it's it I will I would love to do something with business or finance or numbers. But budget, but I think data is any inspiration or any data who works for me,

Brock Briggs  14:12  
I got you. The reason I asked that is because they're usually it's more of a natural fit, and you will automatically kind of like guide yourself into whatever, whatever one you should be into. But there's kind of two different paths that you can go with data analytics roles or analyst roles is more of like a business analyst or a data analyst, like a pure data analyst. Your data analysts are usually people that don't really like to talk to other people there. They want to focus on just the information. They don't really care about what that means, but like they'll they'll figure it out. They'll rehash it, they'll do whatever they have to Do and then they'll hand it off and say, I'm done. The and they're they're really good at that they're extreme, they're very, very smart. And that end of the spectrum tends to be very heavy on the technical skills, the coding, database understanding. That kind of side more technical. The business side, will be less proficient on the technical stuff, probably some knowledge of coding and understanding databases and whatnot, but they will actually have more of an interest in the application of that information. So they will be able to take and, and model the information and then say, here's what we can actually do with that, like, here's, we're looking at a big data set for, you know, a certain business and here's how we can drive business results with that information. And generally, those people like talking to people more, these are kind of broader generalizations. But this is, from what my personal experience, what I see is you can either go very technical and avoid people, or if you're good with people, and like kind of the the application of it, then you tend to be more on the business side. And I think that the MBA, certainly kind of, to me, the fact that you're getting that and pursuing that tells me that you might be more on the business side. But I would want to hear from you if you think that you, if that kind of aligns with your interests?

Carlos Lopez  16:34  
Yes, I think I think I think so I think it definitely more on the business side, because going back to, to my past, you know, I like to sit there and share my findings with people. I will grind through it. But I also will find some love with the interactions and trying to figure things out with other people, especially if it's about their business, and in a way that we can improve our business and do something big. I still have that drive, you know, I got, I got I love the minute I got the drive or trying to achieve something more, you know. So I think I think more in the business side, I think,

Brock Briggs  17:24  
I think so too, just from everything that you've said to me so far. I think that that aligns more. And that's, it's a field that's really in demand. I will say from and again, I'm only going to be speaking from my experience, I'm probably going to say that a bunch of times, but I can only really speak to what I know and what I've seen. But going into this field initially, I really thought a lot of the stuff was common sense. You know, like, understanding charts, like displaying data in different ways seemed like very obvious to me. But and that's why I'll get into this a little bit later. But I'm pursuing a master's in data analytics right now and it almost seemed redundant, because it just was obvious. I was like, how could you not like see through this stuff. And it's not like, it really isn't the amount of people in, in my job, currently and outside of this, that you show them a table of information, a simple x, y axis, you know, a couple of lines. And the fact that you have to explain that to them is it's mind boggling sometimes. And it's super frustrating. And so there is a very, very large gap there where they need people who understand the technical side and can explain it to executives, people who are just less technical, because that, and like the business analyst role kind of fits in that middle segment. And I don't think that that really used to be there. I over the last like, probably 10 years, it's kind of like widened and made a spot for that. But to me where we are coming from as a place where you're like, kind of a people person, or you're a tech person, there's not really, but that role lies squarely in the middle and being able to do both is powerful. For sure.

Carlos Lopez  19:23  
Yeah. And, and, you know, like, I think I'll be attracted to something like that. Yeah. But one of the challenges now is sometimes ask myself, you know, are you you have your so I know a little bit to say, I don't know, a little bit of R you know, a little bit of SQL and Python. And then my question is, how much do you need? Yeah, what Well, I know I mean, I could be like an expert on it. But like within, let's say a year, or may live in the military. You know, if I wanted to be an expert on one of them, I will have to take only one. And so are you trying to make a decision on like, whoa? Like, what should I know? How much should I know, to at least get started, and now having to like, wait for years to actually be completely like SQL and Python, you know, a complete programmer before I could actually do something, you know.

Brock Briggs  20:27  
Right. So are you asking whether, are you asking how much you need to know, to get into the field, or you asking, like, which, which one of those things you should focus on the most.

Carlos Lopez  20:45  
I'm more in the, like, for example, like, Okay, I could grab, like, one or something, I could grab art, I wish I did. And I could download to get some, some data and do the basics, I could run some regression on the data, I could do, you know, usually do regular plot charts and, and decision trees and whatnot. I'm able to do that. So like, I could cou grab the data and exploit it to, to a certain point, right, but I can't like I can't sit there and write a program, or anything like that from from Python, right? Like, I could look through it a set of data, but I can't. So I also know different ways of displaying it. Even if I don't have that one, too. I know a different different ways of display the data, even if its using Excel, or Power BI one, like so. But usually, when you see, the job description is like, well, you need to know Python, you need to know this. Usually, they know, throw three on you, you know, you need to know R, Python, SQL, like will Oh, well, I can't apply for this one. You know, because I don't know. And it's like, I don't know, really, just trying to get to the entry points, at least. And that's the one of the biggest challenges not right now. And I might know what I know, I have everything that I need to make a company successful. But it just, I guess sometimes the way that is painted on the on the job application is like asking for the superhero, right? And then he's like, Oh, we should hide everything, you know, but

Brock Briggs  22:36  
Right? Well, and I don't even some of those job descriptions are ludicrous. Like you said, they're asking for Superman, they're asking for somebody who is just like a 10, out of 10, expert and everything. A job application that says that you need to be like a 10 out of 10 expert in all of those things I would be very leery of, from my experience, and what I see if you will, first of all, we'll even just like take this back and dial back to like looking at individual programming languages. If you know one, really, really well, the others kind of come along, you know, there's different, like, very functional, yeah, it's variations, you know, R to Python. It's like how you print stuff, like how you assign variables and stuff, it just minor minut differences, but kind of the same concepts apply. And so I think that knowing one really well makes others kind of, you know, you pick them up easier. Talking with people who are wanting data manipulated, I don't think that it matters that much. I think that if you go in there and say I am aware of how to use Python, and this, this, this, but I am an absolute expert with this one. Unless, and a lot of this kind of depends on the job too. So you know, if you're going to if you're applying for a programming role, they probably will really want you to know a bunch about each and this is the beauty of like the more business development or business analyst side is, you don't really need to be an expert in all of those things. Just some of the things that you're seeing right now that you're already able to do are like leaps and bounds above like what, like an entry level business analyst is going to need to get in there. If you can run a regression and just the fact that you know what that is, that's huge. That's that's really, really big and if that's a good thing for you. It sounds like you are comfortable enough to like you could get a dataset loaded into multiple different languages and at least look and examine from there. What I would say would be extremely helpful and it sounds like you're kind of leaning more towards rR as like your language. 

Carlos Lopez  24:54  
Yeah, I like R. 

Brock Briggs  24:55  
I would just I would lean into it. And I while I think it's good had to be well rounded and kind of know a little bit of each, I think that that kind of comes with knowing more about one. And I think it is really good to know one really, really well. And you know, maybe that means that you apply to jobs that like are R focused. But if you're really only where that's going to make a difference is if you're applying to a programming job, they're probably going to be a little bit more particular about what languages that you're using, because it has to do with what business processes are run on that information. The beauty of the biz part is that you're kind of in this translation field, where you're taking stuff from the programming end, and you're kind of like, talking through that with like the business side, I don't think that they're gonna care what language you use. The fact that you're able to get the information and draw the insights and say, This is what we need to do, when that that is going to be way more valuable than the biz devs and the executive people, they don't care what language you're using, and the business results, the results don't care. As long as you are able to manipulate the data in a way that you understand it and can draw insights from it. And that is less about language specificity and more about your understanding of the business, and how do we apply that to whatever data we're looking at? And what to look for, in terms of things that we can improve.

Carlos Lopez  26:34  
Yeah, yeah. I do. I do believe, you know, and it does take some time, I felt like, some time is, like, a shame, you know? You know, because so, I run into that problem myself, you know, when I went, when I was in, doing the intelligence field, and we're, I must have found myself like asking for help, or some intelligence organizations, you know, bigger US based. And what will happen is, I will get somebody like, they say, graduated college. And he had all this qualification to say, he, for example for business, you know, said like, they say, was extreme, R programmer, or whatever it was, and then but, but when you try to if the information was there, but then when you ask the question, well, what does this mean to me, like, the person will go blank, and there's, a lot of times, there is like, a balance between a person that could like, look at the you mentioned, dataset, and tell you exactly what's going on with it, versus like, like, knowing us knowing like a language and be able to pull the information, and then being able to, like, make a decision out of it. And I do, I do, you know, would like to learn the languages and everything. So I could actually comfortably get in. But also now, I think I mentioned that before. Now, as I finished my, my degree, I'm looking to start working, you know, I'm doing something, you know, on the side, but I also would like to have something the when I've not used that, when I put it in the in the in the application shows that I don't know how to do data analysis, but something that improves that gets my knowledge of it. So I don't know, there was well, there were roles out there that were like their data analyst helper. I don't know what you know, something like that, that you can actually go and do. I'm looking to do an internship here on I think it started next summer. And the May I think, May or June through August with that Lumen Technologies and I'm applying to it and hopefully that works through but that's kind of one of the ways that I'm looking into getting that experience Yeah.

Brock Briggs  29:26  
Were you able to use any of like your programming knowledge and kind of like your your data analysis muscles in your head at your position while you were in the military?

Carlos Lopez  29:39  
Well, yeah, that's all I did for the Nightstar I would say the last five years it just like, in the military, you don't have like, I think we have to go and and use our SQL right like I use a we have a one our main program was which is a company that's known now is like Palantir, right? And and they do everything, you just like push a couple buttons, extract it, right. And so. So I think it will be the equivalent of using something like, like, like we mentioned before, like Power BI, or something like that, where it's like, you don't really need to know that the language, you know, the data set just gets thrown in there. And you can just grab things and move them around and make the charts and make everything. So I have to do more of that, to where I use a program that was already designed. And then use manipulated the data within. Now, the language that you started learning now, because I just noticed that you weren't necessarily your homework was, you know, a requirement, like when every time I saw a job description, but the languages aren't there, the data, I mean, that's, that's, you know, I will look at data for a week and try to find the inside out of something, something, I come up with something out of it.

Brock Briggs  31:11  
One of the things that I would be sure to do, and include on your resume, I'm not sure if you've gone through like a resume building like workshop or anything like that is, but if you're applying for these types of jobs, I would absolutely be certain to talk about and maybe it's just like you have a bullet point, or and then like, which gets them to ask you about it, because some of these examples that you might have are probably fairly complex and too much to actually type out on a resume. But I would have some examples of times that you use those skills to, like, understand what like the problem was, here's what I did. And here's what the outcome of that was. That's where that's where people really want to see that. I think that employer employers being able to see how you already have exercised that muscle and how that could benefit the company that you're applying to, that it's going to make them want that. So I would be sure to as you'd like, kind of list out on your thing. And experience. You know, a lot of people will just have like a bullet of like, Oh, I was responsible - a lot of the military resume translators are, you know, as a Green Beret, responsible for $100 million of this and it's like, that's, that's all fine. And that's great. But that doesn't mean anything to the company. I would, personally and what I try to coach and like push people towards is maybe have one line about what the that job actually means, like, what what were you responsible for, but then tailor the position to say, hey, if you're applying for a data analyst role, this was a problem. And you kind of almost frame a particular experience, and talk about how you use skills to influence a positive outcome. Or if it wasn't a positive outcome, what you learn from it, and be able to talk to that specifically. And like I said, you probably can't like fit all of that on your resume, but tee it up for them. And they're going to ask. They're going to look through it and be like, hey, you know, I see here that you were framed with this problem. And like you got to this, this outcome. What does that mean? Like, can you tell me about that. And that's where, like we military people are going to really shine is when we can tell them about, hey, there was this crazy complex problem. It's also exacerbated by the fact that civilians generally won't understand the military experience. So they like they automatically think it's like bigger and crazier than it is but you can like kind of whoop it up and like use that to your advantage. That I think is much more applicable and relevant to your future employer, because you're trying to sell yourself you're trying to say, Hey, I've got the skills to do what it is that this job requirements says. They want to they want to know how you have done that in the past. And you've got a ton of experience already. And I know that you've probably got a whole list of times where you've applied that kind of muscle already.

Carlos Lopez  34:28  
Yeah, no, definitely. I think one of them is, the most common way the most common thing that happened was like right you get and actually let me back up on that is like a little bit. So there is a great line you because he's intelligent, right? Interesting and most a lot of intelligence into being thrown into a classified bucket. So you can't really but the basis the basis of it, you know, you could they the data set was a group of targets, right? You, you get high number of targets, and you have to decide which one is the best one to, to take care of right? And then so, so just with that alone, I mean, you have to run like a full character analysis are basically through it. And there is a lot of things that go into into the why this target or not this other one, you know, what are the qualities of this one item versus the qualities of this other item that makes it more suitable for you to me they're easier to do or valuable, or more valuable to take care of right. So, so yes, you have to like, brainstorm that stuff. And that's what I did, you know, and so. So I feel like that compares a little bit some time with some other business problems that people get into, like, should we get together with this company? Or should we not get together with this company? This book, oh, they're the data. And then you take it from there.

Brock Briggs  36:09  
Right? That No, that's exactly right. And having those experiences front of mind, like he said, I would maybe list out two or three experiences that you've had that you can tee up on your resume, and pull the employer into your court. That's where you can really talk about that individual time that were you did that. And, you know, draw some parallels, and have something teed up about, and this is kind of emphasizes the importance of knowing who you're applying to. If you're applying to a Palantir, a company like that, let's just say for example, knowing the mission of what that company is trying to do, you can apply that directly. That's the time to kind of like make that crossover and say, Hey, here's how I did this thing. Here's how the outcome of that came to be and why that was good. And then I, you know, I also see some parallels and how we could do that at your business. You know, and man, they're gonna eat it up. Like they, they really will like hearing that type of things. You're, you're bringing them into a place where you've got the confidence, like, you've got your, you know, your experience, and you can speak directly to it, and they will love to hear it.

Carlos Lopez  37:25  
Okay, sounds good.

Brock Briggs  37:29  
You sound like you're in a really good place on this man. I this is a this is an exciting place to be. Are you enjoying your your MBA experience?

Carlos Lopez  37:38  
Yeah, I am. I think, is funny, fun enough? Well, so we thought it was. So I'm getting pretty good grades and everything. Everything's going really good. It's kind of weird to me, because I guess I have to attribute a lot of that to like my military. I get military work ethic. Because before I joined the military, I wasn't I wasn't the high grade, good grades, passable grades, but we weren't as good as they are now. You know, I think like, for being at the MBA level, and writing the things that I'm writing. And is that again, the same thing? You know, I think I wrote things, especially when being in intelligence, which is again, another thing, like, being in the intelligence community, I wrote things that were going to get read by people pretty high up there. Because I mean, when you're making a decision about, you know, what you're going to do in Afghanistan, it gets read by. So I think it taught me how to talk, right and present things, you know, and sometimes now I'm doing this MBA class, which is business inquiry, you will look completely irrelevant. But then when I get these assignments, it's like, I already did a paper on this and I'm like, Excuse me, you know, I have written a paper to this level ready, you know, I could knock that out. Pretty easy. And so it's been good. I mean, I'm not saying I'm, I think MBA is challenging, but I'm glad for the experience that I have so far is helping and see

Brock Briggs  39:29  
it's funny how easy school seems when you've been like given that military work ethic I said the exact same thing. I tried college before I joined the Navy did not do very well. Everything seemed very hard and then kind of coming back to my undergraduate after after exiting. And I was like, how did I think that this was difficult before it's kind of like the the volume and the difficulty of things got turned down quite a bit as As a side note, that's something you should absolutely include, as part of your experience, like when you tee it up on the resume is talk about how you took your insights that you gained in intelligence. And you wrote something up that x person read, and it led to this bigger outcome, that that's huge. That's critical. And that's part of like the business analyst role. You need to be able to put it in plain English for somebody to read, like, what's the takeaway? It's great that the regression means this and all of that, you can use all these technical fancy terms, but like, if we don't know, hey, this is what what the takeaway is, and this is what we need to do today, then it's kind of useless. So I would just be sure to include that, in your experience, as we're thinking about that.

Carlos Lopez  40:50  
Yeah. Yeah. Actually, yeah, this is actually opening my mind to a lot of that stuff. Like, it's like, I'm just talking to you, I'm starting to see these things I wish I didn't have included on my resume. So I made sure I include that. And then also, like, the way that I was able to do intelligence, you know, in the past, you know, so that is how we are how we actually like, go head to head to pretty much analyzing data. You know,

Brock Briggs  41:23  
One thing I'll be sure to do at the end here is I'll give you my email, and I would, if you want, I am not an expert, really in anything. But if you would, like I would be happy and would love to like, look at your resume and give you like, some critique if you want it. And kind of like help agitate some of those, those experiences, and I'm not a hiring manager, like full full stop on that, like, I, I'm not hiring anybody, but I probably can speak to writing a good resume and would be happy to help you with that if you need it.

Carlos Lopez  42:00  
Okay, awesome. Thank you. 

Brock Briggs  42:03  
Yeah, no problem. What? So what types of you will kind of hinted at this a little bit earlier? But is there specific companies? I know you're applying for this internship as well, but where do you see yourself working at long term? Like, is there a specific company, that you would just say, it would be the best if I worked here?

Carlos Lopez  42:23  
I think I think I used to be attracted to something like IBM, but are now my, I would like really, I would like to do something more like consulting. You know, I don't know, I just don't, again, going back to I guess the beginning is like, like, if I need to work for what for a single company is fine, but I like the autonomy, the freedom, you know, knocking things out, you know, a consulting company, where I use, like, targets a specific problem a company is having, and then from there, you know, move to the next company to the next company to company. But, if I had to go to a to a single company, then they will have to be, I would like to be something like a more like a tech company. Like there was a IBM, you know, Google. Like, I know, those are big, big, big companies out there. But but that's more what I see. I think these days this internship is Lumen which is I think that Comcast, they used to be Comcast, you know, okay, the same is that the data analyst role internship for next summer. So those companies anything tech, which I didn't get, I didn't mention this either. So before intelligence, so you know, when you start in SOF, you get your, you get to be for neither for jobs, so, you know, you could be a weapons, you could be engineer, you could be a medical, you could be communication. So I was my background before telling him was communications. I think that's why like, I also feel comfortable in the communication technology type of companies because I understand a lot of their things. So any business stronger, a strong communications, strong.

Brock Briggs  44:29  
That that role that like business kind of analysts position is going to be very valuable because that's what consulting really is, is like, we're going to come in, like external consultants come in and they say, Hey, let's take a look at the business and like develop a plan for executing and like turning something around and making it better, etc, etc. The like, Premier consulting company, somebody maybe you could consider, I think that they're all in person. I don't know if you could do remote but McKinsey. McKinsey is a that's like the name and consultancy and really sets the groundwork. I have talked to a couple people on the podcast before who have worked with worked at McKinsey. Be happy to make the introduction there if you would like that, or if that would be helpful. Do you have? Do you have a clearance? I'm sure you do.

Carlos Lopez  45:30  
Yes. Um, do I use the I don't know how long is gonna last? Because I'm using it, you know? Yeah. About a year, two years. But yeah, I came I came out with.

Brock Briggs  45:43  
Okay, I know that there's like some websites too, that like yarget jobs with that require clearances, clearancejobs.com or dotnet, or something that might be a good place to go. The some of the defense contractors to if you want to, like stay around military related things. I don't know if that's your really like your your passion, but they would always have a need for something like that as well.

Carlos Lopez  46:13  
Yeah. It is. I don't have any issue with it with working contractor or military. I think the one of the reason why I was leaning that too, is because when when you work like that, sometimes you get restricted to certain places in the US you can live. Wanting to have the, you know, able to live anywhere I want to, you know, I do the job. Didn't want to be tied up tied into one location.

Brock Briggs  46:45  
 Yeah, absolutely. are you opposed to working at like a startup? Or like a new company?

Carlos Lopez  46:53  
No. You know, actually. How did that? How does that work?

Brock Briggs  47:05  
Well, one of the places I was thinking that you could be checking for jobs. And a lot of the roles that are hired for on this platform are developer slash more technical roles. So it with a background and that you could kind of work kind of leverage some of your experience into that. Have you heard of Angel List? So angel list is, it's a lot of different things. They have a ton of different arms that they do, but they have like a job board for startups. And not just startups, there are some, like more established companies. But there is a large presence for hiring technical people on AngelList. And I'll, I'll we'll get details afterwards. And I'll send you the link to it so that you have, but that might also be a good place to check out. I know that technical roles are always in demand for new companies. And depending on your life, situation and circumstances. Sometimes joining a startup might be a little bit scary, you may not get paid a time, and you're maybe like promised equity, in exchange for, you know, a lower salary. But if you have some meet the right person, and like find a company trying to change the world in some space that you are passionate about, maybe that would be an option as well.

Carlos Lopez  48:34  
Oh, yeah. That's, that's good. So probably down to explore it.

Brock Briggs  48:42  
Yeah, absolutely. What, what other kind of questions do you have? And how else can I be of assistance to you?

Carlos Lopez  48:52  
I think, I think that though, these were the main ones. And I think I just wanted to, like, make sure that it looked like I was going in the right direction. Because I know, like, just by you know, by being in, in the military, like with all my other years, like I remember, like sometimes seeing somebody that will tell me like, Oh, I'm gonna join right or something like that. And they will say what job they're going after or something. Or, you know, MOS for that matter. And I mean, I, you know, you should think about this, this, this and this. And I feel like it's the same, you know, like, I'm coming out, I'm the, I'm the private coming out of the military, but on the private or the word and I try to get people that have experience already to tell me like, why should I consider you know, coming out now because, you know, I understand that there is a lot I don't know and you know, which As I wasn't paying attention to, per se when I wasn't there, because I was focused on other stuff.

Brock Briggs  50:09  
Right. Yeah, it is a little bit of a daunting feeling. And it does sometimes feel like you step into another world that has kind of been going on without you, so to speak. And it's it is a little bit scary, but don't, don't let that downplay any kind of like feelings about your abilities coming back into the workplace because you're a very highly qualified and a very highly qualified individual that would be an asset for any company to have. Demonstrated hard work, you're doing all the right things. It sounds like to me and so yeah, don't let that let that get in the way. It's good that you're talking to people though. I think it's, that's a really underutilized resource especially if you're looking to get on at a certain company and you know, somebody there already. Reach out. LinkedIn. Veterati is a great place to kind of meet and talk with other people, but don't be afraid to use those and pull those levers