Student success story: Lauriann Wierzbowski

Lauriann W

Last year, Lauriann Wierzbowski was an assistant principal looking to work in data analytics. She was inspired to change careers after working on projects that required the extensive use of Excel. Her goal was to learn data skills and find a job that merged data and education. 

“I knew I wanted to further develop my data analysis skills, but I didn’t want to commit to a degree. I began to look into certificate programs and came across the NYU Tableau Data Analytics certificate powered by Pathstream. I chose to enroll because it is structured, affordable, and flexible, which allowed me to work full-time.” 

Before enrolling in the data analytics program, Lauriann had never taken an online course. 

“Learning online was a new experience, but the modules are structured to be interactive, making learning and working on the projects enjoyable. I never felt overwhelmed by the coursework. I balanced work, family time, and completed the courses by setting practical goals and pacing myself based on the schedule for our cohort.” 

Pathstream programs feature hands-on labs and contextualized coursework to prepare you for the real tasks you’ll do on the job. 

“The program felt very scaffolded, which keeps you engaged. Each course would introduce a new concept and skill via slide decks, video lectures, or demos. Then, you would work on an assignment that requires you to use the skill you just learned. The final course project was more challenging. You work through a real-world problem that you would encounter in a business setting and apply the skills you learned differently. This approach to teaching helps you master the technical skills.” 

Unlike other online programs, Pathstream’s support system is personalized and made up of real people. Your instructors, success coaches, and the career services team stay with you throughout the career journey. 

“I always felt like someone was available. My instructor set up a Slack channel, and office hours took place via Zoom. I found it easy to connect and ask questions in these forums. I liked to engage with other students and work to troubleshoot collectively. If I struggled with a project, the instructor gave me clear feedback and more time to complete my work.”

Lauriann also took advantage of career services and worked with a career coach to restructure her resume to stand out more during the job search. 

“Career coaches gave honest and direct feedback, which was helpful. But, what stood out to me was creating my LinkedIn page. I had never used it much before, but with my coach’s help, I could better market myself as a data analyst on LinkedIn. Now I use it regularly.” 

While searching for a job, Lauriann created an Upwork profile and undertook freelance work.

“I decided to get a little more experience. I worked with a few organizations to summarize large data sets and create infographics. Then I began to ramp up the job search and interview for roles. I eventually got connected with a charter school network. Now I am a data specialist supporting six schools and get to work on unique projects I never encountered before.” 

She credits the Pathstream program with helping her build the confidence to learn on other online platforms. She is currently learning about web scraping using Python.

“Getting this exposure showed me that learning online works. I strongly believe in this program and can’t recommend it enough.” 

Lauriann’s final piece of advice for students:

“I was on track to build a successful career, but I kept thinking — what if? What if I could use these data analytics skills to make a difference in a new way. If you are experiencing that feeling, don’t push it aside. Do your research, take a leap of faith, and enroll in the certificate program that feels right. Make the career change or learn the skills you need.”

Change your career with Pathstream

Our 27-week Tableau Data Analytics Certificate Program is offered through major universities, including NYU and Emory. Each course in the program includes interactive labs and real-world projects. By the end of the program, you will have gained a foundational knowledge of Business Analytics, SQL for Analytics, and Data Visualization. 

Contact us today to connect with an advisor, or visit our website to learn more.


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