Following on from the success of our recent graduate intake, we are already looking to find three more graduates and one yearlong placement to join us in September 2020. Our placements and interns have been an integral part at Mango for several years now, and we’re proud to say that every single intern has come back once they’ve finished university and joined us as a permanent employee.
Mango hosted our very first graduate assessment day recently. We thought that an assessment day would give us a better chance to really get to know the applicants, and to really show them what life at Mango is like – and it certainly did just that!
As wonderful as our current graduate intake is, I have to admit that all four of them are male. As signatories of the Tech Talent Charter, and supporters of Women in Data, we were determined to change that statistic this year. I’m pleased to say that of the eight candidates at the assessment day, there were four males and four females. Also, Mango is also justifiably proud of the diversity of the background of our data science – and this cohort was similarly diverse – we had representatives from five different subjects, and four different universities.
Following the recent Data Science Skills Survey – created in partnership with Women In Data UK and Datatech – that highlighted a national data science skills shortage, we were delighted that we had over 60 applicants for the three graduate roles and we have already whittled these down to the top six candidates who will move forward to the next stage of the application process to become a Mango graduate.
The next part of the process is about assessing skills and we do this by defining what we call a Minimally Viable Data Scientist – this is what we expect our graduates to achieve by the end of the graduate program. We put exercises in place throughout the day to assess current skills as well as potential skills.
The more ‘technical’ skills were assessed at interview, whilst the softer skills, which are essential for our consultancy projects, were tested in individual and group exercises. We tasked the candidates with imagining a new project with Bath Cats and Dogs home, thinking about how that might play out.
We’re proud of some of the feedback that we received at the end of the day. We consciously set out for this day to be two way – we wanted the candidates to want to work for Mango, just as much as we wanted to employ them. Some candidate’s feedback revealed that the day was “refreshingly open”, “actually enjoyable” and “not as daunting as I’d thought an assessment day would be”.
We’ve now got the incredibly difficult decision of which of the brilliant candidates to make offers to!