CDS Incredible Alumni: Deja Bond gives talk at NJIT Data Science Seminar
In the spring of 2020, Deja Bond made history when she became NYU’s first African-American female student to earn a master’s degree in data science. Last month, Deja participated in an online chat — “A Conversation with Deja Bond: Responsible Data Science” — with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, a public polytechnic university. Hosting the discussion was David Bader, a professor and director at the university’s data science program. The event was co-sponsored by the NJIT Murray Center for Women in Technology, which is a university-wide network that connects female students and faculty to the resources they need to succeed.
In Deja’s talk, she highlighted some aspects of her personal experience and gave some advice to students who are interested in pursuing a career in data science. Deja spoke quite a bit about her grandmother who was an educator in the Philadelphia school district and a huge influence and inspiration. While she was growing up, Deja’s grandmother would give her extra homework assignments and was diligent in monitoring her work for accuracy. This allowed her to learn the importance of discipline and perseverance. “I hope someday to be as wise as her,” she says.
In her undergraduate, Deja studied computer science at Spelman College. She describes herself as someone who was always a math nerd but just wasn’t interested in pursuing a major in mathematics. After chatting with her father, he suggested that she major in something tech-related. The rest is history.
One piece of advice Deja has for those interested in data science is that she would encourage them to do their own research to determine what area of the field might most interest them. Her grandmother once said, “you’ll always find a section of something that you really like.” Deja went on to emphasize the importance of networking and connecting with people in the field you’re interested in.
Deja currently works as a product manager at Remitly, an international payments company that leverages digital channels to send money internationally. Previously, she was a product manager at elovee, which uses conversation software to create a digital render of a family member, a product designed specifically for seniors with dementia.
To learn more about Deja, check out our CDS Incredible Alumni interview with Deja Bond from last spring.
By Ashley C. McDonald