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Online Learning

Lessons from My First 100 Days of Bootcamp

3 min readView all articles
By Stacy Giroux
Jan 5, 2023

It’s that time of year, when we collectively turn inwards and reflect not only on the accomplishments of the past year, but also look forward to setting goals for the next.

For me, no reflection could be complete without considering the experiences and insights we’ve shared as a group in Bootcamp .

In particular: now, as we round out the first 100-days of this cohort and are on the cusp of entering into the final capstone projects, it seems appropriate to reflect on some key learnings from the experience so far...

Lesson #1: The first step to becoming good at something is to just start.

I know this isn’t a new or unique insight by any stretch, but Bootcamp has really reinforced this again for me in new and affirming ways.

Anytime we are brave enough to challenge ourselves and step into learning something new, we are leaning into uncertainty.

Sometimes there can be uncertainty around technical skills like: ‘which formula should I use here? Or ‘how do I make it ‘do-the-thing’ I already know how to do in another tool?’

Other times it can be more personal, like: ‘am I the only one who doesn’t know this? Or 'I haven’t presented in a group setting before, I’m super nervous.'

But it’s in these exact moments - when you don’t know how things will turn out and you are brave enough to start - that the magic begins. The courage to start is what opens you up to new possibilities.

Lesson #2: We all get there through practice.

Practice and persistence is what transforms those initial moments of uncertainty into acts of accomplishment.

Each time you dig in and look up that formula syntax (again) or crowd-source the collective knowledge of the cohort by describing a challenge you’re experiencing with a particular tool or aspect of the analysis, you’re building your skills!

And what you created at the start of Bootcamp will look markedly different afterwards because of each of these individual experiences. By the end you’re incorporating the new tools you’ve learned, the feedback you received from presenting your project work, the reflections from countless discussions with your peers and the advice from your mentors.

And in all that trying, look at you! You’ve developed new skills and gained confidence.

Lesson #3: When going on an adventure, go with friends.

Sherlock had Watson, Frodo had Samwise, and Kirk had Spock. Sharing the experience of learning and practicing together as a cohort is really powerful because having someone along the journey with you just makes it better!

Sure, you may continue to feel nervous going into a presentation, but now you know what to expect and how best to prepare. And after your presentation, you rely on the group support and useful feedback because you know everyone is rooting for you, too.

That’s the cool thing about Bootcamp: it’s like a small community that leans on and supports each other.

Final Thoughts

For me, I’ve learned it’s not possible to step into an experience like Bootcamp and not be impacted by it. And like most good adventures, it’s the shared journey that changes you the most.

Having the opportunity to walk with this Bootcamp cohort and learn with them and from them has definitely been a highlight of my year. And I’m so excited to see where we go from here.

Be passionate. Seek mastery. Learn with humility.


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Stacy Giroux

Stacy is the Bootcamp Lead for Maven Analytics, helping to design, manage and faciliate immersive bootcamp experiences for aspiring data professionals.

Stacy is the Bootcamp Lead for Maven Analytics, helping to design, manage and faciliate immersive bootcamp experiences for aspiring data professionals.

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