Generation Data: Tableau vizzes impress ESPN, lead to internship

We sat down with Tejal Narkar, recent graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas to discuss how ESPN uses Tableau.

Editor’s Note: This piece is part of the Generation Data series on the Tableau blog. At Tableau, we feel that data skills are essential for the next generation of professionals and business leaders. The Tableau Academic Program seeks to arm students with the valuable analytical skills needed to think strategically and make an impact, both academically and professionally. If you are a student, download your free Tableau license today to start learning data skills.

We sat down with Tejal Narkar, recent graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas to discuss how ESPN uses Tableau.

When did you first learn about Tableau?

I recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Information Science with a concentration in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. My first exposure to Tableau was in a data visualization class. One of our projects was to take a data set from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and create a visualization. After I submitted this, my professor told me to publish my work to Tableau Public.

Did your Tableau skills help you land an internship?

Yes! I applied mostly for data analytics internships and one of those companies was ESPN. This was for a position on the Human Resources and Insights team. In my resume I linked my Tableau Public account in a section labeled “Projects” and wrote a brief description about my analysis.

ESPN reached out to me for an interview and told me they were impressed by the viz I made on Tableau Public. When I first started, my manager reiterated having a profile of work was my differentiator from other candidates.

How did you use Tableau at your role at ESPN?

I was working 80% of the time in Tableau and 20% of the time extracting data. It was challenging because I was the only person on my team that was using Tableau. There wasn’t anyone directly at ESPN on the HR team to help.

So, I relied a lot on the Tableau Community! Any time I had a question, I would post on the forum page and usually had an answer within an hour or two. By the end of my internship, I had developed a variety of dashboards for the HR team to gain insights about the workforce. I also discovered other insights related to employee hires, promotions, and more.

After ESPN, I took an internship at the Walt Disney Company as the Advanced Analytics and Optimization Intern. I focused on building dashboards to validate data from different marketing channels.

Do you have any advice for students interested in learning Tableau?

If you’re interested in data analytics, try using Tableau! I was in HR and Marketing, two different departments that needed an employee with data analytics skills. When I was first hired at ESPN, I only knew what I was taught in my data visualization class. I was able to learn so much more from the Community, online videos, and Udemy courses.

Also, If you’re on the job hunt, publish your work—you never know what opportunities it may bring.

Join the students of Generation Data and download your free Tableau for Students license today to start learning data skills.