The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jake Hawkesworth

photo of Jake Hawkesworth
Data Scientist

Degree & graduation year: Master of Public Policy, 2013

Current position: Data Scientist, Entelligent

What I do: I am part of a team that builds and tests climate change financial risk scores that help investors build portfolios more robust to financial risks related to climate change.

How I ended up working there: I found Entelligent through my undergraduate network at Hampshire College and was hired for this position after completing a Data Science Immersive program in San Francisco.

The best part of my job: Working with climate scientists and statisticians that are passionate about reducing CO2 emissions and share an outlook that the work we’re doing is an important part of reducing global temperature rise.

A recent exciting work experience: Our company has been going through rigorous due diligence with a potential customer, and it has been fascinating to see how different an approach quantitative analysts take from climate scientists and statisticians in understanding and evaluating data.

How the School of Public Policy prepared me for my career: Gave me a solid foundation in econometrics and statistics that was transferrable to a career in machine learning. Satu Zoller’s professional development seminar also proved to be a key part of how I approached my job searches over the last few years.

Advice to students considering a degree in public policy: The School of Public Policy has a fantastic alumni network, and it is likely to be one of the most important aspects of the degree. Participate as early and as fully as you can!

Future plans: Over the next ten years, I am hoping to transition into the field of Deep Learning. I currently organize the local Deep Learning Meetup, which works through online courses and academic papers. I see myself as a lifelong student and believe that Artificial Intelligence is going to a core part of working in data in the years to come. In the nearer future, I’m planning to spend a month working remotely from Peru and Bolivia and exploring the mountains/music in the Andes.

Posted September 2018