Joseph Ozbolt is currently a Data Scientist for COLSA and anArtificial Intelligence Machine Learning developer. After completing his Masters and Ph.D. in math at Auburn University, Joseph diligently searched for corporate jobs that matched his education and skills. However, he found most job postings to be generic and uninteresting until he stumbled upon the job posting at COLSA. The word “Graph” in the job posting caught his eye, as Graph Theory was a subject he excelled at in college. Following an interview with the Data Science team, Joseph ultimately accepted the data scientist role and says his interview was “very personal, direct, and to the point” and felt like they asked very relevant questions, which he appreciated. He admired the family-oriented atmosphere at COLSA, which further influenced his decision.
In response to a question about his favorite projects while working at COLSA, he mentions two standout examples. The first project involved working on a mathematical function that modeled sequential data, built solely from the data itself. By utilizing his math knowledge, he was able to deliver crucial information to customers, providing an additional tool to simplify data analysis. The second project involved transferring data from one language to a completely different framework. Despite the challenges, he successfully completed the task, which proved to be very rewarding.
Joseph shared that his time at COLSA has been a significant learning experience for him. He came from a purely mathematical background, yet working in the defense industry has expanded his understanding of how things work in defense contracting, “I’ve grown in my understanding of the industry in general”. He expressed excitement about being able to use his academic background in a new way. Moreover, he still gets to do research and engage in activities that pique his interest.
Joseph faced a challenge when he realized that his mathematical background differed from his peers, many of whom went to school for degrees requiring more computer programming skills. However, he found support from COLSA, which provided him with the necessary tools to transition effectively into his role. He says, “There was a lot of technical jargon that didn’t make sense to me”, so to overcome this obstacle, he began writing things down and researching them later. Additionally, he learned the value of speaking up and listening, which proved to be a crucial factor in his professional development.
Joseph’s advice is to take your job seriously while also remaining calm. He believes that you will learn the necessary skills as you go along, so it’s important to be patient and do your best work. Joseph acknowledges that starting a new job can be frightening, especially when faced with unfamiliar cultures, programs, and jargon. However, he encourages employees to persevere and give it their all.
It’s clear that Joseph places great importance on work-life balance and appreciates the flexibility that COLSA provides. Outside of work, Joseph is a devoted husband and father to his two-year-old, and he’s thrilled about the arrival of another baby. He recently acquired a new home and enjoys working on it during his downtime. Joseph is equally passionate about fitness and the outdoors, and he frequently takes his little one hiking.