From Marine Corps to Data Scientist: the unique career of Gerard Draadjer (27)

Exploring boundaries

At 16, Gerard decided to become a Marine Corps officer. His motivation at the time was to discover and push his physical limits; something he is still not averse to. Six years later, he decided to get an education.

“The physical challenge had not bored me, but I found that I needed mental stimulation that the Navy could not offer me at that time.”

At that time, he does not yet meet the entry-level qualifications for most technical courses. That was difficult, Gerard tells us.

“I was always interested in technology, for example, I was involved with computers at an early age,” he said.

With a sense of time constraints that many young adults will recognize, Gerard chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in retail management. He sees that education as a stepping stone to business.


That a Marine will have no shortage of discipline should be obvious. In after-school hours, Gerard throws himself into his passion and learns programming using online courses. He practices every night.

“I started by creating a website where people could book camping sites. I used the Google Maps API to display the location of campsites and the ANWB website to gather information about campsites. To do this, I used web scraping to gather the information I needed. It was a challenging project, but it was also really fun to do because I got to know the development process from start to finish.”

At home in all markets

When he is allowed to minor in his third year of college, he chooses a minor in Data Science at the hague college. He follows this one up with a project for Rockfeather. There, he is developing a prediction model to map customer attrition. He completed his graduate internship at Isatis Business Solutions. There he is working on a solution to help hiring managers find jobs for their consultants. The “match-making” tool. The tool includes scrapers to collect jobs from the Internet, keyword extraction algorithms to compare resumes with project descriptions and a PowerBI dashboard as a user interface.

Many roads to Rome

As Gerard reflects on the road to his current career, he would have preferred to have known and done it all a little sooner. According to Fabian Langer (Lead Data Science), it is actually very clever that Gerard was able to make the leap to data science from a completely different background. “Gerard has learned to solve complex, technical problems in such a short time. No challenge is too small for him.” So it is precisely that discipline and go-getter mindset that helps Gerard put everything into finding solutions and implementing them. Coincidence? He succeeds, too.

Rene de Jongh

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Anne Klaver

Data Scientist

I am passionate about data science. I take pride in my programming abilities and I am a dedicated and analytical worker.

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