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From Geology to Political Data: Bear Jordan's Journey with Bluebonnet Data

By Mare Ahmed Wednesday, June 26th, 2024

Background

Bear Jordan earned a Bachelor's and Master’s of Science in geology at the University of Georgia. As a part of their work, Bear was collecting data but was not sure how to organize it which led him to start taking data classes. Initially, Bear was planning on pursuing a PhD in geology but then decided to work for the New Zealand Census. That is when their interest started to shift. Despite enjoying the work, Jordan felt a disconnect in the impact of geological research on society compared to the direct influence of data-driven decisions in government and politics. This realization prompted Jordan to explore avenues where data could be more meaningfully applied. 


Bluebonnet Experience

Bear decided to apply their learnings through the Bluebonnet Fellowship. Here, Jordan's role evolved into working extensively with political data, aligning more closely with personal values and career aspirations. The experience at Bluebonnet Data not only provided technical skills but also fostered a deep understanding of the political landscape and progressive data tools crucial for effective campaigning.


During the fellowship, Bear worked with a progressive organization called No Dem Left Behind which is focused on capacity building in historically Democratic but now conservative rural areas. Bear helped leveraging data analytics to optimize donor targeting and messaging strategies. This involved building statistical models to predict donor behavior and ensure resources were efficiently allocated where they would have the most impact.


Joining the Biden Campaign in 2024

Armed with the skills and confidence gained at Bluebonnet Data, Bear now works on the Biden campaign, as an analytics engineer. He is working closely with polling and communications teams to help them track campaign progress and optimize outreach.


Reflecting on the influence of Bluebonnet Data, Bear emphasized how the fellowship provided not just technical training but also the confidence to pursue a career in political data. Exposure to progressive data tools prepared Bear for work on political campaigns.


The journey from geology to political data exemplifies how diverse skills can converge into impactful careers, driven by a passion for data-driven decision-making in government and politics. Bear Jordan's story underscores the transformative power of purpose-driven career pivots and the pivotal role of organizations like Bluebonnet Data in shaping careers in political data and technology.

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