What is your profession?
I am a data scientist, part of the analytics value stream in our Industry 4.0 team at Stanley Black & Decker. My undergrad degree is in technology in electronics and communication engineering which I did in India, then I got my master’s in business analytics and project management in Connecticut, USA.
How did you get into the profession/what inspired you?
I love helping leaders find answers to key business questions using data. I would say that finding my career was more like an evolution, where I kept discovering my interests based on the latest trends in the tech industry and understanding what can help the customer/end user the most.
“Finding my career was more like an evolution, where I kept discovering my interests based on the latest trends in the tech industry.”
What advice do you have for students or individuals who may be considering pursuing skilled trades?
I would say, get your foundation firm. Consider taking STEAM courses based on what your focus and interests are. Though you might not apply every single concept taught in a STEAM course, it helps carve your mind to be a skillful professional and a critical thinker. Always ask questions, participate in conversations and informational interviews with the professionals in the industry that you are interested in. This gives an amazing opportunity to learn about real-life experiences of others in the field.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were looking into career opportunities?
First – grades matter, but not always. Especially when it comes to applying skills in a real job, you need more than what your grades show. Critical thinking, communication skills, ability to know your audience, getting along and working in teams – all of these are equally important as your technical skills to be successful in a professional career. Make sure you spend enough time and concentrate on building these soft skills from a young age.
Second – it’s okay to start all over again. It is never too late to pursue what you are passionate about or restart your career based on the interests you discover in your professional path.
“It is never too late to pursue what you are passionate about.”
What’s one misperception that people have about your job?
Qualifications beat talent and experience. There is a misconception that you need a master’s or a PhD to be a successful data scientist. I’m not saying that you don’t need higher education, but, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to have a master’s or PhD before you try for opportunities in this field. Business and domain knowledge are equally as important to be a good data scientist.
Why are you #MakerProud?
I am proud of what I do every day by helping leaders and the company decipher what the data is saying. This helps them take informed fact-based decisions. Isn’t it a power to see what others don’t see in the same data? I think it is.