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Young alumni

Divya Pasumarthi

24 July 2023

MADS 2020

Senior Data Engineer at Electricity Authority Te Mana Hiko


Having already had a successful career in software development, can you tell us a bit about how you came to complete your Masters of Applied Data Science at UC?

I got into software development straight after graduating from College. I was young and had very little knowledge about how to choose a career and follow my passions and even finance my education, so I studied what I thought was best at the time. I have always been a studious person who was curious about almost everything, so the thought of coming back to study began to creep back into my mind. Because I am a nerd who loves reading about AI, Elon Musk, time travel etc, I had started to hear a lot about Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence so I began to attend seminars back in India to learn more. I got back in touch with a friend who spoke to me about the Masters of Applied Data Science at UC, and after doing a bit more research, the decision was quick to pursue my Masters and move to NZ. I enjoyed every bit of the curriculum, made friends and learned a lot about NZ culture.

What was your experience like coming back to uni to retrain?

The thought of going back to study after 7 years of full-time paid work was daunting. To leave my loved ones behind is the hardest decision I ever made in my life however I knew deep down that I wanted more out of my career and I have thanked my family and friends who were so supportive of my adventure. My experience at UC proved me right, having the opportunity to meet new people every day, falling in love with Earth’s own paradise – New Zealand, and learning so much in a short period of time.

Is there any advice you would give to students in similar circumstances?

The only advice I can give to anyone is to listen to what your heart says. Follow what You want to do with your career and interests. As Paulo Coelho said in The Alchemist – "When you really want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it"Also, remember time is relative (I quote Interstellar for obvious nerdy reasons), what I mean by that is the time will be right when you do things that are right to you. It’s never too late, take one step at a time and things will fall into place eventually.

You are based in Wellington, working with Electricity Authority Te Mana Hiko as a Senior Data Engineer – can you describe your job to us in a nutshell?

As a Senior Data Engineer at the Electricity Authority in Wellington, my role primarily revolves around managing and optimizing data infrastructure and systems critical to the Authority's operations. This includes ensuring the reliability, accuracy, and availability of data for various stakeholders within the organization.

Specifically, I lead initiatives to implement advanced methods to acquire and process data efficiently. My team focuses on developing robust processes and systems to maintain high data quality and availability, supporting the needs of stakeholders such as analysts and data scientists.

Moreover, I take on leadership responsibilities, providing guidance and mentorship to junior team members, while also driving strategic initiatives to enhance data capabilities within the organization. In the next five years, I envision further honing my expertise in the data field, potentially exploring roles in other aspects of Data and business, while also taking on increased leadership and mentorship responsibilities to contribute to the growth and success of the business.

Where do you hope to be in the next 5 years of your career?

I see myself stepping into increased leadership and mentorship roles, where I can guide and inspire others in their career journeys. I aspire to contribute to the development of the next generation of data professionals, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation within the workplace.
Overall, my goal is to continually grow and evolve professionally, making meaningful contributions to the field of data engineering and analytics, while also positively impacting the success and growth of the organization I'm a part of.

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