Athira Nair

MADS 2019

Senior Consultant, Deloitte

Athira Nair

Why did you choose to study Data Science at UC?

I completed my Master’s in Statistics from NMIMS in India and got placed in the IT sector. After working with clients like Jonhson & Johnson, Nestle and Hindustan Unilever my interest in data modelling, AI and Machine learning grew exponentially. I was exploring courses that aligned with my interests, and the Master of Applied Data Science from the University of Canterbury (UC) appealed to me. New Zealand has always been the epitome of great learning, and UC was the right choice to improve on my practical knowledge. I have to mention, that the course experience became better with the people I found here, their welcoming nature, calm, and easy-going life approach. I am happy with my decision to move here and develop my career, I am grateful to my parents and well-wishers who have always been supportive of my decision to move here.

Can you tell us a bit about your current role?

I joined Deloitte Christchurch as Senior Consultant in Forensic and Risk Advisory mainly focusing on Analytics in April 2022. I am quite fascinated by the number of diverse projects I am involved in. The main focus is to apply data analytics in the area of forensic and risk advisory to prevent, detect and investigate fraud. 

What do you like best about your job?

The best part of my job is it is quite fast-paced and diverse and I love interacting with multiple clients. Data has always fascinated me with its potential to solve problems in different areas of business.  I love the way I get opportunities to work on a multitude of platforms and technology. As a data consultants, there are times when we should understand and accept uncertainties in client requirements and project timelines and often wear multiple hats by adapting quickly to new challenges. I love how I can challenge myself to identify and address the uncertainties, put an initiative on every risk, examine multiple alternatives and increase the clock speed of adoption.

What’s the most important thing you learned in your time at UC?

I look back fondly on my time at UC. I was an international student and being away from home was new and slightly unsettling for me. The diverse culture and vibrant community at the university allowed me to feel connected to UC and NZ from day one. The most important thing I learned during my time at UC was to collaborate with others, special mention to the Mathematics and Statistics Department, their support has made the experience memorable.

What is your favourite thing about living in Christchurch?

Christchurch is the city of opportunity and being a part of the start-up life is like the icing on the cake. Christchurch always surprised me with its beauty and the people here are exceedingly kind, and helpful. Especially during my UC days, I used to go to tech meetups, and it was overwhelming to see professionals taking time to connect with students and graduates. Christchurch is a city of connection, people here never forget the faces they meet, and they will go above and beyond to help you out, that’s why I love living in Christchurch.