Data Engineer at TradeMe
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're now based in Wellington, working with TradeMe as a Data Engineer - can you describe your job to us in a nutshell?
I joined TradeMe as a Data Engineer right after I finished my course. I absolutely love working here (we have the awesome waterfront view). I am part of Data Platform team which is currently involved in moving on premise data to the cloud. We work on methods to get data which is reliable and high quality and implement processes and systems to ensure this data is always accurate and available to our stakeholders like Insight Analysts and Data Scientists.
Where do you hope to be in the next 5 years of your career?
I would definitely see myself wiser and more skilled in the data field and would love to explore other roles like an Analyst or Data Scientist. I also see myself taking more leadership and mentorship responsibilities for the benefit of a business and help others achieve their short-term career goals.