Instructor (Data Science & Marketing Analytics
Edited by Rasyida Paddy
American educator, businessman, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Dr. Stephen Covey, is known to have said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
This got me thinking about how I choose to spend my time in a way that can optimize my impact on the community and the people around me.
When I came across She Loves Data (SLD) in 2018, I was attracted to the organization’s mission to inspire more women to become active contributors in a data-driven world. As a woman who comes from an accountancy background and eventually began working in business roles that require me to interact with data, I knew I have something to offer the community. And that was how I got started as a volunteer instructor for SLD’s signature courses series.
Over the past four years, I’ve benefited tremendously from the network of SLD supporters and volunteers, who inspire me and always offer me something new to learn from. After every SLD workshops I always get re-energized by the enthusiasm, curiosity and desire to learn from all the participants and volunteers!
There is no denying that volunteering comes with its own sets of challenges, one of which being giving the commitment and dedicating the time it deserves. However, this challenge can easily be tackled through effective personal time management strategies, and finding other volunteers to share the load with.
Ultimately, I personally believe that one always gets more out of volunteering than what you put in – especially when my commitment with SLD aligns with my personal and professional growth goals, it’s a perfect harmony.
Professionally, and outside of She Loves Data, I am managing a team for the first time, which comes with the typical challenges around people management, motivation, aligning the team and ensuring everyone drive towards a common goal. There is definitely no one-size-fits-all solution, so it has been important to explore my strength, weakness and personal leadership style to find an approach that feels the most authentic to me.
What I have learnt from this experience is that it’s important to be open to experiment, trying new things even if it’s outside of your comfort zone, and try to challenge your own assumptions.
So, what do I have to say to anyone looking to get into the data field? Data, when explored and utilized in the right way, has tremendous power to help optimize decision making and create new solutions. It’s also an exciting time to break into the field – today, we are seeing people from very diverse backgrounds getting involved in data and digital analytics field. So take the leap! The time is now.