Sometime in 2017, I started this crazy journey… I finally knew what I wanted to be when I was big: a data scientist! It’s funny how, having this very clear goal in mind, I was able to set out with enthusiasm despite being able to see all the obstacles in my path (like having the wrong background as a music graduate, like not having studied anything mathematical since high-school, like being well into my 40’s, like never having coded before…). I was so heavily invested in doing this it actually superseded my fear of failure: all I knew was I had to try!
It’s been an intense 3 years but as of February 2020, I can say ‘I am a data scientist‘, not just because I want to be, but because this is now my job title – it would be hard to over-emphasize how happy and excited I am about this 🙂. I will never graduate with a Masters or a PhD, but learning enough and proving myself enough to get the job title of my dreams feels like my own personal graduation!
And yet it’s also telling about the nature of this job that, far from feeling like I’ve arrived, I feel like I’m just beginning. If you want to work in a space where you’ll need to do something almost every day that you don’t yet understand or know how to do, then quite possibly data science is for you!
One of the amazing things about this journey was that I was able to undertake it from start to finish at my current company, Media24. I’m not going to mention individuals in this post BUT I do want to say that I felt like I had a lot of people in my corner cheering me on and making sure I had what I needed to succeed at each step along the way. Everyone from my line managers to HR to our CIO had time for me on this one. I think that is a pretty special kind of thing to find at any company so I do want to acknowledge it with a big sincere ‘thank you’.
The road ahead is strewn with fresh challenges and I can’t wait to get going…