What do you do?
I am a full stack data science professional with domain expertise in predictive modeling, time series forecasting, and deep learning. I am currently building a state of the art solution for demand forecasting at Workday.
Why did you choose this field?
Yes, I started my masters in computer science at University of Southern California. In the first semester I'd taken up courses of game development just because I wanted to learn something unique than most of the people in CS or maybe because it sounded cool, but soon I realized that it wasn't for me. Even though I received good grades, I didn't want to pursue it further. In the second semester, I worked on a research project with my professor and that's when I fell in love with data science. I eagerly wanted to learn more, and in those 6 months I completed almost all good online courses in ML field, and got internship in data science. Later I received masters with data science specialization and started working as data scientist. Since then I have never stopped learning.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
Before coming to United states for doing masters, I had no idea what Machine Learning is. Back in India when I was studying engineering, we didn't have any courses on ML or data science. If I knew about it back then, or if I would have done available online courses back then, I could have achieved so much more during my masters. I wanted to work on more advanced ML research projects, but I had to work extra hard to learn the basics first and at the same time competing with so many other students trying to grab job opportunities in the same field.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I absolutely love my job as data scientist because I chose it for myself. Every day I look forward going to work, making more progress on my models, making more accurate predictions. I love this field especially because there is endless learning. Every day I read different papers, come across so many techniques which I didn’t know about earlier, which makes me more greedy to learn more about my field of work.
Best advice for next generation?
I wish when I had some mentor or experienced person in the STEM to guide me early in my career. That's the reason I want to work more in this field to help next generation of girls in STEM to get exposure to different domains of tech. I would like to educate them about various different fields of STEM and help them make better decision of their specialization. Currently, I keep sharing my knowledge on LinkedIn and instagram and I receive many questions regarding data science career. Some of them would want to choose data science just because it sounds cool or someone else is doing it, hence I want to help them get proper guidance for making proper decision. I want to share my story on how you can be successful in the tech field and at the same time pursue your extra curricular activities too, in my case photography.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"I have not failed. I've successfully discovered 10000 things that won't work." - Thomas Edison