In this INSAID Spotlight interview, we feature Priya Parameswaran, who works as an Associate Director at SecurEnds. Her determination to learn led her to join the Certificate in Data Science Foundation (CDF), at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
I am part of the Certificate in Data Science Foundation (CDF), July 2021 Batch. Currently, I am working at the SecurEnds Bangalore branch. I work as Associate Director here by leading the product implementation.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
I have spent over 16 years in the industry, taking on roles like analyst, service delivery manager, presales , VP – customer services and now as Associate Director, which compliments my roles with project management, program management, , account management etc.,
I have been fortunate enough to explore my skills set in an Construction industry, and IT (being in Services and Product management).
Post my Engineering in 2004, I joined Sobha Developers as Electrical Engineer and 2006 is when my journey with IT started when I worked for companies like Unisys Global and IBM India Pvt Ltd.
Pre Sales, I dealt with giant size deals of TCV – 3B USD, smaller of 25K USD and 350K USD deals.
As a passionate tech individual, I have contributed my skills towards service management which made customer satisfaction mostly CSAT, NPS (0-10) on positive note.
If there is one common thread that has stayed intact right through my career, it would be my ‘Learner Mindset’. My professional success and personal development are a clear reflection of the constant learning approach that I have adopted to date.
Before INSAID, I had no exposure working on Data science. However, many Customers would take this up as part of interactions. As I am ardent to learn new things and wanted to implement them, I decided to upskill myself and took up the CDF course.
I am clear with theoretical concepts and now I’m working towards my practical skill sets.
Question 3: What all tools and packages have you mastered in your Data Science & AI program at INSAID so far?
Before this, I had never worked or got a chance to explore Python as my role never demanded that. I won’t call myself a master in any of the packages. I still feel that I have a lot to learn. But NumPy, Visualizations, Pandas, Matplotlib, and Seaborn are some of the packages that I have started using and am currently trying to build projects on them.
Question 4: What are some initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey, and how did you overcome them?
Since I’m from a non-technical background, I was nervous about my coding skills and the Python coding required for this particular program.
What helped me overcome my fear was the Starter Kit provided by INSAID.
Deepesh Sir explained the key, went through Python’s Starter Kit and explained all the coding basics in detail. And that increased my confidence level.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID, and what did you learn from him the Most?
My favorite faculty member at INSAID is Deepesh Wadhwani. I like how he explained everything simply in layman terms with day to day examples, which made it easy to explore more on coding.
He often drew and explained them, which was the best part. He derived a few codes and gave solutions in two lines or ten lines, but he tried to explain in all factors which was really appreciable. I really liked the approach he took every time he explained anything.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Data science aims to analyze the past or existing data and use those insights to improve the existing business or find new business opportunities in the market.
Question 7: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
As we are evolving everyday biologically, technologically, so do our practices. The current data science trend that excites me the most is continuous intelligence, innovations where real-time data will guide business decisions and provide business solutions.
Secondly, we have data all around and it’s just flooded and constantly increasing which demands for data scientists to work on them.
Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
The blogs which I follow the most are INSAID blogs, where I get a lot of information about seniors and their journey. I also follow INSAID podcasts regularly and browse on YouTube.
Also, INSAID Career Launchpad sessions are very informative.
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Be vigilant to choose from the best data science courses available. Along with theory, you should focus on the practical applications of the concepts taught within the course.
This would help you to not only understand them clearly but also give you a deeper sense of their applications to solve real-time problems. And, last but not least, it is very important to have at least one mentor who can guide you in the right direction.
Hope you enjoyed reading this interview. If you want to read more such interesting student stories, check out INSAID Spotlight.