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Working both in technical as well as managerial positions for the past 20 years in various sectors, Gaurav Virmani understood the urgent necessity of data science in every industry. This significant epiphany and his interest in AI technology urged him to take up the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program at INSAID.  

In this interview, lets see how his journey has been at INSAID and what he thinks will be the future of data science. 

Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?

Gaurav: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program, March 2020 batch. I have 20 years of experience in both technical and management positions. Currently, I am working as the head of program management in one of the leading gaming companies. My role involves program management along with the responsibility of managing a team of program managers, product delivery management and client demand management.  

Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?

Gaurav: I started my career back in 2000 as a software trainee at Nikon. In my first eight to nine years of career, I worked in the technical domain with global companies, and then as a partner program manager. In the last 11 to 12 years, I have managed local programs and projects in various domains like retail, E-Commerce, travel, pharmaceutical, and semiconductor industries. 

Lately, I have realized that in each of these domains, a lot can be improved, optimized and automated using historical data. The advent and expansion of AI is also contributing to the transformation of how the world runs. And this has greatly interested me to learn data science and machine learning. 

Question 3: What tools and packages in Data Science & Machine Learning have you mastered in your Data Science & AI program at INSAID so far?

Gaurav: Data science and machine learning are vast subjects. And to get a hold of it, I believe one has to invest a significant amount of time and energy. With current business requirements, I am not able to invest much time that is expected and still a lot of learning is required. Having said that, I find myself comfortable with the basic fundamentals of Python, ED, and basic machine learning fundamentals.

Question 4: What are some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?

Gaurav: The year of 2020 has been unusual for all of us. I planned to learn something new at the start of the year, when everything was normal. But in the month of March, life took a different turn. So, initially it was difficult for me to maintain work-life balance doing work from home. 

As the whole job landscape shifted, I was uncertain to take up a new technical course. But with the guidance of INSAID faculty and support from my family I overcame a lot of these challenges and this is the reason why I also upgraded my program from CDF to GCD at INSAID.   

Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?

Gaurav: It would be very hard to say who is a favorite one. But I must say that the INSAID faculty as well as the operations team has been very helpful in guiding me. Mr. Manav and Mr. Nikhil kept sharing the latest industry trends from time to time which helped me understand the usage of data science and machine learning in various industries and prepared me for the diverse opportunities available in this field. 

Apart from that, Mr. Suchit, who I think is one of the best mentors, has a strong hold in technical and practical knowledge.  He always kept the bar high and pushed us to do our best. Mr. Deepesh’s unique and interactive teaching style is outstanding. So, I thank you all for making this data science and machine learning journey so smooth for me.

Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?

Gaurav: The goal of data science is to use its tools and technical capabilities to extract the values, information and opportunities from the given data which could possibly be used for business growth and revenue generation. 

Question 7: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?

Gaurav: I usually follow LinkedIn communities related to data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. And obviously, INSAID helps me keep myself updated in this area.

Question 8: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?

Gaurav: We all are generating, managing, and using data in some way or the other in our daily lives. And for the optimal use of data, one should first understand data science. In my opinion anyone can learn data science and machine learning irrespective of their domain or experience. Just be focused and motivated to reach the next level.  

This was a conversation with one of our GCD students – Gaurav Virmani. 

For more such student interviews, check out INSAID Spotlight.

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