Mariia Zalevskaya

I wrote my first line of code when I was 8 years old. Since then, I was passionate about programming and how it can solve problems and make life simpler.

However, I quickly realised that being a good coder is not enough: I have to act in real life, outside of the virtual world. This thought set the precedence for how I would live my life and navigate my career.

Whilst I was in school, I was studying math, programming and astronomy. I became Student Mayor of my native city where I worked side by side with the City Council and City Mayor, providing feedback on education and building a community of active school students.

To learn how to apply my programming skills to real-life problems, I entered into a double-diploma program to study Applied Math and Physics in MIPT and Economics in RANEPA. Even though studying was difficult, it wasn’t enough for me, I knew I needed to do something more: I joined the Students Union. In 3rd year, I became the Vice President of the Union and was responsible for organising all events, from freshman day to a week-long Faculty birthday, with 25 activities, including over 1000 guests.

I then followed my dream to live in London. I pursued a Masters degree at the University of Westminster. Prior to graduation, I joined Synechron as a Consultant in the Data Practise – I was eager, keen and motivated to make my mark.

At Synechron, I help our clients enable the data that already exists in the organisation and help them answer all their data-related questions to help them bring their ideas and project to life. From putting together over a hundred data sources to get an accurate representation of each client; making sure the data is reliable and good quality; to how data can improve the customer journey through the bank, I work with our clients to solve their data problems, to create and accelerate their strategies. Currently, I am leading the team platform to identify suspicious transactions and investigate Financial Crime – it’s a lot of work but incredibly rewarding.

Last year, I joined the Women in Machine Learning and Data Science network as co-organiser for the London Chapter. We are bringing together amazing, talented, female data scientists, shining a spotlight on their efforts and supporting women and gender minorities in their first steps into the Machine Learning industry.

From a determined 8 year old coder, to an enthusiastic (and occasionally overwhelmed!) student, I now live my dream life: I write code to fight Financial Crime and help aspiring data scientists to become professionals who I believe will change the world.