I really wished I could have started my career a year earlier, after completing my bachelor’s degree. However, lacking confidence in myself, I decided to stay in my safe university bubble just for one more year. The year came and went, I excelled in my master’s degree, but I still doubted my skills as a software developer.

I managed to find an escape route as a business analyst. This allowed me to use my tech background without the need to write code. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a terrible idea as no one read my documentation, leaving me heartbroken.

One day, while travelling on the bus to Oxford, I struck up a conversation with a woman from Germany who was interning at a telecommunications company. We became friends and she gave me the business card of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and told me to contact him. Despite my limited experience with PHP, the CTO offered me a role as a PHP developer. Grasping this opportunity, I spent the next five years expanding my skills, but I realised it did not bring me joy. I was always drawn to all the data-related tasks I could get my hands on; I realised that what I really was passionate about was data. I decided to take a big step and enrol for a part time master’s in data science to skill up (white papers do not disclose how the magic happens).

Despite facing health challenges during this journey to data enlightenment, I persevered. One day, while chatting with a professor at my local university, he needed someone to help cover his modules while he was away for research in Australia. To my astonishment, he offered me a position as an associate lecturer. I started to teach and create materials for modules like Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and Web Application Development for Data Scientists. This allowed me to create content, opportunities for students to use industry standards and impart important knowledge to a new generation of technologists.

Having a passion for helping organisations understand and interact with data, I decided to start my own company. The purpose of my company was to help organisations improve their Data Analyst Apprenticeship programmes and act as a Subject Matter Expert to help bridge the gap between academia and what was happening in the industry. However, the pandemic disrupted the industry, making it challenging to secure new contracts. I was now on the lookout for a permanent role to broaden my experience as a data engineer. I designed and built a data warehouse for a local company to improve the sustainability of their reporting needs (Kimball would have been proud).

As project finished, I felt I needed a greater challenge and I searched for a role that would fulfil my ambitions as while enabling me to contribute to a meaningful cause. Currently, I split my time working for a not-for-profit organisation as a Data Architect and lecturing at my local university.