What degree did you study at university?

The University of Cape Town (UCT)
B.Bus Sci Economics
Msc. Data Science (In Progress)

What is your role at Sanlam?

Sanlam Data Academy Trainee

Can you tell us why you chose this career?

I chose this particular career path as I believe it is one of characterized by growth, change and forward thinking.

The work of a data scientist requires one to think strategically and creatively. I believe I will be given challenges in my career which will push me to grow and jump out of my comfort zone on a daily basis.

When choosing to pursue a career as a Data Scientist I particularly liked the idea that Data Scientists are not confined to one particular industry. A data scientist acquires skills over their learning journey which allows them to be a valuable team member in all sorts of industries.

What’s a typical day like in your job?

A typical day as a graduate in Sanlam’s Advanced Analytical team has included the following:

1. Check-ins with my manager

2. Data wrangling and data management
3. Check-ins with other colleagues

4. Working towards building a predictive model that will help the business translate raw data into actionable insight

What are the some of the highlights and challenges of your role?

Highlights:

My current role has allowed me to build and develop skills on a daily basis. I have been afforded the opportunity to grow my SQL and R skills by working on projects that are relevant to business. I have also been given the opportunity to improve my presentation skills, which has allowed me to be more confident when speaking to my fellow colleagues and friends.

Challenges:

Although presenting falls under one of my biggest highlights, it has also been one of my biggest challenges. As a graduate we are given the opportunity to present our work back to senior members of the business. At times this may be daunting however I have seen that with practice and over time I have gained confidence and composure during my presentations.

How do you keep up to date with all the changes in your profession?

In order to keep up to date with all the changes in my field of work I actively engage in conversations with friends, colleagues and family members.

I listen to podcasts that are relevant to the work I am doing and read blog posts by individuals working in the industry.

What do you enjoy doing for fun outside of the office?

I love being outdoors in nature. In my spare time I enjoy going hiking and swimming.

I am also a creative individual so I am almost always working on an art piece or whipping up a delicious meal in the kitchen.