What degree did you study at university?
Bachelor of Business Science with a specialization in Analytics (Hons) at the University of Cape Town
What is your role at Sanlam?
Sanlam Data Academy Trainee
Can you tell us why you chose this career?
From a young age I was very passionate about mathematics and technology. I decided to pursue my degree in Analytics at UCT because it was a very well-rounded degree that was at the intersection of many different fields from statistics, mathematics, information systems, economics, finance, computer science to business management and so much more. This kept me very interested, but as I started my university career, I also watched the growth of Data Science and I was even more intrigued as the years went by. I believe in looking for the thing that excites you, the thing you feel you’re meant to do. I was very fortunate to have studied something I’m passionate about and where I can see a clear career path going into my future. I’m so excited about navigating through this career path, while keeping myself educated and I believe the Sanlam Data Academy is a great place to start off my career.
What’s a typical day like in your job?
As a Data Academy Trainee, we rotate in different teams and workloads, every few months. A typical day usually consists of a daily stand up or check in with the team, where work for the day as well as challenges are discussed.
There are usually meetings with various stakeholders, either to gain more insight into a process or do a playback on a task. The work itself varies depending on what is required from the team – from testing, modelling, drawing insights from the data, creating dashboards and visuals, automating repetitive tasks, and more. I learn something new every single day, whether it is how to perform a task, using a new technology or just by interacting with the various stakeholders.
What are the some of the highlights and challenges of your role?
In my opinion, these two go hand in hand. I love the constant learning, being able to draw valuable insight and doing meaningful work. There is a nice balance between being technical as well as business facing at the same time, with lots of stakeholder engagement. Working with different tools, technology and people, allow for so much of growth and exposure. I enjoy navigating through the daily challenges, from not knowing something and having to seek help, the data quality issues and working around that or even the constant changes in this profession as a whole. Overcoming challenges is a constant part of the process, which is very rewarding- that is how business problems get solved and the real value add comes in.
How do you keep up to date with all the changes in your profession?
There is so much of information and useful resources available on the internet, especially in this profession. I make use of many of these resources, readings, webinars and blogs, are all of which are very informative. Upskilling is definitely very important, to keep up with the ever-changing climate as well as having a large amount of skills and tools at your disposal. I also love interacting with other people, be it university students, colleagues, or friends on relevant topics to get other opinions and widen my exposure to gain further insights
What do you enjoy doing for fun outside of the office?
I enjoy arts and crafts, DIY projects, reading, cooking and sometimes doing absolutely nothing. I’m also very passionate about people and making an impact- I love doing things to give back or empower others, whether it is mentoring students, tutoring, teaching younger girls how to code or even just being involved in discussions about pressing issues like GBV.