Today is the first day of my new career in Data Analytics and I find it worthwhile starting my blog by describing my journey into this exciting world.
My background lays in the hospitality industry. I studied Hotel Management in Greece and, for a couple of years, I was working in the reception department in various hotels. In Greece, it’s typical to spend most of your life doing the same job, so I wasn’t too ambitious until I arrived to Australia four years ago.
My first role in Sydney was also in a hotel reception. But I knew this country is full of opportunities, so I was working really hard to get a progression in my career. I managed to get two promotions in two years within the same hotel: firstly from Receptionist to Administrative Assistant and then to Sales Executive.
How I got interested in analytics
While working in sales, some of my tasks were generating leads for events by drafting prospect lists, reaching out to potential clients, and creating weekly and monthly revenue reports using excel. It was the first time I had to work with spreadsheets and I have to admit, I fell in love at first sight. I knew I had to combine my previous two tasks to work more effectively, so I proposed and completed a project analysing the previous companies that held events at the hotel (broken down by industry, location, number of employees, etc), in order to create more targeted prospect lists. This was my first contact with analytics and it did pique my interest.
After a few time, I was headhunted by OTA Insight, a data analytics company within the hospitality industry. I kept doing sales, which involved prospecting and doing demos of the analytics tools, but I found myself being much more interested in the dashboards and in analysing the data than in sales. That was the moment I was sure I wanted to pursue a career in the fascinating world of data.
How I made the career change
I had in mind changing industry for some time but I never actually took the decision until I was forced to do so. When COVID-19 arrived and the company had to let go 80 employees, I was unlucky (or lucky) to be one of those. That gave me the chance to make the move and start the transition.
First thing I did was start learning the two most popular programming languages used in Data Analytics: python and SQL. There are many free resources on the internet one can utilise. And in order to find out more about the requirements in these roles, I was searching for job descriptions and came across the 28-month program of the Data School. I knew this would be the best way for me to enter this industry and I decided to apply.
In June 2017 I was still a hotel receptionist and now, I am one of the 8 passionate Data Analytics Consultants that have succeeded to access the Data School program and have just started a new exciting journey.
If you are passionate about something, make a plan and work hard towards your goal. You will have all the odds in your favour to reach it. Be ambitious, commit and never give up.