Why did you decide to become a mentor?
In the beginning of my career, it was really difficult finding resources to grow your skillset as a Data Scientist. I decided that I would love to make it easier for others who might be interested in this field. In the long run, I found out that being a mentor has impacted my career as I learn from people’s experiences while sharing mine. I decided to sign up as a mentor simply because I wanted to give back and impact as well, turns out it’s also impacting my career. After I got some good experience and knowledge in the field, I thought it would be good to already start impacting as learning never stops. Signing up as a mentor has also helped me to keep learning and also keep impacting.
How did you get your career start?
Even though I studied an IT related course, I wasn’t interested in being a Data Scientist from the beginning of my career. However, I had an Engineering manager while I was interning as an undergraduate, who though I was better off a Data Scientist since I enjoy mathematics and programming and I am always grateful for him. Because of that push, I got the motivation needed to push through and grow in my career. This has also helped me see the importance of mentorship, especially at the early stage of a career. Data science at the time was not so easy to navigate, this is because at that time, I did not really know many people in the field, even my manager was a Software Engineer, although I loved that I got to experience Software Engineering, it was quite difficult for him to give critical feedback on my projects. I decided to connect with communities both locally and internationally that really helped me grow and understand the importance of having a community/mentor that can relate to your struggles and help you through them.
How do you usually set up mentorships?
I always love to get the clarity of what mentees are looking to achieve at the end of the mentorship, what their goal is, what they expect from the mentorship and the mentor, this helps to ensure we are on the same path. Once that is established, I want to be sure that you can reach me because communication is important, hence, we agree on the best means of communication. Then we set of meeting times this depends on both our schedules, so that we can discuss progress, projects and career growth so far. Generally, I love to provide as much help as the mentee needs.
What’s been your favourite mentorship story so far? (optional)
Hmmn, my favorite mentorship story so far would be this particular mentee, whom is quite advanced in age and needed a breakthrough for a project he was working on with python. I was initially scared at first, maybe because of the age advancement, but I also knew that professionality would make things easier. We went on with the mentorship and we had the breakthrough for the project together. What makes it my favorite is not just because I was scared at first and it turned out well, but because he totally enjoyed the mentorship, gave great reviews and went on to advance in the project. It gave me joy!
What are you getting out of being a mentor?
I would say fulfillment, just knowing that someone is doing better or encouraged to go further in their career because they were mentored by me is really enough. I always wanted to be able to help people getting into this career especially, because I knew how difficult it was for me navigating in the career. It has also helped me gain soft skills, such as time management, leadership and even confidence skill in my career. This has impacted my career in many ways. Furthermore, you cannot pour from an empty cup being a mentor has inspired me to continuously improve and get better because that is the only way I can pour into another. Hence, helping me expand my knowledge and experience.
Linda Oranya – Meet the Mentor
Why did you decide to become a mentor?