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Nicki Tinson – Meet the Mentor

I'm on a mission to help data professionals learn and develop, from entry level all the way to getting into management. I passionately believe that empowered analysts are vital to the success of a business.
Nicki Tinson

Power BI Trainer | Data & Analytics Career Coach, Empowered Analysts

Why did you decide to become a mentor?
From early in my life, I’ve simply loved to help others. Seeing people blossom from a place of uncertainty into seeing what is possible for them has always been an honour to be part of. As I’ve grown in my own career I’ve seen how important it is for all of us to get guidance and support from people that are slightly further down the road than we are. Having people who have walked the path that we want to head towards is so important because naturally anyone can give you opinions. It’s just really important to listen to those who understand where you want to head.

Showing people what they are capable of

How did you get your career start?
The start of my career was all a bit of a mess to be honest. I’d planned to go into Educational Psychology which is all about helping children to overcome obstacles they are facing and learn how to flourish. However the path required was via teaching and although I did my qualification (which I loved) I couldn’t secure a job, with budget cuts having a massive impact on the number of roles available. I truly understand the pain and frustration of endlessly applying for jobs and getting nowhere.

Fast forward a few years later and I ended up unexpectedly working as an analyst in the private sector and absolutely loved it. The rest, as they say, is history and I’ve carved out a very successful data career for nearly 20 years now.

How do you usually set up mentorships?
Once someone reaches out to me, we always have a 30 minute zoom call so I can better understand what they want to achieve and whether I’m the best person to support them. After each session, I set out clear next steps for us both and clarify how it will help get them to where they want to be at the end of each month of mentorship.

Mentees usually have 2 x 60 minute zoom calls each month and are able to contact me via the Mentorcruise messaging service if they have any questions in between sessions. I have some online courses which I offer for free to clients via Mentorcruise when I believe it will help them achieve their goal. For example, I have a CV building course which I have enrolled mentees on to help fastrack the development of their CV if they are looking for a job. This helps them reduce the amount of time they need to be paying for mentorship and get them quickly towards their goal.

What’s been your favourite mentorship story so far?
I worked with a client a few months ago who secured a job as a result of the mentorship. It’s wonderful to see people getting results and showing them what they are capable of. Often mentees looking to start in data tend to focus on wanting help with projects. However, I frequently encourage them to apply for jobs and support them in this process. It’s amazing when people get results when they could have been working on a project for months and not getting the job that is definitely possible for them.

What are you getting out of being a mentor?
It’s given me a great deal of confidence in knowing that I can truly help people flourish in their data career. Seeing and hearing the challenges that people are facing is an opportunity to reflect and draw on all the experiences that I’ve had over the years. Being able to reassure and encourage people in their journey is incredibly rewarding and I feel extremely honoured to be able to work with people in this way.

As a woman in data, I feel that being able to share my own challenges and wins is really important in showing mentees what is possible and knowing that I’m helping to support people in this way is immensely fulfilling.

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