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Rathan Raju – Meet the Mentor

A process-oriented data scientist with in-depth knowledge of Machine learning, databases, programming, business intelligence, and visualization.
Rathan Raju

Data Scientist

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

I’ve always aspired to be a good leader. This mentorship assisted me in learning and I wanted to develop my leadership abilities on how to work with people with whom you do not naturally connect, demonstrating patience with those in need of guidance and support, and assisting people in determining the best path forward. All characteristics of a great leader and skills are honed through mentoring.

"The more you practice leadership on a one-on-one basis, the better you’ll be in bigger group settings."

Working with someone less experienced and from a different background allowed me to obtain a new perspective on things and learn a new way of thinking and new perspectives which may assist me in both my professional and personal lives.

Not every mentoring relationship is life-changing, but I’ve seen enough of them to know that every mentor has the capacity to bring about unexpected change to change someone’s world.

There is no better method to embed information than via teaching. I learned the hard way how to employ the appropriate individual, raise rates, and negotiate a difficult contract. I may explain and internalize those lessons inside myself by passing this information on to a newbie and also strengthen the lessons I’ve learned previously.

How did you get your career start?

To begin with, I earned a 2:1 honours in my Bachelor of Engineering degree in 2017. I was hired by Cognizant, a multinational business in India, shortly after finishing my bachelor’s degree. I worked on two projects while I was there.

My first project role was as a software engineer, and I was responsible for developing existing programmes by analysing and finding areas for improvement, as well as writing systems code to manage work scheduling and access to users or distant systems.

My second project role was a data analyst, and I was responsible for identifying, evaluating, and implementing external data validation and cleansing services and technologies. My main responsibilities in this job were creating dashboards, graphs, and visualisations, as well as manipulating, analysing, and interpreting complex data sets related to the company’s operations.

As I dealt with more and more data on a daily basis, I became increasingly interested in the data sector and decided to pursue a career in data science. I wanted to take my career to the next level and learn more in the subject of data science. Soon after, I began exploring for a master’s degree in data science and discovered that the University of Essex offered an excellent data science course curriculum and was ranked among the top 25 universities in the United Kingdom. Then I chose to go to the University of Essex for my master’s degree in data science.

I wanted to learn more before starting my master’s programme. As a result, I chose to work on a personal project. Although I worked in a similar industry before, I would know how to deal with any challenges that arose. I did a personal project called “Data Scientist Salaries Prediction Based on each location”. It would essentially forecast data scientist salaries depending on various locations and positions in data science.

In addition, I completed various advanced certifications on Udemy, which have helped me understand new technologies more quickly and expand my portfolio. I used to learn a lot in my master’s programme, both in class and when working on assignments. This broadened my knowledge and abilities in the field of data science. I started looking for employment the day I started my master’s programme.

In the beginning, I decided not to apply for jobs and instead focused on analysing the market trend and job requirements. During my winter break, I used to work on my personal projects throughout the holidays. I was upskilling my existing abilities and working on a handful of projects at the time. In addition, I used to compete in a lot of Kaggle competitions to improve my knowledge and expertise. By working on personal projects and developing systems, I was able to break into the field of data science.

How do you usually set up mentorships?

I’ve developed a mentorship strategy. Basically, I’ve created two plans named “Lite” and “Standard.” The purpose of the two plans is to give infinite advice in both plans while also developing a framework for the mentee to keep things on track. The “Standard Plan” is clearly superior to the “Lite Plan.” Essentially, if a mentee chooses the Standard plan, the mentee can schedule more calls during the month (up to 20 calls per month) and also has Hands-on support, whereas if the mentee chooses the Lite Plan, the mentee can only schedule a few calls per month (up to 10 calls per month) and the hands-on support is quite limited.

A mentee can expect the following despite any plans they have chosen. A proper system created for each mentee just to keep things on track and a project plan for them. If they are working on any projects, I would provide adequate advise, direction, and comment on their progress, as well as share my knowledge and skills as needed.

Additionally, serving as a sounding board for ideas and action plans. Encouragement and support to attempt new things, as well as assisting mentees in stepping beyond of their comfort zones. If things do not go as planned, I will assist mentees understand why and function as a role model for the mentee. Also, Identifying resources to assist mentees with personal development and progress, such as proposing books, workshops, or other learning tools, as well as encouraging mentees to join networking groups or expose them to new connections.

What are you getting out of being a mentor?

Mentoring is a gratifying profession that allows us to make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of young people. The profession provides us with a genuine feeling of purpose as well as several other emotional benefits. The following are the four crucial skills that I have gained by being a mentor.

  • Emotional intelligence is described as the aptitude and ability to recognise, control, and effectively express one’s emotions. We must listen to our mentees and empathise with their circumstances as mentors. We must put ourselves in their shoes in order to comprehend and empathise with what they are going through. These conversations aided in the development of my emotional intelligence as well as my ability to manage all interpersonal relationships effectively. It aided in leading team conversations, resolving and avoiding problems, and ensuring that everyone is collaborating and working together efficiently in my workplace.
  • As a mentor, we are given authority and are seen as a role model and source of assistance. Though it may appear challenging, being a role model teaches us valuable leadership and management concepts such as responsibility, effective communication, time management, and accountability. As mentors, it is our obligation to guarantee that mentoring meetings are held on time, that talks are fruitful, and that intended goals are achieved. It is also our obligation to inspire and assist our mentees. These abilities have assisted me in effectively managing my work activities, demonstrating to employers that we are responsible enough to take on leadership roles.
  • Self-Reflection Mentoring and listening to the thoughts and feelings of a young person will allow us to reflect on our own lives. We will utilise our life and the judgments we make to mentor the young person, demonstrating good and terrible behaviors, reactions, and decisions. Reflecting on ourselves assists us to become more self-aware and better decision-makers in the future. It helps us to pause and review ourselves to ensure that we are doing the correct thing, and it increases our awareness of the ramifications of our actions so that we can now avert negative outcomes.
  • Developing a Personal Brand as a mentor. We will convey to young people a consistent message that we have established based on our own life, prior decisions, and experiences. This constant message will develop into a personal brand that the mentee would easily recognise. A personal brand will demonstrate to others that we are individuals with distinct skills and talents. It will make us stand out to employers and coworkers, as well as making us more self-assured and charismatic. Creating a personal brand may also help to become an entrepreneur by creating a corporate identity and network with other firms and entrepreneurs.

Anything you would like to tell us?

If you're reading this, I'd want to thank you for taking the time to do so. Don't be daunted by the amount of information available out there and also, don't be concerned about what is the best way to begin anything. Just get started. Be ambitious while remaining patient. Don't forget to have fun with the process. You can find me on My LinkedIn Profile, and you can also reach me out on My Twitter Profile.

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