Written by Richie Wong Sept. 5, 2022
👋 Hi! I’m Richie, currently developing data & analytics capabilities @ Checkout.com. I’ve been building scalable data product in tech for 6+ years, and have helped teams set the bar for best practices.
Why did you decide to become a mentor?
I find satisfaction helping others like minded like me who are open to learning and improving everyday. I find it interesting that mentees have different goals. I have mentees who are on different journey’s from career breaks, career change, getting the next promotion and becoming more aware about the data space and technologies.
To me a mentor has a few roles: they are supposed to be inspiring, to advise them to reach their career goals. I believe a mentor can guide you through your career and help you stay true. I wanted to be a mentor on MentorCruise because I can connect with different people from around the world and help them on their career journey.
When should people reach out to you?
People can reach out to me as a mentor if they feel they need some guidance and support in their career. During my mentorship, I provide a range of services from CV feedback, study plans, interview preparation, reviewing your work, or coming up with a career strategy.
A short application is required with the following: introduction, goal and expectation. I would then get back to you within a few days after reviewing your application and let you know what I can offer aligning to my mentorship program.
How did you get your career start?
As a financial analyst in my early career, I was exposed to data technologies such as SQL. I found it intriguing and learned from my mentor how important dealing with structured data is to any organisation. I knew I wanted to work in the data sector in the long run and advance my career in this field.
My finance analyst profession did not give me many coding possibilities. Like other data professionals, I did not study SQL as part of my degree, so I contacted my mentor, who was essential in assisting me with a career pivot.
I recall my mentor showing me several internet resources, such as technical articles, blog posts, how to start a pet project, and books to read. These sites help me to get inspiration. He gave me good advice that inspired me to pursue a full-time position working within a business intelligence analyst role. I was lucky enough to have a mentor who guided me, and I am now working full-time in an analytics engineer role.
What role did mentorship play in your past?
My mentor acted like a career coach and mentor, having had conversations together and providing me with feedback on my development areas and providing me very sound career advice. An example was that I wanted to transition and work in the data space, however as you know with the modern day and age there are so many resources available and online material out there. I was often distracted about learning everything, and was often overwhelmed with the amount of resources. My mentor guided me to the right resources to focus on and more importantly what attributes organisations were looking for and what skills and technologies I should focus on were required to break into the industry that were important!
How do you usually set up mentorships?
Our initial discussion would involve me assessing where you are on your journey. I would understand your current circumstance, and we’ll create a roadmap together, and arrange regular check-ins. We would essentially set actions to reach your goal, for example if you are looking to change jobs, we would understand how we can promote your profile, create the interview opportunities and pass the interviews! Doing all that we can set expectations and timelines of the mentorship.
My style is that I would be more focused on the strategic aspect of landing the job, i.e. actions you need to take and gaps that you may be missing. We could talk about technical coding problems/skills like python and data structures. This depends on how you would like to arrange our sessions, so I am totally flexible.
What’s the most frequent question you hear from mentees?
They often ask me, “What is your current role?” or “What is an Analytics Engineer?”. My current role is an Analytics Engineer, atCheckout.com who are a payment processing company for enterprise level E-commerce businesses. My role is to make data reliable, accessible and usable to our end users of our data, focused on the commercial space.
This role is a blend between Data Engineers, and a Data/Product Analyst:
Data Engineers can focus on building custom data integrations and managing overall pipeline orchestration. Analytics Engineers can focus on providing clean, transformed data ready for analysis, maintaining documentations & definitions, and training business users on how to use data visualisation tools. Data Analysts can provide deep insights by working with business users to understand data requirements and build critical dashboards and forecasting.
What are you getting out of being a mentor?
The data space, like other technologies, is always changing, and there are many tools available on the market. I enjoy discussing the benefits and drawbacks of them. A recent example, a mentor asked me what is the difference and similarities between Databricks vs. Snowflake? Answering these questions are not typical conversations in my full-time job, which I find stimulating. I enjoy talking to different people in the data space!
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