It has always been difficult for me to define myself as a professional. I studied Industrial Civil Engineering with a degree in IT, specializing in Computer Science and Software Development. I liked the courses and the career, but I constantly felt like a “weirdo” within the specialty. I felt I had other skills that didn’t fit with a career as a developer.
When I got out of college, the usual path was to apply and work as a software developer. I spent a long time thinking about applying to the classic FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, APPLE, Netflix and Google) but there was still something that didn’t quite fit.
Looking for options, I came across Brain Food, a consulting firm that promised to unite technology with business. It immediately caught my attention, it matched my hybrid profile (mix of technical and softer skills), so I decided to apply, and finally I was selected.
A year ago, I joined Brain Food as a Consultant. I participated in PMO (Project Management Office) projects with clients in the education area, benchmarking by contacting universities in multiple countries, in smaller reporting projects and in the development of spin-offs within large companies, but new challenges were coming.
During the first half of the year I joined a project that had several fronts, both technical and strategic. At first I joined the strategic front, which consisted of managing digital marketing digital initiatives by a PMO led by the team. Given the characteristics of the latter, I performed tasks of which I already had previous experience. Every week we had follow-up meetings with the business performance team, in these weeklies we monitored the digital initiatives with each owner, raising risks and possible delays with the initial planning. Based on these, we created action plans, defined the level of progress with respect to the use of the framework established in conjunction with the client, and the impact on digital sales. Approximately, we managed more than 100 initiatives, with more than 30 different owners.
After this first stage, I moved to the technical front of the project. This second part consisted of developing a projection of digital sales for the year 2023, for all the markets in which this client was present. Given the nature of the front end, the team changed and we all had to get down to work to complete this project on time.
This front was very challenging, involving data extraction tasks, data consistency and quality review, processing each of them so that they were in the optimal format for their manipulation, and finally, the development of a predictive model of digital sales. All of the above, for four markets, two products and opened by multiple different traffic sources, grouped by weekly views, combinatorics was important.
My first thought was: how can I contribute from my experience on this technical front?
The project implied stepping out of my comfort zone, stepping out of the more managerial projects and moving to a project with a technical focus, with different skill requirements.
That’s how I felt:
Despite the above, I want to emphasize that I never doubted the capabilities of the team to achieve the project, however, it meant developing my skills as a data scientist in a tight deadline in a project with an important scope and with a very demanding client.
Beyond the technical details related to the development of the model, I wanted to share with you some key learnings that helped me to pull this off and not die trying:
Going back to the beginning of the post: I still find it hard to define myself as a professional, but at Brain Food I discovered that it is not necessary. Thanks to the culture of the team and the company, I can explore the different paths that exist and thus, I can find combinations of skills that fit my interests and capabilities and develop myself as the professional I want and dream to be.
If you have any questions or comments, happy to chat!