Student of the Fortnight - Sushanth Raj
By Aditi Bhat
A Dream Come True!
It is never too late to pursue your passion. Sushanth Raj, a student of our first batch of part-time Post Graduate Diploma in Data Science program proved just that! He dared to listen to his calling and today he has achieved his dream – a data science job role in Infosys.
Was it an easy transition? Probably not, but the fact that he withstood the challenges makes him our Student of the Fortnight. So all you folks wondering if a mid-career switch to data science is a smart decision, here’s an example to help you decide.
Starting off on the wrong foot? Maybe not
Just like many students from his batch, Sushanth started off as a tier-2 engineer in a tech company handling tasks related to web hosting and fixing client-end situations. Then he moved to HP where he played different roles - from being a calling analyst, to deployment specialist to becoming a tech lead.
Being a self-motivated person, Sushanth ensured he was constantly learning and upgrading his skill sets. He’d often come up with a different approach to tackle problems and wouldn’t hesitate to experiment with the set standards.
Sushanth said, “I cannot be confined to one place, as I want to explore all the time.” It was this quality that helped him win the Best Innovative Idea Award in his company for developing an automation software.
So what really triggered Sushanth to switch to Data Science?
Being a top performer in the tech domain, at one point Sushanth felt that it was all getting too monotonous for him. That’s when he started exploring different technologies like cloud computing and software virtualization within his domain. He shared, “It was that phase of my life where I wanted to explore and find something challenging enough to fall in love with.”
The moment of truth
That’s when things turned for him. “I heard about big data three years ago. I got curious and started to explore,” reminisced Sushanth. “But the turning point in my life was when I participated in the revered Kaggle Analytics Platform competition, which tests the knowledge of those interested in data science,” added Sushanth.
Sushanth recalled, “When I participated in the competition, I was not sure what to do with data as I had no clue. That was the time I realized it is something interesting. I understood that it could be challenging due to elements that are both vast and tedious, but I also knew that it would be worth it if I learned more about it.”
Setting the stage for success
Sushanth emphasised that everyone goes through a stage of transformation. He mentioned that it’s possible to learn data analytics online, but going to a class and interacting with teachers is a different learning experience. Overcoming the initial dilemma of choosing the right platform and the right institute for learning data analytics, he finally opted for one of the top three analytics courses in India - Manipal ProLearn’s PGD program. “The best part about this course is that you can go and clarify your doubts as many times with the professors,” said Sushanth.
The start of something good
One proud moment for Sushanth at a ProLearn session was when he was awarded by Mr. R N Prasad, the author of Fundamentals of Business Analytics. The moment was special for him as he, along with his team, came closest to solving a tough problem and were given one of Mr. R N Prasad’s authored books as the reward.
Learning with a set goal
Sushanth shared that the 11-month training at ProLearn provides a structure and timeline, which helps in organizing learning with set goals. “Manipal ProLearn gave me an opportunity to start with a clear cut plan. Since data science is a domain where there are so many things to learn, students need guidance or else they run the risk of getting distracted. Manipal offered me a great structure to learn efficiently,” said Sushanth when asked about his experience with us.
The path to a dream career
Sushanth mentioned that he had to face a few challenges while looking for a job. However, as analytics is a fast growing domain, companies do not hesitate to pay well if you prove your worth and showcase your knowledge.
Sushanth emphasised on the fact that it was his drive to continuously learn and upgrade himself that helped him grow professionally. He recalled, “Interviews with big companies helped me understand what is expected from my role and I framed myself to be that person.”
We appreciate Sushanth’s thirst for knowledge and are sure it will take him a long way in his career.