Inspiring answers by Sidra Bashir, one of our Ambassadors on her life and working as a data scientist.
1. Name and job role.
Sidra Bashir, Data Scientist at Eagle Alpha
2. What is something about you people might not know?
I have been lecturing at 5 different universities.
3. What are your hobbies?
Hiking, Swimming and Travelling.
4. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Most kids growing up aspire to be something fun and amazing like an astronaut or a princess but I was more of a geek. I loved maths and I knew I wanted to be a mathematician.
5. Who was your biggest influence growing up?… who were your role models?
My biggest influences growing up were my parents. Seeing how they raised six kids and pushed us to fulfil our dreams has always been a driving force for me.
6. What were your favourite subjects at school?
Mathematics, Computing and Music
7. What were your least favourite subjects at school?
8. How did you come to choose your current career path or were you led to it?
Growing up I have always enjoyed Maths at school. I loved solving problems and finding different ways to get to the same answer. I then pursued Maths at university before completing a Master’s in Applied Mathematics.
It was my Master’s degree which lead me to find my interest in Computing. I then completed another Master’s in High-Performance Computing.
Choosing a career was very difficult for me. Basically, I was teaching at two universities as two different roles (Mathematics instructor and Computing lecturer) in Ireland. I wanted to keep both Mathematics and Computing in my life. I finally made the decision that Data Science is the best fitting career for me and those who share an interest in both Maths and Computing.
9. What are the biggest changes in the world of work (for women) that you are excited about?
I really feel happy to see women in Technology. I work with a lot of great women at work and I would love to see more girls going into Technology and Computing.
10. Would you say having a degree is the only path to a successful career? Would you say there are opportunities for women entrepreneurs in your career?
Yes for sure a degree is important but having a passion for a certain career motivates you to be successful.
11. What advice would you give your younger self and school leavers today?
I would say keep your options open. Just, because you like a subject or career now may not mean it should be the career you do for the rest of your life. I found Computing as my interest after years of studying at university. So, I would say get a broad range of skills and interests during your time at school and university.
Make sure to follow this series on STEM Careers Guide.
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