Starting from 1996 when I was 15 years old, I went through 13 odd jobs – as a newspaper and magazine delivery boy, an STD booth boy, a door-to-door salesman, a tax book salesman, a salesperson in a wine shop, and a night watchman in a computer institute, where my salary was free computer classes. I saw the last one as a tremendous opportunity and decided to attend as many classes as possible. I’m so glad I did that because eventually, I became a lead data analyst at Dell in 2004.
My first exposure to analytics was at the Dell call center. After being introduced to a guy called Ram who worked on Excel and SQL Server and noticing how indispensable he was, I decided to become a data analyst to avoid taking calls and build a transferable, independent skill-set.
At Dell, because of some structural changes in the company, the role became redundant. With the severance pay, I decided to apply for a UK visa through HSMP and, surprisingly, got it. In spite of the recession in 2008, I was hired within a week of starting my applications. But my dreams were short-lived and I was made redundant within a short time after joining. I must have applied for 300 jobs after that and even considered a job with lesser pay, but thankfully, my employer changed his mind on the last day of my notice period and I worked with them for another 18 months.
I owe everything to the skills I honed through continuous learning. The countless hours and days of hard work through the rough times of life has borne its’ fruit. Life is going great now. Along with my job, I am pursuing a part-time master’s degree in data science from the University of London and taking care of my one-year-old baby. I’ve created a QlikView Server course with a friend and published it on Udemy. There are 500+ students so far and the course is rated 4.5 out of 5.
If there are any lessons from my journey so far, they would be the importance of honing your skill-set over time, never getting complacent, dealing calmly with challenges, and contributing back to society for the good things you’ve got. I still have a long way to go and will be happy if I can become a good mentor and help change someone’s life in the future.
Meet Deepak Vadithala: Data Evangelist, Learning Enthusiast, and an Aspiring Mentor.