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Many young mothers quit their jobs for their families. While it is a very tough decision that they make, what is more challenging for them is to rejoin the workforce after a sabbatical. But not always! One thing that a mother never loses is determination and at Udacity we pride ourselves in enabling many such determined mothers to upskill themselves and prepare them for the future jobs.

Here’s the story of one such mother, Herlina Toler. A mother of two, Herlina was out of work for more than 7 years. Today, she is a professional Data Analyst along with being a proud mother. Here’s to her story.

Tell us something about yourself?

My name is Herlina Toler, age 45 years old. Before moving to the USA, I was in Indonesia and had been working in a couple of big companies in Jakarta. As I married and became a mother of two girls here in the USA, I was out of professional work for more than 7 years. I earned my bachelor degree in Economics from a university in Salatiga city, Indonesia.

What challenges did you face while finding a job after being a full time mom for 7 years?

Struggle with Confidence and Language – Prior to graduating from the Nanodegree program, one interviewer had clearly mentioned about language barriers. The reason was that he had gone through an uncomfortable experience with one of his non-English native team members.

Lack of ability to present and showcase newest update skill and knowledge in front of interviewer

– Compete with younger candidates

3. Which Nanodegree program did you enroll for and why? How did it help you?

I earned Data Foundation Nanodegree program which is now known as Business Analytics Nanodegree. The reason I chose it was because there was a scholarship opportunity from Udacity-Bertelsmann in the area of my interest which is technology and data. I am so grateful for this valuable opportunity. The content of the curriculum along with projects in the Data Foundation Nanodegree program boosted my confidence and competence in the area. The community (students, Udacity staff and mentors) contributed to my motivation and empowerment. We discussed various topics and shared our knowledge with each other. Kathleen, the communication manager at that time, routinely checked and motivated us through Slack channels, which I really appreciate.

In the interview session, I presented and showcased all the projects I did in this program. This was very interesting for the interviewers, and I was able to present my skill set. It was easier for me to show how my skills aligned with the company’s need of a data analyst. It was a panel interview with technical (data management and programmer), personnel and line supervisors. They seemed to be excited with what I brought to the table and as a result I got the job as a data analyst.

How did you land a job after a 7 year long sabbatical? Tell us something about your role.

As soon as I graduated from the Data Foundation Nanodegree program, I started to apply for job opportunities located around the area where I live. As suggested by Udacity career support, I constantly updated my resume to better fit the job requirements as well as my most current achievements. 

My role currently is a data analyst. I am working with data in SQL Server and using SS Studio Management as data management (manipulation) and reporting (querying) tool. The other tool that I am using intensely is Excel (pivot and pivot chart features) as well as Tableau dashboard. In general the tasks I am doing are: collecting data, cleaning, formatting, import-export, and visualization. Beside those, once in a while I also write some instruction or user guide documents using Microsoft office applications such as powerpoint, words, etc.

Anything else you would like to add 

I just want to thank Udacity and Bertelsmann for the Scholarship opportunity. I am keen to continue my learning to the next level. My commitment is to be a useful citizen, that can contribute to my community with my skill set and knowledge. I can see Udacity become my go to institution where I can get the best quality education. With its programs in emerging technology and flexible online method of learning, it can help me reach my goal.

Ritika Pradhan
Ritika Pradhan
Ritika is the Brand Communications Manager at Udacity and is passionate about bringing inspirational student stories to light. When not talking to the amazing Udacity students, she can be found reading an article or watching a video on the internet.