Switching my career was a big decision I made, from 4.25 years of working experience in Finance/Procurement based in Nairobi, Kenya to Data Science & Machine Learning. I am human and humans are complicated and always adjusting. I was always curious to understand what happens under the hood in Procurement and financial analysis and that is how I pivoted into data. I enjoy wrangling with data for insights and to make strategic decisions.

When I am not working with data, I enjoy walking my dog, taking care of my plants, watching Architectural Digest as I am passionate about home decor, coloring, listening to AI podcasts, and hosting my family and friends.

I am excited to share my transformative journey from a finance background to a career in data science, enriched by the invaluable experiences I gained through two AWS AI & ML Scholarship programs in collaboration with Udacity.

So, I kicked off my Nanodegree journey with AI Programming with Python, and it totally paved the way for me to dive headfirst into the super cool realms of machine learning and AI. Next up was AWS Machine Learning, and that took my understanding to a whole new level. The awesome news? I totally aced both programs and graduated right on schedule!

One of the super cool things about these programs was the killer quality of the live sessions. Led by industry rockstars, these sessions not only gave me the facts on the latest trends but also shared practical wisdom from real pros in the AI & ML game. Getting to chat with these session leads and soak up their knowledge was seriously priceless.

Let’s talk about mentorship – it’s a game-changer. Lucky for me, I snagged a mentorship gig with AWS. Monthly pow-wows with my mentor, a  pro in the field, have been a game-changer for my career growth. Their guidance has given me the inside scoop and a roadmap for navigating the wild world of data science.

And who could forget those webinars on career development? AWS and Udacity teamed up for these info sessions, and they went beyond the usual classroom stuff. We got the info sessions on prepping for job opportunities, fine-tuning our resumes, and updating our LinkedIn profiles to stand out in the fiercely competitive job market.

The Nanodegree programs were the perfect mix of theory and hands-on action. The real-world projects not only amped up my tech skills but also let me apply my smarts to challenges straight out of the industry playbook. The course content was top-notch, and they threw in extra resources to make sure I got the full scoop.

But here’s the real kicker – the feedback on those ML project assignments was gold. The detailed insights gave me a roadmap for leveling up, and keeping that learning vibe going strong. Like they say, “The only source of knowledge is experience,” and those hands-on projects were the secret sauce in shaping my understanding of machine learning models.

In January 2023, my dedication and hard work bore fruit as I secured the position of Associate Data Scientist at Xetova Ltd., I carried the wisdom gained from these experiences with me. The fusion of financial acumen with data science has proven to be a potent combination, and I am excited about the endless possibilities that lie ahead.

This journey has reinforced my belief in the power of education, mentorship, and the continuous pursuit of knowledge. I hope my story serves as an inspiration to those navigating their own paths of growth and discovery.

Betty Kamande
Betty Kamande
Connect with Betty on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bettykamande/