Ramya Balasubramaniam

Control and Automation Engineer
Toronto, Canada

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I started my journey as a control and automation engineer in one of the largest manufacturers of heavy electrical and electronic equipment in India. It’s here that the importance of evidence-based data analysis got etched into my mind. I am currently pursuing my dream of making a successful career switch to data science through constant learning and persistent efforts.

At what school and in what concentration did you receive your undergraduate degree?

I graduated from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in India and received my undergraduate degree in electronics and communication engineering.

Why did you choose the I School?

Access to constantly evolving knowledge about the best practices in data science, strong pedagogical support that complements a plethora of off-line study material, and opportunity to network and collaborate with the finest minds (in Data Science and AI) are some of the reasons why I chose the I School at UC Berkeley.

What is the I School's advantage?

The biggest advantage of the I School is its ability to bring people from an unparalleled diversity of backgrounds, in terms of profession and country of origin, together. I benefitted by interacting with my peers and alumni, who helped in making my transition less arduous.

What has been your favorite class at the I School and why?

Being naturally inclined to objective and evidence-based data analysis and prediction, I would cast my vote in favor of Experiments and Causality. A strong faculty support and an opportunity to select an application-oriented final project (which could be interdisciplinary) further made my selection easier.

What are your future plans?

I would like to work in the data-native industry where the principles of data science are used effectively and ethically to create better experiences for existing customers and to accelerate growth in customer base. I would also like to pursue pro-bono work for non-governmental organizations to solve real-world socio-economic challenges.

Do you have any advice for aspiring information professionals/data scientists?

The most important difference between dreamers and achievers is the ability to make right choices. So, it’s important for the aspiring information professionals/data scientists to choose the right path that would allow them to achieve their goals faster and in a more meaningful way. There is no dearth of data available to us. However, all data professionals have the inherent responsibility to ethically use this data for the benefit of the world and its denizens.

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