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What can I do to find a mentor and begin my career in data analytics?

I have a bachelor degree in psychology with a vast interest in research so a solid base in statistics and SPSS. I am about halfway done with my data analytics course on Google to be a certified data analyst. Do you have any advice to help me get started?

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Liwen’s Answer

Hello Megan, seeking a mentor is an excellent step you can take!

I suggest beginning by connecting with fellow alumni from your school who are also involved in the field you're interested in, and ask if they'd be willing to mentor you.

Additionally, try searching on LinkedIn using keywords like "Data Analytics" to discover potential mentors you can start conversations with.

I hope these suggestions prove helpful!
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Judy’s Answer

I would say get active on Linked In. This professional platform will guide you towards finding a mentor. You can always get connect to business professionals, and join groups related to Data Analytics. The more you connect and interact on this platform, the more opportunities you have to find a mentor. Good luck, as Data Analytics is heavily trending.
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Emily’s Answer

Great answers all! I love the concept of using LinkedIn to target potential mentors and I would be completely transparent in that you are interested in breaking into the field and value their expertise either via email or a phone call. You can list the questions in the inmail, I would keep to 5 at the most, and/or suggest a call if they are willing to take one. I think a 15 minute cap for a call would make the best use of time and might motivate someone to actually hop on a call to establish a connection. Best of luck!
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Theresa’s Answer

Hi Megan, I would suggest starting with your own network of friends, family, professors. They may be able to refer you to someone in the area you're interested in. Another suggestion would be to join professional groups in the data analytics fields - many of those groups have specific mentoring tracks.
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Rachel’s Answer

Megan, there are a few ways that you can seek out a mentor in data analytics. One way is to think about your personal network and think if there is anyone in the data analytics space that would be willing to be a mentor; this could be one of your parents friends, a neighbor, a professor at college, or even someone that any of those I mentioned may know. It really does help in terms of who you know. You can always look on LinkedIN as well by searching for folks in fields pertaining to data analytics. Next you want to think about what you want out of a mentor. There are career mentors who will help you develop a roadmap and set goals along the way and help keep you on track. They will not tell you what to do in any way shape or form, but help you come to a realization of what it is you want along the way. There are also sponsors who know how you work, how you work as a professional or student that would be an advocate for you in a role now or in the future. Coming prepared to any mentor/mentee discussion is key. Come with just a few questions, like how did you get started in this field? are they any obstacles you can think of that I might need to prepare for as I begin my career journey, and how did you overcome them? There is a lot to think about when looking for a mentor, but always remember that you want to find the right fit for you too. It's a relationship that you hope to develop and maintain over time so if it doesn't feel right to you, just be honest with the person that you are not getting what you need or that you've chosen to go a different route. It also helps to have a few mentors to help you navigate different areas; like career growth, education, or any other topic you can think of. Good luck!
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Jim’s Answer

In a couple of steps,
1. Ask to make presentations based on your hypotheses and findings;
2. Focus on the person/people asking questions;
3. Ask them to be your mentor.

Understand what you want to get out of mentoring, for example,
1. Career advice; and/or
2. Technical advice; and
3. Reach an understanding with your proposed mentor, what you expect of them and what they expect of you.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Megan,

Steps to Secure a Mentor and Launch a Successful Data Analytics Career

You're already making great strides towards a career in data analytics with your psychology background and ongoing certification course. Here are some actionable steps to further your progress:

1. Engage in Networking: Networking is a key component in any profession, including data analytics. Make sure to attend industry events, become part of online communities, and establish connections with professionals on platforms such as LinkedIn. Interaction with seasoned individuals can lead you to a mentor who can navigate you through industry intricacies.

2. Leverage Online Platforms: Websites like LinkedIn, Meetup, and professional forums serve as excellent platforms to find mentors. Identify professionals in data analytics or related fields and approach them with a succinct and respectful message outlining your background and objectives.

3. Consult Your Course Instructors: Don't hesitate to consult your data analytics course instructors. They might offer valuable insights, industry connections, or even be open to mentoring you.

4. Engage in Data Analytics Projects: Practical experience is priceless in data analytics. Seek opportunities to work on real-world projects through internships, freelance work, or volunteering for non-profit organizations. This will not only boost your skills but also make you more appealing to potential mentors.

5. Pursue Continuous Learning: Data analytics is a fast-paced field. Keep up with the latest trends, tools, and techniques by enrolling in additional courses, attending workshops, and reading industry publications. Showing a dedication to continuous learning will impress potential mentors and demonstrate your commitment to your career.

6. Highlight Your Skills: Develop a robust online presence by displaying your projects, certifications, and skills on platforms like GitHub or personal websites. Building a portfolio of your work will attract potential mentors and potential employers alike.

7. Stay Proactive and Persistent: The quest for a mentor requires time and effort. Be proactive in contacting professionals, follow up on discussions, and remain persistent in your quest for guidance. Remember, mentorship is reciprocal, so be ready to offer value in exchange for their time and expertise.

By adhering to these steps and remaining committed to your goals, you'll enhance your chances of securing a mentor and propelling a successful career in data analytics.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

Harvard Business Review (HBR): HBR offers insightful articles and resources on career progression, mentorship, and industry trends. Their content, authored by field experts, is a trustworthy source for career guidance.

LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning provides a vast array of courses on data analytics, career progression, and networking skills. The platform also enables connections with industry professionals, making it a valuable tool for budding data analysts.

DataCamp: DataCamp is a web-based platform offering interactive courses on data science and analytics. Their hands-on learning approach enables individuals to acquire practical skills crucial for launching a data analytics career.

May God bless you!
James Constantine.
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Janice’s Answer

Hi Megan! That's an excellent query!

A fantastic way to discover a mentor and dive into your profession is by participating in events like those you can find on Meetup, focusing on data analytics or any other data-related interests you have. Additionally, consider attending presentations at tech or data-driven companies, which often welcome the public and are relevant to your area of expertise. Online platforms like LinkedIn can help you stay informed about these events. Moreover, explore online communities centered around the tools you use or want to begin using. Often, these tools are open source, which means they have a robust community backing them up. Keep up the enthusiasm!
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