A Six-Figure Salary at a Fortune 500 Following Data Analytics Boot Camp
While Balasubramanian “Bala” Ganapathy hasn’t always had a major interest in data analytics, he has always invested in constantly improving his skills.
Bala grew up in India and completed the majority of his education there. He received his first MBA in the city of Bhubaneswar and used this degree as a cost and management accountant for nearly 10 years. He then decided to pursue a second MBA in the U.S. Not long after that, Bala found himself yearning for another opportunity to reskill.
“I noticed the growing trend in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and next-generation coding languages,” said Bala. “I wanted to upgrade my skills so that they’d be contemporary with the market.” At age 40, Bala enrolled in the SMU Data Science Boot Camp.
Navigating the boot camp network
“My professor, Dan Crowley, was a great source of inspiration,” said Bala. “He was focused on the holistic learning process rather than simply completing a curriculum checkpoint and moving on. Our TAs were also extremely helpful.”
As someone who always strives for excellence, Bala was encouraged by Dan and his TAs to let go of perfection—even if he missed a few steps here and there, he was still progressing. “I put in as much effort as I could to adjust to the work, and at the end of the 6 months, I felt proud,” said Bala.
Landing on an exciting career path
When it came to figuring out the step after boot camp, Bala made the most of every resource he had. He spoke to the career services team about how to approach his previous employers about leaving. He assembled—and then fine-tuned—his updated resume, and he attended countless practice interview sessions with his career coach.
At the start of the interview process for his current role, Bala was required to complete multiple case interviews and tests where he had to build data solutions in just 20 minutes. It was a challenging process, but it paid off. The key to his success? Identifying his main differentiator—and leveraging it to get his foot in the door.
“Technology keeps evolving, but even though I had already been in the workforce for 15+ years, I had the drive—and the foresight—to reskill and update myself,” said Bala. “This drive continues to be my differentiator. My chances of getting an offer like this, at this time in my life, would have been much smaller without it.”
Gearing up for what’s to come
Bala is soon to begin his new role as a senior manager for strategy consulting at a multinational Fortune 500 company, where he has secured a six-figure salary. With the start date just around the corner, he’s taking stock of how far he’s come. The biggest lesson he’s learned over time is that he can handle anything.
“I now have the confidence to go into any space and do whatever it takes to succeed,” Bala said. “More specifically with data learnings, I can turn qualitative data into quantitative data. I have the tools and analytical skills to do that now—and to use natural language processing to my advantage.”
Bala’s confidence and technology skills have improved over the past 6 months—and his mindset has, too. “I now have the foundational knowledge and necessary framework to handle any situation—in data and beyond,” he said.