1- Sleeping again!
Before starting my data science course with WAIA, I would often toss and turn in bed restlessly, reading through twitter and live tickers about the Covid-19 news and worrying about the things to come. Needless to say, this often meant sleepless or sleep-deprived nights. Now, I gladly turn in the evenings to my data science homework. It helps me focus and use my brain and, ironically, I fall asleep earlier and worry less than before.
2- Creating new opportunities
In these times of economic crisis, learning a skill that is highly coveted on the job market gives me additional peace of mind. While my current job is not threatened at the moment, it feels good to have different options - just in case.
Managing the workload and fast learning also provided me with the self-confidence - I now am sure I can learn more quickly, and apply it when needed. I have proven my potential, and I am dead set on maximising the impact I can create.
3- Creating value while dealing with uncertainties
Knowing more about data science, machine learning and Python programming helps me even in my current job - which was quite unexpected. We are dealing with volatile markets, and knowing my way around data is invaluable. I feel both more fulfilled and challenged, and more valuable through my unique positioning, then before I started my WAIA learning journey. Now, I participate in cool innovation and product development projects where my other e.g. facilitation and communication skills are further assets. This adds further to the self-confidence of knowing and further developing my value.
4- Time for “myself”, using my mental capacities, growth mindset
In these times where I am basically 24/7 with my family (including a small child), it is pure luxury to take time to focus on anything besides work and childcare. I literally can feel how my breathing calms as I focus on learning data science. Also, I sincerely enjoy this feeling of really using my brain, rather than just functioning like a mindless robot throughout the day. The joy of learning energises me, and I feel how I expand and explore my potential further than ever before, while training my growth mindset.
5- Connection with others
I really underestimated the advantage of one aspect of the WAIA program over just doing online courses by myself: We learn together, with other awesome women, in digital learning circles. Connecting with other talented and curious women from many walks of life has given me new energy in these times where I often feel stuck and isolated. I cherish the connection and the feedback from my team. This encourages me to pursue my learning journey and helps when we hit a bump in the learning road. We also just have fun together, and create a network of budding data scientists that we can team up with to tackle new opportunities to practise our skills.
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Ali is also a member of Cyber Security Standardisation SGA16, SG24, and WG26 Groups and started and chairs the IEEE Special Interest Group in Humanitarian Technologies and the Systems Council Chapters in the UK and Ireland Section. In 2017 Ali joined the IEEE Standards Association (SA), initially as a committee member for the new landmark IEEE 7000 standard focused on “Addressing Ethical Concerns in System Design.” He was subsequently appointed as the Technical Editor and later the Chair of P7000 working group. In November 2018, he was appointed as the VC and Process Architect of the IEEE’s global Ethics Certification Programme for Autonomous & Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS).