Have you ever started a role and were unsure where to begin? What should I focus on? Who should I connect with? Do I follow the crowd or try to diversify my skill set? These were my exact questions and feelings on my first day on the job as a Siemens Graduate Program Representative.
Concepts Over Skill sets
I’ve actually become convinced that it is not about the path one takes, but how they take that path. This got me thinking a bit more about my role, which at the time, was somewhat undefined. Through this thinking, I came to two conclusions about how I should move forward:
1) I should target increasing my credibility and experience (as this is relevant to any role) and
2) that it is easier to be different as opposed to simply being better.
To exemplify these two conclusions, I decided to focus my path on a “different” one at Siemens, a data path.
My name is Ryan Douglas and I have been with Siemens for the last two and a half years as a Siemens Graduate Program Representative and, most recently, as a Business Intelligence & Innovation Engineer. The Siemens Graduate Program was designed as a rotational program to help recent masters level graduates find footing in their careers, learn more about Siemens, and finally to decide upon a career path within the company.
Having graduated with an MBA before joining, there were many career paths open within my assigned organization, Siemens Financial Services (SFS). Although opportunities to grow in credit risk, sales, and underwriting were equally appealing, I ultimately ended up deciding that a career in data analytics and business intelligence (BI) played to not only my strengths, but to my interests.
By targeting a “different” path in data analytics to my peers, I was able to develop my experience within the organization. Many of my projects have varied from data cleansing in SQL to the development of innovative dashboards and tools in BI solutions such as Tableau and Power BI. Since joining the firm, I have focused on developing credibility and experience with my “different” background and skill set enabling me to have a genuine positive impact on our business.
Pioneering Data at Siemens
Data at Siemens is a perpetually growing and a perpetually changing beast. Innovation comes from many sources within the business including internally and through external research. Understanding, cleansing, and aggregating data across multiple formats for use in dashboard design and visualization has really pioneered the way in which we at Siemens craft the tools of tomorrow’s business. Digital transformation has been the catalyst for organizational change and is the foundation for a lot of our localized data strategy initiatives.
A lot of this innovation takes many forms including internal data competitions, hackathons, and innovation incubators. At Siemens Financial Services, for example, we hosted our most recent 2020 Siemens Financial Services Americas Datathon Competition in which the business was challenged to come up with projects targeting areas of improvement to craft a proof of concept solution in 48 hours.
Figure 2: The award in the “Team Winner” category I won during the 2020 Siemens Financial Services Americas Datathon Competition.
Projects ranged from robotic process automation to business intelligence solutions in tools like Tableau covering multiple solutions across multiple business units. I had the pleasure of joining one of the teams competing to develop a complex business intelligence solution to better predict and monitor risk across our portfolio of customers. The opportunity to have experiences like this has made my passion for data analytics and my focus on development grow. For this, I cannot help, but thank Siemens for the opportunity to really explore and grow as pioneer within the analytics space.
Appreciation for a Healthy Work-life Balance
Life is not all about work. Kayaking and hiking have proved to be great sources of calm for me – and a great way to balance my work and my personal life. The best part is that after a great hike or kayak ride, I am filled with the energy needed and new ideas for interesting projects and solutions once I get back into the office.
Figure 3: My wife and I on one of our kayaking tours.
Simultaneously, SFS has a group of team members who walk the grounds around lunchtime to get in the extra steps which serves as a great way to clear one’s head and get some much needed exercise during the day. Balancing one’s time has enabled me to really explore my potential from an innovation standpoint while providing a high quality work product.
Do you also want to be part of this big organization? Learn more about our Digital Minds at Siemens and find your future role on: