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Data analyst pushes past personal weaknesses: finds inner-confidence and success

Only two years into her career, this data analyst has already overcome academic discrimination, achieved international recognition for her research, and has earned a management role with her non-profit organization. She shares how she must often push herself outside her comfort zone to project confidence and strength professionally in order to stay on a path of success.

What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in that field?
I work as a data analyst for a non-profit social research organization. I’m young and new to the field, having worked in my current position for 2 years.

Would you describe the things you do on a typical day?
I work for several grants and my work is largely project based. Currently, I split my schedule into thirds. I spend a third of my day consulting with psychologists and project managers about how to improve the research tools they are creating for a new grant. I spend a third of my day working on data analysis projects for research papers. I spend the last third of my day creating a data management flow structure for one of our newest grants.

In addition to these tasks, I was recently promoted to a management position. Throughout the day, I coach and direct a team of data management staff members that input data, assist me in basic programming, and check the accuracy of incoming data.

What’s your ethnicity and gender? How has it hurt or helped you? If you ever experienced discrimination, how have you responded and what response worked best?
Being a woman has its challenges in a technical field. Luckily, I faced discrimination at my university and was forced to confront it and learn from it there, and had some amazing mentors. Social scientists tend to be highly sensitized to race and gender discrimination, which makes it far less of a problem in my current position.

Understanding my own reaction to discrimination was important to getting my job. I have a “cute” disposition and a very feminine voice. In college, people rarely took me seriously or considered me a worthy contender in the classroom. It took time and mentoring for me to learn that the issue was theirs, not mine, and to not cast doubt on myself in response to their evaluations.

If I had doubted myself, I wouldn’t have gotten my job, or taken on the scary-sounding assignments that ultimately got me raises and a promotion. I am not strong, direct, and confident naturally, but I work hard at fostering these traits in myself. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to flourish in this work environment.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What would it take to increase that rating?
I would rate my job satisfaction as a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. I work with incredible people and an amazing body of work. Despite the freedom I have, I take my work home a lot, and tend to carry a lot of hours. If I worked with another person who had skills similar to myself, who I could trust to handle some of my workload, I think my job would be an 8 or 9.

What did you learn the hard way in this job and how did that happen?
I learned the value of solid reporting skills the hard way. I had one project manager who gave me an incredibly difficult project, requiring hours of complex mathematics. I focused so much on the math that I didn’t notice some labeling problems, poor report formatting, and typos.

The project manager had little understanding when it came to theoretical mathematics; her job was to manage the grant. She didn’t understand what I had done mathematically, so couldn’t see the hard work and brilliance that I had put into it. What she did see was a shoddy, confusing report containing typos and errors. She wasn’t exactly eager to work with me after that.

I took classes on report writing and word processing to improve this. Writing and communication skills, not obscure technical strengths, are what ultimately got me raises and promotions.

What don’t they teach in school that would’ve been helpful to you?
In general, school didn’t prepare me for the complexity of reality. Math problems in textbooks, even very advanced textbooks, are child’s play compared to real data sets and actual problems.

They also did not teach me the importance of fearlessly asking questions. I am successful because I get out of my comfort zone and am not afraid to ask for what I want. The worst thing that can happen when you ask for something big is that you’re told no, and I was surprised how many times I was actually told yes. This realization made all the difference for me. Often, people doubt their worth and settle gratefully for the status quo.

How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?
I got started in this field unexpectedly. I graduated just as the U.S. economy began to fall into crisis. Basically, desperation goaded me into applying for a position that seemed above my skill set as a new graduate with no experience, and out of alignment with my own career goals. I’m glad I did it because the experience has been invaluable.

What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job?
When my boss asked me to help her hire new subject interviewers, I experienced the strangest moment of my job. The interviewers have to deal with people that can be intimidating, violent, mentally ill, or simply horrendously rude, so my boss asked me to “act like a subject with an array of problems” in a mock-interview. This was nowhere near my job description, and I’d never acted before, but it was a hilarious and fun day.

On a good day when things are going well, can you give an example of something that really makes you feel good?
When the employees that I supervise succeed and do well, I feel good. It makes my work much easier, and, since I find management and training to be the most challenging aspects of my work, it makes me feel successful.

What do you dislike the most about your job?

The worst aspect of my job is hiring, disciplining and firing employees. Luckily, I’ve only ever had to fire one person.

How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance?
Currently, my work is incredibly stressful. I work with academic, research-oriented professionals that are on career-building warpaths. That mindset tends to disseminate into the very fiber of the company, and I feel that stress regularly.

What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough considering your responsibilities?
In the non-profit sector, people in positions like mine generally start out at something like $30,000 per year, and, unless you have a PhD, you’ll probably top out at around $45,000. Social sciences don’t pay well, and the same skill set is worth much more in a for-profit environment. Nonetheless, it’s a great way to get experience in the field, gain proficiency, develop a portfolio or CV, network, get published, and start a career.

What’s the most rewarding moment you’ve experienced in this position? Of all the things you’ve done at work, what are you most proud of?

I’ve created amazing programs and solved pernicious data flow problems. I am most proud of my accomplishments with challenging data sets. Earning the respect of leaders in the field, and networking globally due to my success has been very rewarding.

What’s the most challenging moment you’ve experienced? What would you prefer to forget?
Managing others, and being responsible for their success or failure, is definitely the most challenging job I have ever had. My most challenging moment came when an employee directly defied my request and insulted me in front of other employees. They were all looking at me, expecting me to do something, and I just shrugged it off and did nothing. My boss expected me to fire her due to this and some other problems, and it was hard to confront her, especially since I had not disciplined her or corrected her problems on the spot. Avoidance is the worst form of management and backfires in the long run.

What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?
Analysis is a broad field with varied application. To get hired, you need a background in mathematics, computer science, or disciplines that emphasize statistical and modeling work. My ability to think critically and grapple with complex problems helped me succeed in analysis. However, the most important skill I developed was the ability to communicate clearly and concisely to a variety of people about technical material.

What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?
I would tell a friend considering my line of work that working in a research environment requires a significant investment with little immediate compensation. If you are passionate about the work and want to get somewhere, you’ve got to volunteer for projects and go beyond the basic requirements.

How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?
My job has amazing benefits. A lot of non-profits do, because they know that they can’t pay employees competitively. I get 6 paid weeks of vacation per year and I take advantage of every minute of it.

Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do?
Many people tend to think that analysts and others in technical positions are introverted geeks who lack communicative abilities and can do nothing about it. I am not naturally an extroverted person, but I’ve worked hard to improve my networking, public speaking, and teamwork skills. It can be learned like anything else, and it is an essential part of any career track.

Does this job move your heart? If not, what does?
While I am fascinated with problem solving and enjoy my job, I don’t believe I have the aggressive commitment to this field that some of my mentors do. Some of them live for social research. I love traveling, rock climbing, and working with disadvantaged populations in ways that empower them. I look at my job as a way of supporting the purposes of my life, not as the purpose in and of itself.

If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?
If I could do anything in the next 5 years, I’d want to travel and apply my education and problem solving skills to work with disadvantaged communities, helping them to build and create solutions to problems such as water needs and sanitation development. It’s a major shift from my current work, but our research points to the importance of communities banding together and finding answers, and I’d like to do more than merely crunch numbers about it. I see myself shifting away from analysis, despite how enjoyable it’s been.

Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?

I am successful because I get out of my comfort zone and am not afraid to ask for what I want. Often, people doubt their worth and settle gratefully for the status quo. The worst thing that can happen when you ask for something big is that you’re told no, and I was surprised how many times I was actually told yes. This realization made all the difference for me.

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61 comments

  • I was impressed by this Data Analyst because she is motivated by her enormous sense of and passion for humanity instead of money. She overcame many obstacles and admitted weaknesses to succeed. She persevered in spite of…she could have easily used her skill set to gain a ton of money, however, she chose to serve and follow her passion. Very honorable…I admire and respect her decision!

  • I am truly amazed and impressed at what a selfless person this Data Analyst is and what she did to overcome discrimination. She could have used her education at a for profit organization and make more money but instead she chose to do otherwise. I sincerely wish her all the best in her endeavours and nothing but greatness!

  • I too went back to school at a later time in my life because I had found places in my education that needed to be improved upon for me to be successful. The biggest thing that needed to be changed for me to be happy at work was to find a career that full filled me as a person just like the writer above has done so succefully. I find greatness in her success and hope to carry this story with me on my jouney of working in the research field and finding my nitch in the world of business.

  • I relate a lot to this story because I was stuck in a position for 12 years were I felt that I had grown and learned all that I would ever learn from that position. I liked my position because I got to help people but it was no longer fun and I started to hate going to work. But I was afraid of looking for a challenge because I was afraid I would fail. I got the courage to seek new employment were I still get to help people in a different capacity and I am constantly learning new skills. By joining this new company I have improved my skills and had the opportunity to return to college. By returning to college I can finally obtain a degree in Business that will help me further advance in my new career.

  • This story is very insprational to me. After being out of school for twelve years I recently overcame so opsticales and fears of my own. I’ve desired to go back to school and continue my education to obtain a degree in Counseling and become a Counselor for youth. I always felt like I was not capable of attending because I thought one had to be exceptionally smart to attend in a distance learning environment. I thought I didn’t have the time class would require. Recently I told myself “how can you require your children go to college and get a degree if you haven’t gotten one”. So there it was before me the decision to tell my children to do as I say or do as I do. Thank God I chose the do as I do, this time I will finish my education and obtain a degree that will inable me to have not just a job but a career.
    Tracee W. Philan
    tshine4you@yahoo.com

  • I love this story because it reminds me of my own continuous journey of improving myself personally and professionally and learning to step outside of my comfort zone. I have thrown myself into learning certain aspects of life on my own, such as building confidence,increasing my self-esteem, and comfortably interacting with my superiors. It has afforded me promotions and the respect I demanded in my male-dominated company.

  • I like this story because the person being interviewed explains a lot about how she had to overcome some of her fears to get her work done. One of my fears is public speaking and now that I’m attending the University of Phoenix that is one of their requirements is for students to work together and speak in front of the class to present your work. So hopefully when I complete my program for my bachelor’s degree I will be well rounded and will be able to confidently present my work or ask questions.

  • Real life experiences are very emotional they portray real life obstacles that many individuals have to overcome to become successful. I connected to this story because I had similar experiances. Since I became a teenage mother at age 16 my husband only wanted me to stay home. Hispanic males think of a women as the wife who has to stay home to cook, clean, obey, and have children. Since I was young I believed that this was my life from that point on. However, I wanted more I wanted to earn my own money to have the same rights. I began to speak up after a few years which was not easy I went through many hard times. However, I never gave up I wanted to be a role model for my son and sibblings. Since I was always told that I was never going to become a professional I had a very low self-esteem. Once I got a job as a data entry clerk for the county I discovered a new world. A world of opportunities and challenges thats waiting for anyone who wanted to become someone. Yes, it was scary, but I made myself look stronger and confident from the outside, but inside I was scared and uncertain. I learned how to speak up and become confident by learning that honesty and accepting once errors is a part of learning and keeps you on the right direction. Today I am currently attending school to obtain my Bachelors degree in Buisness Administration.

  • Growing up my biggest fear was being successful. I feared people looking at me for answers and depending on me. I became a mother at a young age, and since then I have had over come my fear of being successful. At my first job I was one of the only females that entered in a high position with the company. At this point I had to deal with being a women in a mans position and work either as good and hard as the men or harder then they did. Grant times have changed, but in order to be successful you still have to work hard and prove to others that you can complete the tasks at question.

    I like this story because the interviewer explains having to come out of the “comfort zone.” This means you are willing to do what is necessary to make sure a job is done. Plus it shows you can be dependable and responsible. The more a person overcomes their fears and steps outside of that comfort zone the more pride and honor they will feel. Much like any train reaction, this will grow confidence and make the person stronger and more dependable.

  • Being a single mother of 3 daughters I doubted myself in the past alot. I did not think I could manage to raise my children to my standards while holding down a full-time job and attend school full time. During the time that I was married, I enrolled in school. I was so happy and excited that I was finally living out my dream of being a college student. My husband on the other hand was not. Let me take you back to my past when I was married. I became preganet at the age of 17 and had my oldest daughter at the age of 18. I ended up dropping out of school to be with my then boyfriend. When I was around 7 months pregnet, I began to think about my daughter’s future with a mother who did not have a high school education. What could I possible have to offer her? What could I afford to offer her off a minimum wage salary? How could I force her to graduate from high school when I didn’t graduate? At this time I decided to go back to school and obtain my GED. I studied for a month and 1/2 because I was determined to have my GED before I gave birth. All my hard work paid off and I obtained an Honor’s GED. At this time my self-esteem went through the roof. When I applied and started attending college I felt like I had a great support system in my husband. I was wrong. His outlook was, if your meant to have a job you will get it with or without a degree. After only 1 month of college I dropped out. Once we divorced I enrolled in college again and have been very sussceful at keeping all of my class above a C. Life throws you curve balls sometimes but it is up to you to either catch them and throw them back, or catch them and except the ball is in your hand and you decide which direction it goes in. I have a dream to be an accountant and hopefully one day be able to obtain my CPA and be my own boss. I was held back for years because I didn’t beleive in myself but now that I have my confidence back, I know the sky is the limit.

  • This is a great story about an amazing and courageous person. Despite her challenges she was able to overcome those obstacles. I am a single mother of 3. My biggest fear was not only going back to school after 20 years but public speaking. This is something that I will overcome as UOP is a team taught environment were you will present your work in front of the class. My first presentation I was very nervous. Now, I have relaxed a little and I am beginging to feel comfortable when speaking to an audience. I realized that as long as I thoroughly research my information and understand the subject at hand I have no fear.
    I face challenges at work were I have been passed over for promotions not because I am not capable of doing the job but because some individuals have person issues with others. Since I went back to school things are looking positive.

  • I love that she was able to overcome obstacles to pursue what she wanted. I started working at a bank six years ago, before that I was a hairstylist for 13 years. The woman who recommended me for the job was an acquaintance. She told the employees to take it easy on me because I had never had a “real” job before. I guess in her eyes working at a salon was not work, mind you I had no idea she told the other employees this. I went to work thinking no one knew anything about me unless I was telling them until one of the women I worked with commented when I said I am a licensed cosmetologist, she said yes we know and proceeded to tell me what the acquaintace had told her. I was very embarrassed that they thought I did not do real work, but I proved the acquaintance wrong, I was very good at my job at the bank and I excelled quickly.

  • At times I feel being a women can be intimidinating as far as finding a well paid job. Two years ago I had applied for a positon to be a security dispatcher with a backround of mainly being a stay at home mother but I did have enough work exsperience to apply for the position. I was called in for a interview and the intire time felt completely belittle by the man who was interviewing me. He made comments about the fact that I at the time was a stay at home mom and showed to believe that being a women who was a stay at home mom couldnt possibly full fill the needs of the position that I had applied for. The intiveriew disregarded any of my work exsperience listed on my resume and chose to judge me off the fact that I was women and a mother. After the interview I cried and started to loose hope believing no one would hire a stay at home mom even if I had work exsperience. My husband uplifted me he told me it was good I applied for a position out of my confortzone, that I needed to brush off the ignorant comments said and keep applying for jobs. I eventually was hired as an assistant store manager and paid more then the security dispatcher I had interviewed for. The moment I was hired to be an assistant manager I realized that even though I am a women and have been and even currently once again am a stay at home mother I can succeed and will succeed. It has been a year now since I worked my assistant managers positon due to having another child and my husbands relocation of his duty station but I am still working on recieving my Buisness degree and will continue to strive for a successful life.

  • As a female I can relate to feeling like I am not taken seriously in many ways. It is hard at times for me to push through it. I am a young single mother, I work full time, I am a student full time as well as a full-time mother. My day is always going, and there is never a day that is just easy. I’m only 21 years old, and I have worked extremely hard to support my son without the welfare system or child support. I started work at a convenient store immediately after I graduated and turned 18. I am still at the same convenient store, but I have left and come back 4 times. I guess that means I am a good worker, but each time I left I was hoping I would’t end up back there. At my job I deal with guys harassing me all of the time, because “I’m gorgeous” or whichever words they use. This old man that occasionally hangs out in the store at one point told me that my son was a mistake, and that when I am older guys are going to be after me for my money once I finish school. I don’t like how he viewed me, I am just a single mother that is trying to do the best for myself and my family. This past time that I came back to the convenient store it was owned by a new boss who I had only met a couple times. I think he was hesitant to hire me because he had a group of guys working for them. All of the customers missed me, and told him how glad they were that I was back. That not only reassured him, but it also reassured myself.

  • I can connect with this because I was a quiet person and never really questioned anything just went with what people told me. I worked at a company and was there for seven years and was never written up and they hired new management and being that it was only a few africian american women at the company the new management only focused there attention on us and when I spoke up and said something I lost my job. I tried to sue but the lawyer I got was friends with the person that ran the company I soon found out and she just strung us around and screwed us over big time. It was an at will company so it wasn’t anything I could really do. I was blessed with a new position and love my job but I just try and use my past experience at this job and although im the only Africian American in my department it is a lot better then my old job I lost.

  • It is just amazing! this data analyst has a very strong set of mind; defeating any challenges and successfully achieving his goals. I wish I would resemble him and make wondersn in my job site.
    He is rather a simple person climbing higher positions thanks to his hard work. Great!

  • This story hits home for me because of the challenges that I have faced going to school. I am female in her twenties and I don’t get taken seriously a lot of the time. After not asking questions because I was afraid of the answer I finally stepped out of my comfort zone. It was the best thing I did in my college career.

    I wanted to participate in research in my field but as a transfer student it was hard to get started because I had no references from that university. The other setback was that I am an A student and the first semester at the new university I made B’s. The professors looked at my GPA only from the university so I didn’t meet their academic expectations. It was tough for me to swallow that I was good, just not good enough for them.

    I attended seminars and visited my current professors during their office hours to begin rebuilding my image as a good student and a hard worker. It paid off. I was finally able to get a recommendation to work for a new professor that was coming. I have my foot in the door, and I am hoping that through a little more hard work I will be able to make some more leaps and bounds that have been holding me back in my academic career.

  • I strongly agree with the data analyst that a successful career may only result from getting out of one’s comfort zone.

    This can be told in different ways , but essentially exellence in leadership, or exellence in analysis, or exellence in whatever else can only be achieved by doing something different, doing something extra. And this will usually get one out of their comfort zone.

    I currently work as a real estate agent and it is extremely uncomfortable for me to pick up the phone and call people I don’t know to ask for business. But this is the only way a new real estate agent can get leads. I have to always be polite to all my customers even if they don’t treat me the same way all the time. And it does take a lot of strenght to stay calm and be sure to realize that if my clients don’t treat me with respect that’s their problem, not mine. I still have to be on top of the situation and stay professional.

    Many times I was ready to quit and therefore get back to my comfort zone, but I am happy I didn’t. I keep making my calls and keep treating people with respect and professionalism. From my point of view, this is the only way one can succeed in any kind of business.

  • One of the questions answered by the data analyst is “Does this job move your heart?” This is a question I have recently asked myself. I have stayed at my current position hoping to excel and meet my expectations and goals, as well as my superiors. However, the job has not moved me in my past experiences but I am finding that I am changing as time goes on.

    I work for a utility billing office and the job is high paced and high stressed. This job is not for everyone; however, I have stuck with it for six years now. The customers are angry because they have to pay for utilities they believe should be free and when trying to explain to customers the fees that are owed, the conversations can get heated.

    I have learned to maintain control of my voice when speaking with customers. This has allowed me to gain a sense of understanding of the individual situation the customer is in. I have stopped grouping customers as if they are all the same. This is a big mistake most of the employees make, everyone is different, and everyone wants to be heard.

    I try to stay positive when speaking with the customers and understanding their financial hardships. I have learned over time that they are not mad at me, it is the situation they are angry with. I understand financial hardship and I can honestly say my job does move my heart when I am able to work with a customer who is struggling but trying. I feel that when I am able to work with a customer and give them just a little help and guidance it makes my job so much more enjoyable.

  • i liked the article because though all the adversity the author still succeeded. she knew what she wanted and was determined to reach her goal. she did not let anything deter her, but instead worked harder. i can relate as a black male from the inner city of chicago. there are limited opportunities, and one must take full advantage of the opportunities we do have , while making our own way.

  • This data analyst is a strong and smart woman with an enterprising spirit. She knew her shortcomings would have prevented her from succeeding in her career, so she has worked hard to change herself pursuing excellence and professionalism. I admire the way she forced herself to learn all the essential skills such as dealing with discrimination issues and communicating with people. They became the key to her success.

    The data analyst and I share many similarities,and that’s why I appreciate this story. Like her, I’m not naturally an outgoing person with good communication skills. However, I’m not afraid of taking risks and being adventurous like her. She got out of her comfort zone and became strong by facing her weaknesses. To be honest, it wasn’t an easy decision to leave the comfort zone of my native country and to start my new life in the U.S. However, as a woman from a poor family, I longed for the opportunity to escape the rigid and conservative social structure in Korea. When I first came to the U.S three years ago, every day was a new challenge, and I first tried hard not to be drowned by enormous waves of fear pounding inside of me. Then, I stepped forward to take on my life. I faced my lack of confidence in speaking English. I went out everyday to meet people. I approached strangers, and started conversations. Also, to broaden my conversational range, I read the news everyday and memorized a lot of vocabulary.

    Now, I don’t have any problem talking with people in English, and I can even make jokes. This is possible now because I forced myself to put my shyness behind and be a little more aggressive. Also, my determination and hard work are big contributors to overcoming the fear of being thrown in this new environment.

    I have just opened a new chapter of my career life by beginning my education at UC Berkeley. To be a competitive, well-rounded and interesting person in the job market, I started making plans to develop skills such as leadership, communication, and organization skills like the data
    analyst did. I’m very excited about what I’ll become in two years when I graduate, and I’m going to make this moment the key to my future success.

  • This data analyst is a strong and smart woman
    with an enterprising spirit. She knew her shortcomings would have prevented her
    from succeeding in her career, so she has worked hard to change herself
    pursuing excellence and professionalism. I admire the way she forced herself to
    learn all the essential skills such as dealing with discrimination issues and communicating
    with people. They became the key to her success.

    The data analyst and I share many similarities,
    and that’s why I appreciate this story. nd IT industrycond ir weaknesses, I Like her, I’m not naturally an
    outgoing person with good communication skills. However, I’m not afraid of
    taking risks and being adventurous like her. She got out of her comfort zone
    and became strong by facing her weaknesses. To be honest, it wasn’t an easy
    decision to leave the comfort zone of my native country and to start my new
    life in the U.S. However, as a woman from a poor family, I longed for the opportunity
    to escape the rigid and conservative social structure in Korea. When I first
    came to the U.S three years ago, every day was a new challenge, and I first tried
    hard not to be drowned by enormous waves of fear pounding inside of me. Then, I
    stepped forward to take on my life. I faced my lack of confidence in speaking English.
    I went out everyday to meet people. I approached strangers, and started
    conversations. Also, to broaden my conversational range, I read the news
    everyday and memorized a lot of vocabulary.

    Now, I don’t have any problem talking with
    people in English, and I can even make jokes. This is possible now because I forced
    myself to put my shyness behind and be a little more aggressive. Also, my determination
    and hard work are big contributors to overcoming the fear of being thrown in
    this new environment.

    I have just opened a new chapter of my career life
    by beginning my education at UC Berkeley. To be a competitive, well-rounded and
    interesting person in the job market, I started making plans to develop skills
    such as leadership, communication, and organization skills like the data
    analyst did. I’m very excited about what I’ll become in two years when I
    graduate, and I’m going to make this moment the key to my future success.

  • All of this data and observation is very wise to the point of a keen person who has more to enjoy in life than to care about what others think. Now with that being said, she is also very concise when stating about her reasons for being and thinking the way she does. This article is actually an eye-opener for me because now, I am starting to see life and society in a more positive aspect. Thanks for posting this! What a very wise woman, you speak the truth.

  • .

    I can relate to this story being a
    young female in my fields I am often discriminated on due to my age and race.
    Most starting x-ray technologist in my field are in their late 20’s and early
    30’s I finished school when I was 20 and having being working full time since
    graduating. I often have patients question my experience due to my age and it
    can be frustrating because I had to pass the same classes and exams that all technologist
    no matter of age had to complete. I have to remind my age does not represent my
    skill but I found over the past few years that showing people your skills goes
    much further than showing them.

  • This young lady, this data analyst has
    inspired me tonight. As I read this, the only thing I could think of is
    “What a fight this women puts up with”. I myself am a single father
    of a six year old girl, I am trying to make the best of our situation because
    working full time and going to school full time, you tend to take that home,
    just like she said. If I could only have two of me on for school and one for
    work that would be easier. When I hear about people over coming diversity like
    this it fills me up with hope. I am a single black and Hispanic father but
    there are so little help out there for fathers. I know my daughter sees me
    fighting the good fight; but, I want this women to know that this story has
    made me want to push even more. I have felt so alone and unapproachable because
    of my current status. Being a father is a big responsibility and without the
    mother around makes it twice as hard. So thank you for this great story and for
    being an amazing mentor to other, because of people like you, people like me
    can be inspired, can be proud to be a single parent, and step out of our
    comfort zone and take risk ask question and not be pushed around, but most of
    all, to fulfill our dreams and lead a life of a leader.

  • knowing Ones short coming and working to overcome that shows tremendous strength and ambition. The data analyst faced her problem hands on, which i really appreciate. I can really relate to her battle. I was a billing specialist , a job that i was not qualified. So, putting myself out there was a problem i faced. I had to learn to ask questions and had to deal with a lot of discrimination.

  • I find it difficult as well being a woman and trying to be taken seriously. People do not think I am strong or confident so I am not expected to do tasks on my own; people think I always need assistance which offends me. I am very much capable of being successful on my own. It is also very difficult to be taken seriously because I am smaller than average with a girlish voice. I believe, without the confidence I have in myself, I would have a very hard time getting anything done at all because no one seems to believe that I am capable. In this way, I very much agree with this data analysis and am also very proud of her. I know there are people who do not have this same level of confidence and will, therefore, fail to be taken seriously. I believe she is a role model to many women.

    It can also be difficult when I put a lot of effort into something and no one realizes how much time I had to put in similar to what the data analyst went through. In group projects in school, I
    am often the one who has to do the whole project and put a lot of time into it. I almost never get any appreciation for all of the time I put in. Other times, people do not listen to me when I try to help them on correcting something because they believe I am wrong because I am a woman. It is very hard to try to overcome these difficulties so I feel the pain of this data analyst.

    It is very wise that this person decided to come out of her comfort zone because I realized before that was the only way possible to become successful. Unlike this data analyst, I am also
    discriminated against because I have a disability. I have an ongoing seizure in my dominant arm which also makes it difficult to be taken seriously because people think I am unable to do many tasks. I am proud of myself for making it as far as I have just as this woman should be very proud of herself. She is an inspiration to me and I will always look up to her for what she has overcome.

  • “Often, people doubt their worth and settle gratefully for
    the status quo.” I wanted to start this off with a quote from the article. This
    quote is something that I myself needed to hear right now. I have never been
    one to settle for anything. Growing up I have always learned that if you put in
    all the hard work necessary you can obtain all that you desire. That is how I live
    my life.

    I was the same way with my college choice. I saw what I wanted,
    Pepperdine University, and worked hard for three semesters and finally gained
    entrance into my dream school. During that time it was extremely discouraging
    to be told no, but I kept pushing forward and now I have what I worked so hard
    for.

    “I am not strong, direct, and confident naturally, but I
    work hard at fostering these traits in myself. Without them, I wouldn’t have
    been able to flourish in this work environment.” This next quote from the
    article was also a powerful statement on how I am as an individual. My first
    job in Guest Service really pulled me out of my shell as well. Working with the
    guests and patrons really helped me be more social.

    This interview has inspired me and refilled the wind in my
    sales. I am truly glad she is at a place in her life where she has been
    challenged to become a more confident person. I am now ready to proceed and
    take my life into new levels.

  • Just like the data analyst, I have pushed past my personal weaknesses and found new confidence and success. In high school, I was the stereotypical nerd who would play video games all day rather than spending time with friends. As a result of the lack of public interactions, public speaking and simply speaking to strangers is my kryptonite. To make matters worse, I have hyperhidrosis, which causes my palms and feet to sweat excessively for no reason. The thought of shaking hands would cause my hands to sweat. It would also be embarrassing rejecting high fives because of my sweaty hands. Being a business and Chinese
    major, it would be inevitable that I would shake hands in my future career.

    To overcome this, I accidentally discovered a temporary
    remedy for these two problems. I now use Craigslist to buy and sell items for a
    profit—Last winter I made over $1000 profit with over $6000 revenue to today.
    Craigslist requires me to meet with new people constantly for each transaction
    and to shake hands. Therefore, it has made me more comfortable shaking hands
    and public speaking. With these interactions with strangers, it has improved my
    confidence. As mentioned by the data analyst, I learned the worst thing they
    can say is “no”. After having that epiphany, I often try to create
    conversations with total strangers and make them laugh. With the discovery of
    new confidence, my hyperhidrosis has faded a bit. Looking back at the beginning
    of College, I am surprised at how much more prepared I am for the real world.

  • During the first years in my undergraduate bioengineering program I held several data processing positions (as I was contracted through a temporary agency). Barely having enough financial aid to cover my tuition, I had to work in addition to my demanding academic schedule. At times it felt like I was losing my purpose and it got so bad, in fact, that I began performing badly in my academics.

    Not only can I empathize with the data analyst’s story, but she really nails it on the head when saying “get out of [your] comfort zone and not [be] afraid to ask for what [you want].” My years of working and pursuing a degree program I wasn’t passionate about forced me to ask if becoming a bioengineer was what I really wanted in life–and it turned out that it wasn’t.

    Asking myself what I really wanted, to become an electrical engineer, was the best decision I’ve ever made.

  • This data analyst really does have a success story. She applied for her job out of desperation when the economy was about to fall and got it. It seems that god was at her side at that time. She further made herself successful by straying from her comfort zone and putting herself out there. I also have a problem with putting myself out there and I know that it’s a skill I’ll have to eventually learn. Knowing that it isn’t scary to put myself out there and that if I just ask, there are kind people in this world who’ll say “yes.” I can’t wait to see what kind of job I’ll apply for and get after college. The world seems so exciting now.

  • This individual shows a large amount of drive and inner belief. I believe that I have overcome certain difficulties as well and hope to grow with each new opportunity I am thrown into.

    I felt connected to the analyst when she described how her feminine voice and demeanor as not common in her profession. As a gay male in the business world, you face discrimination as well. With the business culture, men are expected to be loud, sports-fanatics. And honestly, this is just not me. I used other skills and aspects of my personality to be successful thus far. I continue to learn and grow as an individual.

    Similar to the analyst’s job description, people assume that accountants and MIS majors are nerds and boring, when in reality, you have to be just the opposite to be successful! I have worked hard at networking and building up relationships. I even was confident enough to apply for and get to attend the OUBC this year in NYC! It was a great opportunity in which I got the learn about the LGBTQ community in the business world! This was a great opportunity and I hope to use what I learned in my future career.

    Just like this individual, I have taken what God and has given me, and made the best out of it. I hope to take the experiences I have had and those that I will have and make me a better accountant, human and LGBTQ advocate. i don’t know where I’m going to be in ten years, but I think that’s great because I haven’t ruled anything out yet!

  • This is truly a testament to the success that can be achieved when one is willing to put in the work to do so. Similarly to this woman, I too had issues with having confidence in myself. Although it seems an obvious thing to do, asking for what you want is not always as simple as it sounds. As someone that wanted to stay out of the way, I felt that asking for what I wanted would just be a burden for everyone else. Like my mother always said, you never know unless you try and the worst thing they can say is no. Once I actually saw the value in what she was saying, I was able to be more secure in myself and learn how to become the strong woman that I wanted to be.

  • A lot of these principles sound like many things I’ve learned at SCAD the art school I’m currently attending. I learned that it does no good to just talk about your flaws and weaknesses. My first quarter at the school I had to present a piece which I knew had a lot of weaknesses so I talked about those weaknesses and it only made my presentation a disaster.

    Something else I have trouble with is being able to confront people because I never know who is going to take what I say personally.

    This story expresses the importance of applying yourself to the field you’re working in. I find that I sometimes have trouble applying myself to my work and whenever I do my work doesn’t come out as strongly as I need it to.

    Most important of all I find that making choices is important in any kind of job field. Your choice may force you to let go of yourself and step outside of your comfort zone. Your choice not always be beneficial to you but it’s better than making no choice at all.

  • I can totally relate to her in being surprised at the opportunities that can be granted to her. I have always thought that the chances of myself being granted something is very slim when there are higher authorities. However, all it takes is the confidence to actually believe in yourself having a chance, and you will be surprised with how many times you can be told “yes” is you just ask for it. I, just like her, work in a job where I do not hold a very high position. The more I became aware of how much impact I can have in my job, the more project ideas I have proposed to my manager, because the feedback I get is surprisingly positive. I would have never expected to make such an impact in my workplace due to the lower position I hold, but now that I know I can make a difference, even if it may be small, I do not want to stop proposing ideas!

    I love the feeling of being useful and accomplished. I feel like I am slowly gaining more authority and confidence. All it takes is the attempt to try something new, and just ask for it. You cannot expect opportunities to be thrown at you if you are doing the same thing over and over. I’ve learned that you really can make a difference if you just step out of your comfort zone, ignore the voices in your head that tell you that you’re just one person out of hundreds/thousands, and make a move to be known and successful!

  • Being a data analyst is not easy feat, as it is a male-dominated field. She seems incredibly happy with her position, though there are some shortcomings. I appreciated that the tagline of this interview was about pushing herself beyond her personal weaknesses and harnessing her inner confidence to lead her to success. I can totally identify with this woman, as I too work in a field that has historically been thought of as male-dominated. I work in accounting, particularly in the financial services industry. I started my job in this fast-paced, highly-detailed oriented industry where I felt I had to prove myself and my capabilities as a young woman trying to break into the profession. I thought that working in this field was very challenging, as I was unfamiliar with the culture.

    What i find most applicable and inspiring from this interview was that the data analyst was not afraid to ask questions and take herself out of her comfort zone. I realized that though my experience in accounting was challenging, I too had to push myself out of my comfort zone. I knew then that I had to mature professionally and personally, as those are just aspects of growth and maturity.

  • This story is remarquable. Every woman can feel the difficulties in the professional life. It is more problematic in a field where mostly men work. I totally understand what she has been going through. The difficulties being in a profession where the gender is a disadvantage, and the lack of confidence reminds me of myself. Challenges has always helped me to get over myself, work harder and obtain my goals.

    I chose the law because I like to help people, and because my teacher in High-School said that I am not capable to do it. That was my first big challenge. I felt that I had to show her (and myself) that I can do it. I got to the university, studied hard, and I graduated as a lawyer. During my studies I knew that it was the best choice I could have made. I love my profession; moreover, I am passionate about the law. When I was 18, it was disappointing to hear that I am not able to do something. But now I could thank her not to believe in me because that gave my strength to do it.

    After graduation I met another big challenge: working in a highly professional field where men are more respectful, and experiences come with time and a lot of work. Most of the time I felt that I am not enough experienced, so I had to learn to hide this feeling. Notwithstanding the lack of my self-confidence, at the age of 30 my collegues still made me feel that I am the young. In their eyes that meant I was not experienced enough to be a challenging opponent. But nobody wants to see his or her lawyer mumbling uncertainly. I worked hard in the office and on my self-confidence, and eventually I learned to be self-confident. It’s worth it. My collegues and my clients liked me, and they were satisfied with my work.

    At the beginning of my carreer, I found myself in the same situation as the data analyst. After 5 months practice, I became the head of the legal department in my workplace. I was really young that time to achieve big success, but my social and management skills developed a lot. I learned how to manage, hire and fire older and more experienced people.

    After a couple of years of practice I needed a new challenge. I decided to go back to the university and get a masters degree. I did not accept that I am average; I wanted to be special at something. That was the point when I really left my comfort zone. I left my home country, and enrolled to the University of San Diego LLM in Comparative Law program. I am in my first semester, and I will be an expert in Intellectual Property Law. However I feel the challenges every day. And now it is more than a sceptical teacher or working in a masculan profession. I use every day what I have learned in my life: being self-confident, believe in myself and keep my passion about pursuing my dreams. Because life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

  • I can relate to her experience because I agree that the only way you can succeed is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Her determination and passion is what kept her on the right path, and towards her successes. Without passion and drive, a dream is only a dream. You have to want it more than anything, and not let anyone get in the way of what you want.

    Ever since I decided I wanted to be an architect in middle school, I have heard nothing but negative comments about stress and workloads in the field. I have been told that it is a dying field, and I would not have a social life. That I would never be able to find a job or support myself. Many people would take the easier route, and find a new field with many new jobs and opprotunities, but these comments have have only fed my drive for success. The one and only real passion I have ever had has always been talked down about. This passion of mine is what drives my ambition for my future successes. My motivation for success is to prove to everyone that I am capable of dealing with stress and workloads. That I am okay with not having a extremely active lifestyle and I look forward to building my future with a carreer I love.. Whether I make thousands or millions.. The only thing that matters is that I love what i’m doing. My dad has always told me to find a job you love, so you won’t have to work another day in your life. If you love what you do, you will love to do the work you do. A result of this would be pure satisfaction of my success and passion.

  • I can very much relate to this story with a story of my own from when I was a child. Although it is not an academic challenge that I face it was a challenge nevertheless. When I was around 16 years old I was very into baseball. I had played the sport since I was 4 and at the time wanted to play it forever. I was a sophomore in high school and was just coming off my first year of high school baseball and eager to do it again this year. But this year a new coach stepped in and was a lot tougher than my last coach. At this time I wasn’t very confident in my playing abilities and was doubting myself from the beginning. The coach told me at the beginning of the year “to make this team your going to have to get a lot better than you are now.” Despite my lack of confidence in my self I persevered through the year. After a while a gained a confidence and swagger to my game which I found out that I had all along.

    If I were to have my readers take away one thing from the article and my story would be to never doubt yourself because if you do that, the only thing standing between you and success is you.

  • This is a very touching and inspirational story.

    As a person who has doubted themselves multiple times in their lives, it is nice to hear other people’s story about gaining confidence and doing well in their career.

    Being a minority student in a predominantly white campus university does bring to self doubt in my abilities as a student. The doubts I have brought on myself have put a toll in my grades, but thanks to mentors that were there for me, I have found much more confidence in myself and my abilities to be a successful student. I have worked with my mentor for two years, and I enjoyed every minute of it. She has given me two difficult research based projects and present to the faculty, I always have doubt in my abilities to present in front of people, but she helps me gain confidence that I can accomplish the goal. I was able to give a solid presentation of the Retention of Latino Males in Higher Education and Adapting to Change: A College Experience. Each year I thank her for what she has done for me, not only as a student, but as a better person.

    Reading this story gives me even more confidence in myself to pursue my education an graduate to be a successful businessman. I thank the woman who has shared this story to us and to let us know that there is always a possibility to be successful through any challenge.

  • This article was very rewarding to read.

    I felt a little discouraged when she said that Social Sciences do not pay all that well, being a double major in Sociology and Communications, but her resilience to be successful in her field and accomplish her career goals shows me that money doesn’t really matter. Even if you aren’t doing what you love you still have to do your best. Like her, I currently hold a job that has nothing to do with what I want my career to be. But I go in everyday and do my best because that is how you make the best out of every situation.

    Another thing that touched me about this article was her constant reminder of remembering your self worth and not succumbing to the status qua. I can attest to her claim on how people who major in the Social Sciences are a lot more aware discrimination and make a point to not participate in such activities. But not everyone is a Social Science major. Being an African American young woman in a majority white school I am constantly faced with discrimination and breaking status quos. But like the woman being interviewed I have learned to deal with those issues and hope that they will benefit me like they benefit her.

  • This article about the data analyst appealed to me. What really got me was how the
    analyst stated that, “I am not strong direct, and confident naturally, but I work
    hard at fostering these traits in myself. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able
    to flourish in this work environment.”-Analyst. I myself am not direct or
    naturally confident in myself, but when I work hard and push through my weakness I
    always see the best results.

    I’m a male college student and I am of African and Native American decent. Being
    a minority among Caucasian peers sometimes makes me question my worth. I even
    sometimes think that my input seems invaluable to them, which would lead me to
    giving enough information and effort just to receive acceptable results. During a
    group assignment it was hard to start and no one had a clue on how we should do
    the project. When I saw that we had already wasted a lot of time just thinking
    about the assignment I decided to take charge. It turned out the every bit of my
    input was of high value to all of us. We were able to split the work according to
    skill sets and interests. Collaborating became much easier as we were all trying
    our hardest. The end result was amazing, something I couldn’t have visualized.

    I found out by doing this you are able to develop trust among your peers, to try
    their hardest and work well together as a group. Sometimes leadership roles can be
    shared and distributed for better results. I learned that we all have our own
    individual hardships and weaknesses that we have to push through, for both
    minorities and the majority.

  • Everyone goes through adversity and hardship, but it’s how you handle those situations and
    experiences that mold who you become in the future. It’s amazing what you have
    accomplished, and you are role model for young professionals. I have been
    through similar obstacles; I was put in a Managerial position at a young age,
    and having to discipline and fire people were some of the several things I had
    to work on. I am not a natural born leader, but overtime due to my own adversities,
    I have learned to lead and get the best out of employees. However, the learning
    never stops. Just from reading your success story, I have found things I can incorporate
    as a manager, as a leader to make me better and more effective.

  • Most definitely can relate to this when it regards self-doubt, hesitation, and a new environment that forces you to modify who you are as an individual. I’ve actually experienced this drastically in high school. I was very different from everyone else when it came to my gender, financial status, “hip-hop” style, my attitude, and most of all my intellect. I was typically judged on several different aspects. As a person you have to step out of that zone of feeling intimidated and demonstrate to others who you really are. In the end it makes the environment more better and life is perceived on a different outlook. You don’t have to be intimidated, you don’t have to be afraid, you just have to be you. Change is sometimes good, especially when it’s for the better.

  • This was
    a great story and reminds me of my own. I have a speech disorder and was told I
    would not be able to do the job as a Firefighter/Paramedic. After this I was
    very down as I always want to be a Firefighter. For some reason I convinced
    myself I can do anything I want, and I did. I was able to overcome a stuttering
    problem.

  • I am a 5’3 female and have found it hard at times work in a security company with mostly men. I was called names and told that I had no business in the company because how could defend myself. I worked hard and played off my straights of dispatching and patrol all while keeping my head down. I never let them know that there words hurt me, I just kept pushing because I have three kids to support. A year later a supervisor position came open and I push through my self-doubt and applied. I was beside myself when i found I got the position. I told myself right then and there that no matter what anyone said I could do anything I wanted. I took my advice and applied to go back to college.

  • Despite being in a completely different career field from this woman–I wish to go into veterinary medicine–the challenges that she faces are similar to obstacles that I already know that I will face in the near future.

    Unlike many of my peers, my ideal job is to be a large animal veterinarian, not a companion animal veterinarian. This means that I will be working in a section of the veterinary world that has a higher percentage of male practitioners than female practitioners, which may lead to some discrimination against my gender. Just like this woman, I know that I am capable of the job, but I realize that it may be difficult for other people to accept me.

    During many of my job-shadowing experiences, I have noticed that the male farmers typically share inside knowledge of the farming industry with their veterinarians, which will be a disadvantage for me, since I never grew up on a farm, and I never had the experience of raising livestock. I, too, will have to learn how to communicate well with people who might not always be able to relate to me–indeed, my audience will sometimes be people who resent me.

    Another key similarity between myself and this post is the mindset that the worst that people can do is say “no”. After moving into my residence hall at my university, I found myself becoming more aggressive in pursuing opportunities. Instead of anticipating a negative response and simply giving up, I currently give everything a try. For example, this September, I emailed the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine associated with my university, asking for a volunteer position. Nothing had been posted on the website, and I had been told that undergraduate students are rarely allowed in the College of Vet Med, but I went ahead and sent the email anyway. My determination paid off, and I became not just a volunteer, but also a paid research assistant to the senior clinician in the equine surgery department starting next semester and continuing at least through the summer of 2014.

    I have found that determination and optimism is the best way to approach life. When I keep an open mind and perform to the best of my abilities, I find my incredibly full schedule far less stressful. If anything, I have realized that all that should matter to me is my own opinion and my own pride in my work, which can only come when I know that I have put forth my best effort despite any opposition that I encounter.

  • I think being a woman in a field dominated by men is always intimidating and you have to work extra hard to be recognized. I am generally very shy and avoid confrontation, but I know that is not going to go over very well once I graduate college and join the work force. I am in a field dominated by men as well: I am an Exercise Science major. This is a developing field; however, there are very few woman who are a part of it. I plan to start being more confident in myself and my abilities, as I know doubting myself will only lead to failure.
    I think it is great that this data analyst was able to overcome her coworkers and succeed in her job. It is very important for people in general to overcome the obstacles of discrimination in order to lead a successful life. When someone is not living up to his/her potential, it is most likely that he/she is not enjoying the life they are living and in the future will regret not standing up for what was/is right. I respect this data analyst very much for all that she has accomplished and how hard she works; she should be a role model for everyone.

  • This women is truly inspiring. I can honestly relate to this women a lot. Growing up, I was always picked on. As a child, I was short and stubby, and on top of that I was ethnic looking, because my family is from Lebanon. I got called so many names in school, names such as terrorist, ugly, fat, etc. Kids would scream “Go blow up a building!” right to my face. Although it was not an acidemic discrimination, I truly felt as if people simply did not like me for who I was. It hurt, a lot. Becuase of what i felt, I held myself back to things that I could have done. I stood back in the shadows of my classmates, because I did not feel good enough about myself. One quote that stood out to me that the data analyst said was “I am successful because I get out of my comfort zone and am not afraid to ask for what I want. The worst thing that can happen when you ask for something big is that you’re told no, and I was surprised how many times I was actually told yes. This realization made all the difference for me. Often, people doubt their worth and settle gratefully for the status quo.”

    This is honestly the truest thing anyone could hear. The worst you CAN hear is a no. I never felt like i could put myself out there like that mostly because I was afraid of the word “no”. I’ve slowly learned through the years of growing up that it is okay to hear no every once in a while.

    Another way I can relate to the data analyst is that her career is mostly male-dominated. I want to major in film and hopefully one day be a film director. Film is so male-dominated you might as well call it a testosterone party. In the film business, women are degraded, are not taken seriously, and are just down right pushed away. The only way I am every going to be successful in the field is if, and only if I push myself out of my comfort zone, to get what I want. The data analyst’s inspired me to stand out of my comfort zone and to go out of my way and reach for the stars when it comes to being a successful women in a male-dominated field.

  • I think this story is amazing. I can somewhat relate to her experience being one not to always get out there and go get it. I have been scared to finish things for the simple reason of rejection or being told no. School, Job advancements etc. I had to decide to do my best and face my fears to get things done. Once I did that I started to get further along in life. Fear is a hard thing to overcome and can consume your life if you are not careful or face it.

  • I can relate with this story, being a young woman in the work force. I am also quiet and reserved, but have a strong passion to be successful. I have been an Administrative Executive Assistant for roughly seven years. I have worked my way up to assistant to the company president. I never questioned work procedures in my early years as an assistant, but i have become more confident and have a hand in many procedure changes in my current position. I fee that my employer values my opinion, and this is very important to me because being a woman in the real estate field can be somewhat intimidating. My goal is to become very successful through my work and education.

  • Growing up, I was always a slightly unique individual. I never saw a reason to be outgoing, or loud, or talk a lot because I felt like I didnt have anything, truely, to say. (Or anything people wanted to hear, anyway.) As I started getting older, I became very focused on a strong future of helping others. Unfortunately, my traits and personality did not completely support these goals.
    Even still, the future comes if you are prepared or if you are not, and soon enough I was working my first job in fast food restaurant located down the street from my house. Five months into the job, I was promoted- a couple weeks later I was promoted again, and soon I was a manager. Suddenly, I was forced into being outgoing, I was pushed towards a life of working for what I needed, and I started getting really good at achieving goals. A trial by fire turned into a circumstance that ultimately sculpted me into the professional that I know I am today.
    I identify a lot with the data analyst for many reasons. For one, I absolutely know what it is like to be responsible for the success and failures of other individuals. I understand the weight of one dissapointing outcome, and I understand what it is like to disappoint a boss or a customer. Additionally, I see the intention of wanting to help the world in this human being- and it is my intention to change the world as well. Ultimately, pushing past struggles and hardships helps you grow- and that growth will create the individual you will develop to be.

  • I can relate to this woman because she is someone that I strive to be everyday. Everyday I try to make myself better person, and as I get closer to leaving home to go to school I can see the drive in myself to do my absolute best in everything. Trying to gain the acceptance of the leades around me help me to push myself no matter what Im doing.

    When I was in 8th grade I was told I could sit in on a couple of CPR classes. After getting there the first day, and noticing that I was the only one there that was remotely close to my age, caused me to go home and study everything that there was to know about CPR. I did this because I didnt want the people in the class tolook at me and just think I was cute, I wanted them to know that I knew just as much about CPR as they did.

  • Although she defined herself as a woman who is “not strong, direct, and confident naturally,” I sensed her energy and confidence through her words. She knows what she’s doing and she likes what she’s doing; she understood her weaknesses and acted to improve them. I wish I’ll like her in the future.

    Since my childhood days I was never a confident kid, I was shy and quiet and alone for most of the times. I never quite figure out why I was like that since I’ve been as good as any other children. I did not have real good friends for years till I started my middle school. I think that the change was the result of both luck and hard work. After I realized the shyness will get me to nowhere, I pushed myself hard. And luckly my optimistic friends in middle school really help me turn into a rather vivacious person.

    But I know for sure that there’s still lack of confidence in me. I always admire confident people and everytime I meet them I always think if only I could be them! For many times I realized I’ve imitate their manners and gestures unconsciously. I know it sounds very funny, but it actually did help a bit that it made me look as if I’m more confident. As I believed I become more confident, it will then happen.

    I’m really not a talking-type person, instead of chatting I prefer reading, working, drawing or anything else. Apparently it’s not a great attitude since I cannot express my thought clearly sometimes because of the nerves, and the lack of practice made it happen more often. If this data analyst can take report writing and word processing to improve her communication skill, I think I could improve mine as well if I work hard enough.

    I don’t know if people like me will choose a major focus on communication such as animation, but I did. Although it’s almost like challenging the whole world, I got this confidence from nowhere that I believe I can do it, for sure. I’m strong agreeable to her comments on the whole thing about comfort zone because I’m starting to feel my worth, too.

  • I found this writer’s story to be very interesting and inspiring. I myself work as an analyst and I understand the difficulty that comes with being in this type of position. She was able to intelligently and clearly state her shortcomings and challenges with her position and within herself. I especially enjoyed the fact that she had a plan for the future and knew that she was not stuck in a position or place that she was uncomfortable with.

  • I appreciated reading this article and seeing how this woman was able to stand up for who she wanted to be. It is so inspiring to read similar stories and see people overcoming their setbacks. I cannot help but admire those who have the strength to overcome not just the discrimination of others, but their own personal struggles.

    Though I have not yet initiated my own career, and though it is definitely not a male dominated field, I can undeniably say that throughout my years in school, I too have had to push past personal weaknesses and female discrimination to learn the meaning of success.

    Naturally, I am a very quiet and reserved person—traits others tend to confuse with weakness and inadequacy. However, those who know me well can account for my strong willed determination and my desire to not just meet par but to thrive beyond all expectations—even my own.

    At one point I realized I needed to push past my soft spoken ways and stand up for who I am so that others would begin to take me seriously. Being a female of petite stature and quiet demeanor, others seemed to size me up for exactly what I appeared to be. And because I didn’t have the voice to prove otherwise, as far as they knew, their assumptions were confirmed. Soon, I realized that if I was going to start experiencing success beyond just the textbooks and grades, I would need to get past my fear of speaking up for myself. Accordingly, during my senior year in high school, I ran for vice president, participated in various leadership activities, began to interact with my community, and slowly went from being a “studious little girl,” to an independent and opinionated person.

    I am now a sophomore in college, and I continue to work on improving both my communication skills and speaking my opinions. And while at times I still struggle with my introversion, it no longer prevents me from being not just the student I want to be, or the woman I want to be, but the nurse I hope to become.

  • As a first generation student, I find this story, not only empowering but also reflective. In my high school, i was the overall best student and had several leadership positions. My confidence was directly proportional with my academic performance: the more I excelled academically, the greater my self esteem. When I received my acceptance to Cal, I was surprised because I never imagined this behemoth of academia would accept someone like me. This admission greatly boosted my confidence and it dawned on me that I was actually smart.

    Midway through my first semester, I started doubting everything including my existence. My self esteem crashed and for the first time I painfully acknowledge that I’d been disillusioned my whole life. No matter the amount of time I spend studying, i don’t seem to keep up; everyone was overly smart, and being a minority (Black students population here is less than 2%) exacerbated the situation.

    After my first semester, I took time off and re-evaluated my life in solitude. I then realized I was getting in my own way and had misplaced preconceived priorities. The things that gave meanings to my life were extensive community service involvement or volunteer experience, helping the handicap, crusading for social welfare issues, involvement in student leadership, etc. This semester, I participated extensively in these activities while becoming less conscious of the hue in epidermal layer. This past spring break, I volunteered 168 hours explicitly into community service in the Los Angeles area investigating the deepening disparity in access to healthcare in major center centers in America. I have taken up leadership responsibilities, become more expressive in my views and taken time to love people i deeply care about.
    I have never been this confident and now I have a clearer vision of what I want to achieve from this institution.

  • In reading this interview, I recognized myself in this data analyst. Being a nice female with a “cute disposition” makes it near difficult for anyone to take you seriously and the second you attempt to be strict or strong you’re labeled bossy or hard to work with. I too am not naturally strong or confident and that makes it extremely tough when presented with difficult situations such as in a position of leadership.

    As captain of my team in senior year, I was confronted with a couple of girls who defied me quite regularly because they felt they should have been captain. At first, I did not know how to handle it because, by nature, I am non-confrontational but I had to push myself and work towards taking charge and instilling discipline when they acted up. I have never fully felt comfortable doing so but just like the data analyst said, it is more a behavior that one can actually learn and I had to do just that. 



    When the data analyst talks about what she learned the hard way it really resonated with me. I also tend to focus on facts and data and have in the past lacked on communication skills. I have realized that if communication is lacking, it may not matter how perfect the data is if no one can be properly introduced to it. I too am not typically extroverted and have had to work a lot on my communication and networking skills. It is very tough to change your natural habits so I really commend the data analyst for how far she has come.

    The last three years I have been working as means to support my true passion, just like this data analyst mentioned she is doing in her position. I worked in order to fund my travels and volunteer positions abroad with communities much unlike our own. Much of what I have done in my life has had a purpose; I tend to do things that I know will build my resume and open up doors for the future rather than what I am truly passionate about. I am always thinking of the long term rather than what I truly desire in the moment. I believe this data analyst is quite inspiring in that she has stepped so far out of her comfort zone, and this has made me realize that I need to step even further out of my own.

  • “Does this job move your heart?”

    This question is the answer to what I expect out of my own life and decisions. I appreciate every step of my journey and never linger on the past because every moment passed is the future. I can relate to this from a story in my past where I was put to the test after accepting to go a school year abroad in Italy.

    I stayed with a host family that spoke no English and I was forced to integrate myself into a culture and break down language barriers. After about 6 months of perseverance I obtained fluency.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article.

  • So many times, one can be so motivated by money. I am so encouraged by the author of this article. I myself went through periods of self-doubt and low self-esteem, as well as letting things get me down to a level I choose not to go back to. After putting it off for so long, I decided to go back and am now working on my doctorate, not just because of more opportunity, but to fulfill one of my life goals. I used to compare myself to others and their success levels but I realized that every individual has his or her own story which is a testament. I commend this data analyst for sharing her story.

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