When I was growing up, I always thought that there was something wrong with me because everyone around me already knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. Interesting, huh? It is only until now that I start to realize the pressure that we are given as kids to select a life at an early stage that we have no clue about.
I guess from the first paragraph, you might be already thinking that I am not the person I always wanted to be – well that is not 100% true. Let me tell you a bit about myself. My name is Andrea and I am 28 years old. I was born and raised in a South American country called Venezuela but I currently live in Lithuania. If I would have to describe myself in three words, I would say I am curious, creative and honest. What I do for a living? You will find out more at the end. Keep reading :)
When you are a curious person, you are always discovering new things so the changes of liking something new is very high. That is what I have been dealing with all my life. Since I was a kid, I liked sports, music, photography, computers, technology, painting… and I was probably quite good at majority of them, and not so good at others. However, how can you, with all those interests decide of what to be in life?
The years passed, and in my teenage years I already had to start making tough decisions at school: if I go for the chemistry + biology path, I couldn’t go for the physics + mathematics path. What I tough decision! At that time, I was passionate about criminology and technology, I did a course on Cybersecurity external to my high school, to get a glimpse of both worlds combined. However, I couldn’t pursue that career, because I needed to do two times high school to have knowledge on both areas.
Eventually I chose the technological path. I went for physics and maths, with the hopes of learning about biology in the future. I will give you a hint: it didn’t happen.
High school finished, and I had exactly two weeks to decide what I was going to study at university. This was not easy. I come from a humble family, I couldn’t afford changing university degree every now and then.
If I compare what I am today to what I wanted to be back then, I had no idea I was going to become who I am today.
I had to think thoroughly and ask for help. My parents did a great job at this time. I think parents should be the people that know the most about their kids, even more than what their kids know themselves. They have been observing their kids moves since day one.
My parents help me understand myself better, they reminded me how curious and creative I was. How much I could just turn any field into something innovative and new. We played a game. I had to pick up three things I considered I loved the most back then and mixed them. I picked music, photography and technology. Eventually I ended up studying an applied engineering to audio and images. I didn’t even know that existed!
While I was at university, I of course had more interests. I still loved sports and technology is a very broad field. Imagine that Hive did not exist back then. I couldn’t have possibly chosen to be a Blockchain developer (which I am not) until a few years back. How do you prepare for that, what do you study for that at university with no degrees in that field? Stressful.
What I learnt the most during my university years is that eventually what I am being taught is a skill. A skill to do anything I wanted in the future. I learnt things like programming, analytical thinking, statistics, maths… but when you graduate from university, you still have that question popping up in your head, what next?
I had a difficult time finding my first job. I was living in Denmark back then. I looked back in time, and I realized I had to play my parents’ game. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I chose three of my most important skills and I used them as keywords to find a job: programming, machine learning and curiosity.
Believe it or not, I found something. I ended up learning about this whole new field whose most important skills are the ones previously mentioned. I became a Data Scientist and have worked in the field for more than four years now.
In some regards I think I always knew what I wanted to be, because I had my interests very close to me since day one. I always considered what I loved the most and what I was good at. Eventually, that help me find a way to always work with things I am passionate about and keep exploring new ones. The field allows me both.
I guess this story can have different angles, I would like to know about what you think. Do you think I always knew, or someone guided me?
I would like @eglep to join this contest as well!
Thank you so much for reading it. I love this community!