Senior Insights Analyst, Softchoice (Canada)
ET: Tell us about your academic and career path
Wardah: It’s been an interesting journey! My undergrad was split into two; during the first half I was a computer science student at IBA, and then during the second half I studied economics at York University. I certainly didn’t plan this – little did I know back then I would utilise information from both streams!
ET: Many women feel uncomfortable getting into Sales. Let’s clear up some misconceptions about this area of work.
Wardah: I think it’s due to the stigma attached to the job and I would be lying if I said I never got intimidated myself. I’ve worked in both B2C and B2B sales and I loved both of them! I think this is mainly because of my personality type and love of interacting with people. Honestly, some of the best salespeople I have worked with, are women because they are able to communicate better and really empathize with the situation. I’ve observed that women excel at building strong customer relationships.
ET: Can you break down “Data Analysis” for us?
Wardah: Analysis can be done on MS Excel or you can learn a new language such as R or Python. The magic isn’t in learning how to use the shiniest tool, but about how well one understands the business problem. Most of my time is spent on gathering requirements and I find that the analysis isn’t the tough part! What I find much harder is to present my complex analysis on just one slide. Trust me, this is an incredibly useful skill!
ET: Your message to people new in this field who get intimidated with complicated terms and languages?
Wardah: There is nothing to be intimidating about this! They are just names that everyone in the field knows – it’s like asking a doctor if they should be aware of the names of all the body parts. When you’re working, the jargon becomes commonplace and you pick it up faster than you realise.
ET: Let’s talk about networking, the “why” and “how” as you see it.
Wardah: Networking is extremely important. Whether it is within the company or not, one should be well connected with others in the field and so I regularly go for meet ups and have coffee chats with managers from other organizations. A misconception is that one only networks when job-hunting, but that isn’t the case. Networking with the people in your field will also help you to gauge the competition and to understand what projects others are working on.
ET: A message for ElleTech
I am extremely honored to be here. You guys are doing a great job and I am extremely happy that women in Pakistan have such a great support system and platform to depend on. I wish something like this existed when I was in school.