Thoughts from: Sarah Robertson
by Sarah Robertson, Product Director at Experian
I loved numbers from an early age, so it was natural that I chose maths and technology-based subjects throughout my education, and that numbers continue to be important in my work life. My education and career path have been traditional with GCSEs, followed by A-Levels then university at 18 to study Applied Statistics and Computing. My degree gifted me with a year in industry giving me true understanding into working in an analytical and professional environment.
After I graduated, I was unsure what part of my degree I wanted to pursue in my career but felt at the time that IT was my preferred choice. This led to a temporary contract with IBM working in IT, but I quickly learnt that this wasn’t for me and started exploring jobs in statistics. I landed a role with a marketing agency in their analytics division and absolutely loved it! It was then that analysing data to understand consumer behaviour became a passion of mine. That was over 20 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I worked in a variety of organisations from small start ups to large corporations – I’ve learnt so much from doing this.
I’ve been at Experian for 3 years now. I started as a Senior Data Consultant within Marketing Services, which allowed me to work with many great brands to help empower them in the use of data, both their own and Experian’s marketing data assets. I’m now working as a Product Director and am responsible for Segmentation and Analytics products within Marketing Services. It’s a relatively new role but I’m loving the new challenge.
On a personal note, I have two very lively young boys, so I’ve become an expert in juggling my career and home life – like many other women in my position.
In terms of career advice, as women we need to take more risks and be confident in our abilities. The real shift in diversity will only be seen by women knowing that it’s OK to take risks and truly believe in yourself. I saw an interesting TED talk by Reshma Saujani on teaching girls to be brave, not perfect. STEM subjects tend to have a right or wrong answer in early education, and if girls are not brave enough to be wrong, then they won’t challenge themselves with STEM subjects, and are more likely to prefer more subjective topics. I’m pleased that you’re reading this as you’re clearly being brave enough to take the next step in your career.
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