It takes a community.
In celebration of our 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting some of our best people, partners, and instructors. Over the next few weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to be inspired by some incredible stories that have driven the success of our enterprise business.
Keep reading to meet Devanshu Mehrotra, one of our instructors, who teaches data to enterprise businesses to help them upskill and reskill their employees for the future of work.
GA: Where are you located, and what is your role at GA?
Devanshu Mehrotra: I live in Jersey City. I’ve been an instructor at GA since 2015. I was involved with GA when we were still in our nascent stages, and I helped develop some of the analytics curricula.
I do quite a few things: I teach data analytics, data science, and advanced analytics — pretty much anything data-specific I’ve been involved in at one point or the other.
GA: What is your favorite course to teach and why?
Devanshu Mehrotra: That’s a tough one. For me, teaching is very much more a subject of what the participants are like than the subject I’m teaching. For example, if I’m teaching SQL: I teach SQL within analytics, I teach SQL within advanced analytics, and I also teach SQL as a standalone. The delivery doesn’t change much, but if the participants are engaged, and if I’m able to draw them out of their shells and get them to be themselves while doing some fairly complicated coding, that is very rewarding.
GA: How did you get started working with data?
Devanshu Mehrotra: I took a very meandering path to data in the sense that I’m not traditionally data-educated. I have a degree in finance and accounting, and I started out as a financial statement auditor accountant at Deloitte.
The more time I spent auditing, the more I saw the need to move away from manual testing. So, I taught myself an audit-related software called Idea and became the “Idea Champion.” Anytime anyone wanted their general ledgers analyzed or wanted a complicated transaction analyzed, they would send me the data even if I wasn’t working on that particular audit.
That got me thinking maybe I should be working on my analytics skills rather than focusing on accounting. Subsequently, I successfully interviewed with Freddie Mac for a data analytics senior auditor, which launched my analytics career.
A year later, Freddie Mac paid for me to attend a part-time data science course at General Assembly. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to become an instructor. Since then, my career has been an intersection of all of my experiences. I’m currently a VP focusing on analytics within the audit department at an investment bank, so there’s the finance part and accounting part. My job is to develop their internal analytics, digitization processes, and building the analytics department out.
GA: What is the role of the instructor, and how do you impact the learning experience?
Devanshu Mehrotra: I was a terrible student because I grew up in India and had undiagnosed ADHD — things were just boring. If the teacher was not engaging, I just could not be bothered to pay attention in class. I would just do whatever I wanted.
When I came to the U.S and started engaging with teachers in college, my classes were segmented into teachers interested in teaching and teachers who couldn’t bother with engagement. For the engaging, I was always in the front row asking questions. For the unengaging teachers, I was in the back of the class.
I promised myself that if I ever ended up teaching, I would be the kind of teacher that would have engaged me if I was in my own class. I think the instructor’s role in learning is very significant. Part of that comes from empathy; it comes from putting yourself in the learner’s shoes, and it comes from wanting to be entertaining.
It is a very powerful feeling when somebody leaves class knowing, “Analytics is what I want to do,” which keeps me going.
GA: As a leader in a business, what role do you think learning plays in digital transformation?
Devanshu Mehrotra: I have worked for two different investment banks where I’ve created an analytics team from scratch — learning was an essential part of the process.
Think about the skill sets valued in the market right now, and think about the people making a lot of money in the market. 20 years ago, if you thought about people having jobs and becoming millionaires, you would think finance; you would think Wall Street.
What do you think today when you think of people making millions very quickly? I think Facebook, Google, Netflix, and startups. You’re now competing with companies that can pay more, teach more, and give benefits like free food, etc. How do you compete in that type of market?
The best way to compete is to identify people who have an aptitude and upskill them internally because you are showing trust in them, and you are willing to put your money where your mouth is and invest in them.
As a leader, think about when Steve Jobs came onto the stage in 2007 and put the iPhone up. That’s where the revolution started. Since then, the way we do things has completely changed. That computer that you’re carrying in your pocket, your cell phone, has changed entirely. The next 10–20 years are just going to compound it. The future will come at you faster and come at you with more complex problems, so you grow with it or you get left behind. If you’re not learning, you’re dying.
Stay tuned for more incredible stories from our team and partners in the coming weeks. Want to learn more about how GA can make a difference in your business today? Get in touch.