Engineer Spotlight: Neha Mathur

We sat down with data engineer Neha to discuss her story, her drive to reskill and change her career and the flying start she’s made on placement.

Neha, tell me a bit about your background. What roles were you working in before you joined Digital Futures?

I worked in various roles, including at an NGO, at an MNC as a customer service representative and as a freelance SEO-optimised content creator in India. Technology had always been on my radar; I had thought about it when applying for courses at university, but I opted for a hotel management degree which I didn’t end up using.

My interest in tech really took off when I became a Conference Programmer. I was in that role for 5 years and one of my main responsibilities was overseeing the agenda of the conferences. Slowly, talks were revolving more around emerging technologies – that was the ‘hot topic’ people really wanted to hear about. This sparked my curiosity and interest in cloud, big data and other trending technologies. I was particularly intrigued by the potential insights that could be unlocked by data.

What happened next? How did you choose to pursue that new interest?

I applied for a Master’s in Information Management and Business Technologies at Loughborough University. I was drawn to it because it was advertised as a hybrid course, blending both management and technical skills, which really matched my hopes at the time of getting a role as a consultant or business analyst.

What was it like searching for your first role in tech?

The pandemic arrived as I was finishing my Master’s and it was really tough. I couldn’t even get an interview. Organisations had started to downsize, and they were looking for people with a lot more experience than I had.

And then you discovered Digital Futures! What was it specifically that brought you to us?

Through the challenges I experienced with my job search, I realised that I needed more skills to unlock opportunities. Digital Futures provided the chance I needed, allowing me to upskill in data engineering alongside cloud engineering. The whole team at Digital Futures has been incredibly supportive, fostering a trustful environment. I appreciate the numerous opportunities they offered me to develop and refine my skills.

You completed your training and now you’re on placement – can you tell me a bit about your role?

I’m really enjoying it so far – it’s exceeded my expectations in a lot of ways, in other ways it’s really daunting! The learning curve is steep but that’s what makes it exciting. The team I’m a part of is really nice, very helpful and very flexible which I really appreciate. What I find particularly engaging is the connection between the business and technical side of things. Having the understanding of both is important – I didn’t realise how important this is until joining Digital Futures.

I’m currently working towards my BCS and PEGA certifications, which is a great opportunity to bag more qualifications outside of the Academy that are specific to my client placement.

You made the bold choice to change your career; do you think that was the right choice?

Absolutely! Despite having a Masters degree in the tech space, I would have floundered in a tech role without Digital Futures. Agile environments, the way tech teams operate – those things sat way outside of my skillset and understanding. I had never encountered anything like that before, so this is a huge career transition for me.

I’m so glad I decided to grow and consolidate my skills; Digital Futures has made the choice to change my career a reality. I’m developing and growing and the more I learn, the more I want to excel.