Being Successful as an Introvert – From Junior to Lead ML Engineer, and Two Job Offers

Oct 27, 2022
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Being Successful as an Introvert – From Junior to Lead ML Engineer, and Two Job Offers

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Dhanya Sethumadhavan, from India, completed several Omdena Challenges, upon which she became an Omdena Top Talent to work on paid gigs with companies. She shares how she gained confidence, improved her communication skills, and even got two job offers from Omdena partners.

Dhanya, what is your background?

I am basically from India and live in UAE. I got my master’s degree from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in India in Computational Engineering and Networking. I got a campus selection at one of the MNC’s called Infosys Technologies in India.

I have a good experience in coding with Python ecosystem. I also have an experience in advanced computer vision techniques and developing, building, and managing machine learning/deep learning models along with working on AWS platform.

When and how did you enter Omdena? What was the reason?

I had a work experience as a senior system engineer in mainframe technology. But for family reasons, I had to take a break in my career. As a result I was struggling for 2 to 3 years to get a job without relevant experience in another field. Then I started focusing on the subjects I specialized in for my master’s degree,machine learning. I started with Udacity nano degree, IBM AI Engineering professional certificates, and advanced computer vision certificates in Coursera. But what I was lacking was a proper industrial experience in the field of machine learning. Once I was ready to get back into the workforce, I was looking for opportunities, and suddenly one day Omdena popped up on my LinkedIn. Someone has shared their project completion certificate and their experiences with Omdena. I took up an opportunity to explore Omdena, and I started enjoying the journey from Junior ML Engineer to Lead ML Engineer.

What technical solution did you build recently in a project?

I started from collecting data then I did its preprocessing and built a solution using AWS sagemaker semantic segmentation algorithm to detect the interior and exterior materials of a house in an Omdena Top Talent Project.

I took up the initiative from scratch all the way from data collection and was involved in preprocessing of the data and finally built a model to identify powerstations, substations, and pylons in India from satellite data for Omdena-Surplusmap challenge.

Dhanya at work

Dhanya at work

Some of the projects Dhanya took part in:

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What is the biggest obstacle you have recently overcome?

Omdena helped me to come out of my shell, get over the fear of presenting to a large group, and to be more confident and efficient in my work.

How did the Omdena experience help you in your career till now?

I’ve had a lot of learning experience from Omdena Top Talent Projects which includes working in AWS, Azure platforms, building innovative AI solutions, exploring tools like labelbox, and working with Activeloop which is an open-source community enabling data-centric AI. I have been offered jobs by two of the clients I have worked with.

It’s also helped me develop my soft skills, for example, working as a team player and communicating and presenting my solutions confidently to customers. At Omdena, I started as a junior machine learning engineer. It was an amazing journey from being an introvert to someone who can express views, share thoughts, and help support colleagues. Finally, I got the confidence to lead the tasks, and I have become a lead ML engineer. I have been a part of Talent projects in Omdena, and I am thoroughly enjoying the work environment there. Most of the projects—that I took part in and what I’m still working on—are computer vision projects. 

Any final words?

The freedom and independence you get in the work environment along with experimenting with real-world data is something that makes Omdena different. The positive feeling of using your profession to build technologies that help the community is really very special. The collaborators who later have become my friends, and the technical support and guidance from the community make it even more special. I am still learning a lot and every project in Omdena is different and challenging.

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