All the BENGAL Ladies…
Today’s post goes out to all my DAX Tigress friends out there… put your hands up! AND, to my fellow meme enthusiasts – I have a meme trifecta for you today (cats + pugs + ???).
Interestingly, I recently watched #CATS_THE_MEWVIE, a documentary on Nextflix, and learned about the history and evolution of cats on the internet – quite fascinating! The link to Google Trends & chart below does validate that cats do trend higher in interest over dogs!
Let’s talk about another STRANGE phenomenon that exists …
- Our Power BI classes are > 50% female.
- The best student in each class is also often female.
- Applicants for P3 Principal Consultants are > 95% male!
Yeah. That’s how I feel! What gives? Well done Pugs! It’s impossible to know exactly why, but let me share MY story.
First, let’s start with TODAY. I’m one of two Directors here at P3. I started as a Principal Consultant in April-2017 and was promoted to Director in Jul-2019. At the time, I wasn’t sure that I was Director material! But 6-months into the new role, I’m wondering why I ever even doubted myself!
So, one might say… I’m an example of success, yeah? Even though it’s HARD for me to say that.
Well, the road to get here was filled with self-doubt. And just in case that’s what YOU are feeling these days, let me share that road.
Growing up, I was the little sister of a big brother that was the salutatorian of his graduating class! At the start of the year, my teachers would ALWAYS ask… “Are you Bernie’s little sister?” Implying that they expected perfect straight A’s… Ugh!
In college, there were no more worries about walking in the shadows of my super-smart big brother! But, I noticed that there were not many other women in my Computer Science classes. However, one of my instructors predicted that women would be needed in Computer Science – his insights were correct, and I am thankful for his encouragement.
My very first internship was for a government contracting company in Alexandria, VA – my clients for the project assignment were military personalities.
None of these early experiences were especially ideal for fueling a young person’s self-esteem. Or were they?! I for sure didn’t get salutatorian in high school. I did not graduate Summa Cum Laude! And yes, I was VERY intimidated by those military personalities!
But something I did do was put myself out there and just TRY! Each time you try, you learn and when you learn you grow. The more you grow, the more experiences you will have. You just have to learn to believe in yourself!
I graduated from high school with good grades. I graduated from college with a Computer Science minor and Mathematics major. I completed the assigned government project, an additional project and received a very nice referral from the company to launch my career in the adult world!
Fast forward to 7 years ago in 2013, I remember being in my office cubical upgrading to Excel 2010 and coming across the new Power Pivot add-in. Through a Google search, I came across “THIS” website. “THIS” website helped me to see what was possible with Power Pivot and that other people “out there” saw something special too! But, I still wasn’t confident that this could be a new emerging career path for me. Organizational leadership at the time said there were “other”, “better” BI tools. I thought, maybe they knew something I didn’t know!? Again, there was self-doubt.
But I kept going and learning because of “THIS” website, because of the others out there writing the blog posts. Those people were validating what my gut was telling me, but I STILL was not quite as confident as those paving the way.
My gut told me…“THIS” tool IS different, and I thought to myself, “THIS” blog website IS going to become a business… and one day, when that happens, I want to be a part of “THIS” new way. I want to HELP others with data, reporting, analytics and these quickly emerging technologies! It was just a thought, an idea, a wish, a DREAM.
All the while, I kept taking tiny steps… I subscribed to “THIS” blog, I contacted Rob/Jocelyn about training, I continued to self-teach when our organization didn’t have the budget for training. I attended free webinars. I kept applying what I could, even in a not so perfect hodge-podge of SQL + Power Pivot In Excel + One Drive toolsets. I went to user group meetings and met many helpful mentors. I spent my evenings reading/learning and my days at work shifting what I was doing from the old way to “THIS” new way.
… and when I saw a blog post in February of 2017 that P3 was hiring full-time consultants, I shifted all my energy to updating my resume and applying, still not feeling overly confident in myself. Why? Because surely there are many other people out there that are smarter, more experienced, etc.
However, it turns out that I was one of the top 3% able to complete the hiring testing and I got the job – yea me! Followed by “THIS” once in a lifetime experience at P3 of HELPING others – not only with Power BI but with the confidence that their gut IS also right.
Confidence is believing in yourself! Surrounding yourself with people that support and believe in your DREAMS. You get there by taking small steps… and it’s important so that you can change, grow and see what YOU can accomplish if you just try!
So, whether you’re thinking of applying for a job here, or just wondering whether you “belong” at the table in your current firm, think about MY story and how you never know what might be possible until you just put yourself out there and try! BELIEVE in YOUrself and never give up on your dreams! One life… dream, believe and live it!
Have a healthy, happy & confident 2020!
Oh, and just for the record –
- I’m more of a J. Lo versus Beyoncé fan!
- But if the lyrics fit, I must do it!
- Animal meme blog trifecta complete… cats (2018) + pugs (2019) + inspirational blue jay (2020)
- Feel free to find me on LinkedIn – always happy to connect!
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to be YOUrself! We are all unique, special and there’s only one AMAZING you!