Are you feeling uncomfortable in your job? Considering a career switch? Unsure when or how to make the move?
The EWOR team had the pleasure of sitting down with one of its Fellows, Komiljon Nasrullaev. Currently, Komiljon is a data scientist in Uzbekistan, but it was not a straight line to get there.
Komiljon told us about his studies, his passions, and how they didn’t match up in the first jobs he occupied. We also discussed his love of mathematics, and how they’ve helped him during his time at the Academy so far.
Combining Career and Passion
After school, Komiljon started studying for a Bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering. A few months into it, he realised he didn’t enjoy it as much as he thought, and would rather switch to something which involved more maths. Luckily, he found civil engineering, and specialised in computational mechanics.
Komiljon carried on with a Master’s in Dresden, and developed an interest in programming. His first job was as a full-stack developer, where he developed the front-end and back-end of the company’s home page. “Then, I realised I was getting bored,” he confessed. “I wasn’t using mathematics, no numbers or statistics.”
The Right Time for a Career Switch
After a brief stint in project engineering and solutions engineering, Komiljon started thinking about his career path. Where could he see himself in five, ten, fifteen years? His current career wasn’t fulfilling his needs, he was striving for something more.
“When I go away from mathematics, I feel like I lose myself,” he explained. That was the trigger point that made him realise it was time for a change. Komiljon started researching ways of combining his passion for maths with programming to find a more fulfilling career.
He used the internet and forums to narrow it down to three potential sectors: pure maths, computer science, and data science. From there, Komiljon watched YouTube videos and researched each of these strands to assess whether he might like them, and whether they contained problems he could solve.
Out of the three, data science was the winner of Komiljon’s heart. “It teaches you to learn trends, behaviours, to make decisions and predictions, he told us. “It’s completely mathematical.” The budding data scientist started learning on his own, taking a Udemy course then an intense bootcamp to get more practice.
He recognises that it’s not always easy to pivot, as there are personal and financial considerations to take into account. “But I like to take risks, I like a challenge,” he confided with a laugh. A career switch might be uncomfortable, but to him that’s preferable to being bored doing something he doesn’t want to do.
Now, Komiljon is building his career in his chosen field, but is considering making another change…
The Switch to Entrepreneurship
Komiljon is now considering starting his own venture. While his ideas remain confidential, he shared interesting insights about his mindset and what he has learned so far as an EWOR Fellow.
One thing Komiljon particularly enjoys about the Academy is the structure of the lessons and teachings. In his view, “studying 50-70 topics over four years and applying them to jobs is time-consuming and ineffective.” Choosing a subject, studying it for a couple of months, applying it, then taking further courses and lessons as needed is a better way to go.
The opportunity to network and hear from experienced, serial entrepreneurs is another bonus for Komiljon. “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, it’s already invented. We can learn from the experience of others, and develop it further,” he wisely said.
His experience in mathematics is also strongly shaping his approach to entrepreneurship. When he was at school, in the 9th grade, he placed first in a regional mathematics Olympiad. A few years on, he placed third at nationals. From there, his goal was to get a silver or a gold medal at the International Maths Olympiad. He didn’t reach that goal until he was at university, but he finally did at the Open International Mathematics Olympiad that was held in Russia Federation in May 2013.
Chasing these medals taught him perseverance. Komiljon told us that when he has a goal, he never stops working until he gets there – a trait he shares with some of the world’s brightest entrepreneurs.
When we asked how he eventually succeeded to solve problems he previously couldn’t, Komiljon said: “99% of success comes from practice.” The more you try to solve a problem, the more your brain starts to view it from different angles. “If you stick with a problem, your perspective eventually changes, you find new ways to go about it,” he confided. Komiljon has found this to be one of the many ways mathematics translates to business and entrepreneurship.
While he doesn’t necessarily know what’s coming next, Komiljon doesn’t regret the career switches he has made. “They might not always be good,” he jokingly said, “but it’s working so far…”