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WDS Member of the Month: Christelle Pawlowski

Meet Christelle!

She is a dynamic individual originally from France who has carved a distinctive path through the worlds of finance, fitness, and now data science.

With over a decade of experience in Silicon Valley as a corporate accountant and financial reporting specialist, followed by a a move to Switzerland, this multifaceted professional has recently pivoted to the field of data science and data engineering.

Christelle is also a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor with a passion for hiking. She is not one to shy away from diverse pursuits. Having been an active member of WDS since earlier this year, she has a keen interest in building professional networks and engaging in learning opportunities.

Surprisingly, after two decades in finance and a successful period as a fitness entrepreneur, Christelle returned to school to embrace the challenges of data science, demonstrating a lifelong commitment to learning and adaptability.

Christelle now stands at the exciting confluence of technology, health, and analytics, ready to explore the potential of prescriptive analytics, she reminds us that the future belongs to those who are bold enough to pursue their dreams, blend their skills, and chart unexplored territories with enthusiasm and determination.

This is not just a career evolution for Christelle, it's an inspiring journey of transformation, signaling a bright and dynamic future ahead.

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Leveraging data for positive change is my passion! I am excited about volunteering at WDS and contributing to a more inclusive digital landscape.

Tell us about yourself!

I am originally from France. I have lived in Zug for the past 11+ years. Prior to that, I lived 12 years in Silicon Valley where I worked as a corporate accountant and financial reporting specialist for different companies in the tech industry.

In Switzerland, I first continued working as an accountant and then decided to take a break. I am now pivoting, having just completed a CAS in data engineering and data science to start working freelance in that field. I am also a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor and I love hiking.

How long have you been a member of WDS?

I became an active member earlier this year after following WDS passively for about a year.

What was your first interaction with WDS and how was it for you?

I enjoyed the virtual panel discussion on neurodiversity last October. There were quite a few more events -live and virtual- that would have been interesting to me as well.

What was the reason you joined WDS?

I decided to join in order to participate in live events, meet new people and build up my professional network.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us

I went back to school last year to study data engineering and data science in a continuing education class in Luzern.

Before that I had worked for 20 years in auditing, accounting and financial reporting on two continents and then 4 years as a fitness entrepreneur. I absolutely loved the data science study program, which finished just last month. It has helped me put some structure in the mass of information available out there and set learning goals and priorities for myself.

Before that, I had basic programming skills in BASIC and PASCAL from my childhood and I was familiar with HTML and CSS. Now I am taking a deep dive into Python, another programming language.

Of which professional achievement are you especially proud of?

I feel that this is still work in progress, even though I have been a CPA for 20 years. I am currently working with a coach on my next career steps.

Are there many women in your industry? Why is that or why not?

I don't know what percentage of women in accounting are also skilled in data science or the other way around what percentage of data scientists also have an accounting background.

I find the two fields highly complementary since every accounting entry creates a data point. In order to succeed women need to plan time to study and to practice. Then, there is an abundance of quality tutorials available at no cost on the internet, so the knowledge is there for anyone to grab. Having a mentor or coach is cherry on the cake.

Which aspect of your industry might interest other women to start work in this field?

Data specialists are in high demand worldwide in many different industries or services and there is no barrier to entry other than the willingness to learn. There is a broad range of skills women can choose to specialize in from pre-analytics to machine learning and more.

Which future trend is the most interesting in your opinion?

Prescriptive analytics in the medical field. How to optimize health outcomes based on genetics and other factors.

Are you inspired to change your career or take on a new project? Do you want to connect with Christelle? You can find her on LinkedIn.

Would you like to be featured as a WDS member of the month?

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