Women in Tech: Featuring Dr. Buşra Topal, PhD

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women in Technology.

 

The third instalment from our collection of stories highlights a transition from academia showing the very different pathways our team members have followed to build a career in technology.

We are sharing these stories because as a team, we believe it’s so important to stand alongside the mission to “celebrate digital advancement and champion the women forging innovation through technology” advocated by International Women’s Day (IWD).

As such, let’s introduce Busra, an Applied Data Scientist at IntelliSense.io (thank you for being a part of our team Busra, we’re so glad you decided to join!).

 

Busra Topal: Applied Data Scientist

 

Tell us a little bit about your educational journey

My path is not straight. I have changed course several times, but I see this as a strength.

At the age of 17, I left home to go to University in Istanbul. My undergraduate degree was in Chemical Engineering. Although I knew at the time that I loved coding, I thought I would be able to ‘do more – something with an impact’ as a Chemical Engineer. I then switched paths and had Ms in Bioinformatics. Afterwards, I went to get further degrees in Barcelona. I have a PhD in Computational Biology – where I was able to combine a study of biology, mathematics and data science.

 

Who helped you on your journey?

My family. My family believed in getting the best education possible. They were always supportive of me leaving and moving away to get further education. It feels good to have them supporting me.

 

What has your career path entailed?

Before joining IntelliSense.io I was working in Academia. I had spent 7 years working on the same protein, researching Prostate Cancer.

To change the pace and work in a more dynamic environment, I left Academia behind. Still, I didn’t want to break my connection with research, and IntelliSense.io has been a good choice. I have chances of involvement in research by attending conferences with my former academic colleagues but as a representative of IntelliSense.io and having biweekly Paper Clubs to discuss recent machine learning articles.

 

Why did you choose IntelliSense.io?

I love learning. I was impressed by the broadness and versatility of the Data Scientist position IntelliSense.io. Furthermore, I want to see the outcome of my experience as a data scientist making a positive impact on the environment.

 

What’s your role at IntelliSense.io and what do you love about it?

I am an Applied Data Scientist.

I feel like I still have a long way to go but I am learning all the time. My colleagues and supervisors support me along the way and even have enough confidence in me to move me around projects so that I can learn and develop more. I like the challenge. I also think I am finally realizing that original goal ‘to have an impact – to make a difference’ in the world with the work I/we are doing.

Companies are using our software to have a less environmental impact, I am working to help them do this. I think this is really exciting.

 

What does the future hold for you?

Well, I am still adapting from Academia, it’s only been 6 months. But I just want to keep learning. I am focused on learning so that I can be more comfortable with the work, striving to become an expert, but really looking to feel like I have the complete package.

 

What advice would you give to others thinking of following this path?

Just ‘Go for It’, whatever it is.
Do what is best for you, don’t be afraid of changes.
Sometimes you will need to leave things and people behind, but you should follow your curiosity.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/topalbusra/

#BreakTheBias #IWD2022