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Daily Inspiration: Meet Nikhil Bagewadi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikhil Bagewadi.

Hi Nikhil, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I would like to start from the day I first landed in the United States in Aug 2016. I came here to pursue my dream of studying data analytics. Leaving your family and country behind was a big step for an Indian guy who had stayed with his family for most of his life.

I was always fascinated with data and wanted to solve the problems in data as it’s the biggest asset in today’s date. I started studying for my Master’s in Data Analytics at The University of Texas at Dallas.

This phase was challenging and rewarding at the same time. Challenging in terms of getting outside of my comfort zone, and financial situation and rewarding in terms of learning about a new culture, meeting new people, experiencing the real life, and making new friends. Most importantly this financial hardship phase taught me to be frugal. Soon after completing my 2 semesters, I landed an internship job.

I relocated to Chicago for my first job. This move was exciting as well as challenging (From a weather perspective). I completed my Master’s while I was working as an Intern. I got an offer right when I graduated from the same company. I started my job as Data Analyst helping our customers to implement reward programs. As my urge was to work on bigger problems and larger datasets soon I started to look for a job change.

After 500+ applications and 30+ interviews, I landed my dream job as, Data analyst at Amazon, one of the biggest data-driven companies. Fast forward 3 years, I am now working as Business Intelligence Manager, leading a team of 8 engineers, serving 500+ customers across finance organizations in Amazon in 10+ countries. My team helps Amazon Finance to build large-scale reporting solutions.

I get to leave my dream of working on large-scale data day in and day out. This job has been a game-changer in my professional life. Relocating to Washington has given me two of my hobbies photography and hiking. These hobbies have taken me to places, and Utah is one of those. Today, I am a weekday Manager and weekend photographer.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I won’t say it was a smooth road. Coming from a middle-class Indian family leading a team to solve the problems through data was definitely a roller coaster ride. Starting from applying to a university in the United States for a master’s to landing here for the first time every step was challenging.

After coming to the States the challenges changed but it never felt smooth. As it said, “It never gets easier, you just get better”. You have to have never give up attitude especially when you come to a foreign land to pursue your dream.

I know a lot of people out there who came to this land of opportunity to pursue their dreams and made it big despite all the challenges. I feel motivated reading through the stories and that keeps me going. I am grateful to God, my parents, my wife, and my friends for always guiding me through difficulties and making it feel a smooth ride.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a Business Intelligence Manager. If I have to explain this in simple terms, I help the finance department at Amazon to make data-driven business decisions through reporting solutions.

My team analyzes all the data based on different indicators and provides helpful insights to business leaders so they can make informed decisions for the business. I am known for my data analysis skills. Along the way, I am also helping my fellow engineers to grow professionally.

I enjoy mentoring and providing direction. Apart from work, photography is my passion. In my spare time, I go out with my camera chasing sunsets. I love to hike too. These two hobbies go hand in hand. I shoot landscapes. That is one of the big reasons why I love Utah.

It is heaven for landscape photography.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I believe along with talent and hard work, luck also plays an important part in everyone’s life. Luck brings you opportunities but you need to be ready. If you have talent and if you are hardworking, you can make the most out of an opportunity when luck brings that to you.

I remember my first internship. One thing I learned quickly after coming to the US is that making connections here does help. I went for lunch with my friends and met a guy who I instantly connected with through our same working background back in India. When he landed an Internship job, the company was looking for another candidate and he reached out to me immediately.

I think I was lucky to meet that guy who later become my very good friend who introduced me and helped me to get my first job. Before this, I had applied to more than 400+ internship jobs and got none but this one lunch helped me to get one. I feel I was at the right place at right time to make it to where I am today in such a short time span.

I also feel lucky in a way that I have a support system who backs me up in all my decisions, otherwise, it would have been impossible to take on the opportunities even if the luck would have presented those to me.

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