It was June 2019, I got a guest invitation from The Alan Turing Institute to CogX which got me really excited as it offered the opportunity to learn more while meeting people from the AI innovations scene. Due to my education and interest in health, I mostly attended the health stage talks which I absolutely loved and gave me lots of food for thought. Equally, I loved the moderator who masterfully and diligently managed to limit complex debates within a timeslot, and uplift the moods while making us forget about the cold with quirky insights. As I got to find out later, the stage facilitator was Maxine, one of the OneHealth Tech founders.
At that time, I was looking for a graduate position and also to recalibrate my career from pure academic research to a more tech and data-driven field of research. Given my interest in both health and data science, it seemed intuitive that such a welcoming and bubbly health tech community could only bring benefits to me. I attended the summer party which was the first time when I felt so included in an environment although I knew no one there and very little about the field generally.
Later on, I found out about the OHT mentors which made me appreciate the value of human connections and having someone inspiring to guide me in my career. I knew I had an entrenched sense of belonging by this organisation when I realised there is no other marketing email I was reading more enthusiastically than the OHT monthly newsletter. As I wanted to get more involved, when I came across the opportunity to be part of the core team as a digital curator in charge of public communications and partnerships, I just couldn't give it a miss! Ever since joining, I felt warmly included in this diverse and vibrant environment like in no other place.
Come 2020, I work in data science trying to help others develop their digital skills, and hoping to make data science and AI education more accessible and more inclusive nationally. I didn't anticipate I would go from lab health research straight to data science and AI, but I am confident the OHT community is motivating me to bridge the two, and likely to move to a health tech position in my future steps. As of the CogX moderator, who would have thought we now volunteer together for OHT and also work together in our day job at The Alan Turing Institute! I think my lesson is that even London is a small world, so it's wise to find inspiring people and inclusive professional groups wherever you are and early on! Mine was OHT, see if it can be yours as well!
Digital Curator - OHT Core Team
Training Officer - The Alan Turning Institute