Shandra Cohen – Class of 1981

After leaving Santa Maria College, at 18 years of age, I joined the Australian Signals Corps (Army). I was tested in both physical and mental endurance and taught discipline at a whole new level.

From this life experience, I have taken these beliefs into my personal and professional life:

                    • Nothing is impossible. Just do it, no matter how hard it is, just focus on the outcome.
                    • Set achievable goals
                    • Keep breathing through the impossible times.

I have some amazing memories of the experiences I had as a soldier in the Australian Army; from spending two days with Prince Charles and Princess Dianna, to working on some amazing projects that had a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.

I became a mother in my twenties. Throughout the early years of my children, I worked occasionally as a personal assistant then at the age of 35 I enrolled and began a Bachelor of Computer and Mathematical Science.  For over 15 years I have worked in the IT world of data.

I currently work as a contractor across all industries, from government, utilities, banking, oil & gas, as a data insights architect (big data). I scope the business requirements, design the technical algorithms and develop operational models using Tableau.  These models are used to inform all management levels when making operational decisions that will impact on the business operations.

To be successful in the IT profession you need to keep up with the latest software technologies as this world is quickly changing.  I am 55 years old and I own it.

Life is not a sprint, pace yourself to achieve your goals.

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