Jeremia Juanputra is a Data Scientist (Analytics) at Grab. Previously Success Guide at Salesforce and Geospatial Data Scientist (Capstone Project) at Palantir Technologies
1) To kickstart, could you share about your current role, what the company does and a bit about your career background?
I am currently working at Grab in the Product Analytics division. My company does EVERYTHING! We are a super app with services in ride-hailing, food delivery, quick commerce, digital payments, insurance, investments, and a gazillion other things! As part of the Product Analytics team, my job is to push for a more data-aware decision-making culture, including through building dashboards, initiating data deep-dives, and conducting rapid experiments (A/B testing).
Prior to Grab, I studied at the Singapore University of Technology Design with a focus on Data Analytics and Operations Research. I am one of those boring people who studied AND worked on the same thing :) I haven't gotten bored though!
2) Can you describe what your typical workday looks like?
I typically wake up at around 7 am and MUST kickstart my day with exercises.
I typically start my work at 9 am, and my mornings are blocked for deep work all the way until lunch time. This includes doing insights/analysis and being in creative mode.
These days, I try to squeeze in as many catch-ups as possible during my lunchtime. I love meeting people & sharing stories while having lunch; it feels super productive to do that 😆.
Post-lunch is usually full of meetings and alignment calls (talk about food coma…). I’d use those ugly 30 minute breaks in-between calls to finish my work that require less focus that I would not do in my focus time. This includes ad-hoc data pulls and replying to Slack messages.
I usually “end my day” at around 6, after which I’d commute back home. But I still do work at night because most days, I have nothing better to do anyway 😂.
3) What does personal growth mean to you?
Personal growth means love, gratitude, and peace. Growth starts with being in love, grateful, and at peace with where I am at now. Paradoxically, it’s also this love/gratitude that pushes me to improve myself and grow; I love where I am at and thus am driven to strive for an even better version of myself.
A lot of people strive for personal growth from the position of dissatisfaction or bitterness; they are dissatisfied with where they are at and thus seek for a “better self”. However, these toxic drives are highly unlikely to lead to any significant nor sustainable growth, and might even lead to resentment and anxiety.
Make peace, be in love, and be grateful for who you are and where you are at. Only then will you be able to grow!
4) Is there a habit you consciously exercise to ensure you achieve your ideal personal growth?
Growth follows naturally when I preserve these two things: my headspace and energy. To ensure I have sustainable headspace and energy, there are 4 important building blocks/habits that are important to me: physical exercises - including going to the gym; running, and yoga; meditation; sleeping; and blocking time to cultivate headspace and inspiration. When these building blocks are in place, I am typically ready to face whatever life has to throw at me!
5) What does it mean to grow in your career? How do you measure your career growth?
This is so timely considering I just had my performance review conversations with my manager. Growing in my career involves elements of and can be measured by three things: (I know that these are not mutually exclusive, but I tried my best).
Bigger scope & responsibilities: I am a maniac for having bigger scope and responsibilities. Bigger scope can come in two ways: reactively (your manager entrusts you with a bigger scope) and proactively (you propose and execute new projects). The latter is something that we can control and thus should be our priority; if we can be proactive in our work, our managers are sure to entrust us with bigger scope and responsibilities!
Constant learning: There are a multitude of things that I always seek to learn, including technical skills, problem solving skills, data storytelling, and people/stakeholder management. Therefore, I try to block out time on a weekly/monthly basis to formally reflect on my recent learnings and also plan WHAT and HOW I wish to learn.
Constant iteration on feedback/improvement areas: My goal is to make sure that in each performance review cycle, my stakeholders can see that I have improved on the feedback that they gave me. After all, you can have a big scope and good learning, but if no one enjoys working with you, what is the point?
Of course, there are vanity metrics to measure career growth, such as promotion and salary. But, my tip is not to focus on these too much. If you focus on the core metrics that I have elaborated on, these output metrics will follow (otherwise, it’s a red flag that you should consider leaving your company 😬).
6) Aside from your full-time job, is there anything else you like to do outside work?
I do a lot of mentoring on the side. I genuinely appreciate the interaction that I get with my mentees and the growth that being a mentor gives me. More often than not, I learn more than my mentees throughout our interactions!
I also lead the data team at Internnet, the largest mentoring platform in Indonesia. Thus, I play a dual role of a mentor AND the data guy working in the background!
Even though I am an introvert at heart, I put a huge emphasis on building relationships with people. I devote a large part of my time connecting with people over dinner/drinks!
In terms of hobbies, I am really into physical exercises (mostly going to the gym, running, and yoga) and I am a CRAZY avid reader (currently reading a financial history book on venture capitals!).
7) Are there any books, podcasts or apps that have been helpful for your growth?
I am a book person, so I’ll recommend the best books this world has to offer!
David Goggins - Can’t Hurt Me: a no BS self-help book by an ex-Navy SEAL. Not for the faint of heart but I can assure that this book is life changing!
Mark Manson - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: a “basic” but timeless piece.
Brand Stulberg - The Practice of Groundedness: if you need more help in slowing down and being at peace with yourself.
Robert Iger - The Ride of a Lifetime: this is for the auto/biography geeks!
8) Any tips you’d like to share for those who are looking to venture into similar roles?
As data analysts, it is easy to reduce our roles into mere “supporters/helpers” of our stakeholders, be it product managers, business people, etc. But what will scale your career is if you start thinking of yourself as the driver and not solely the supporter of your team. Be proactive, create value of your own, and drive your insights & recommendations to other people!
9) Finally, what is the one quote you always live by?
I’m not really a quote person; I’m always fascinated by people who always have quotes on top of their head 😅. But being a big fan of Buddhism (although I’m a devoted Christian myself), the one quote that always sticks in my head is "Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." I love this quote so much as it never fails to remind me of the single most important thing in the world that is within my control: my peace.
This also correlates with my previous answer on how I view personal growth; to achieve true growth, you must start by being at peace with where you are at now, and this peace comes from within. Peace begets growth, which in turn begets results. The unfortunate thing is that most people think that results beget peace; they think that money, fame, or six-packs will bring them peace and happiness, and because of that, peace is always in the distant future for them, even though it has always been within. 😉
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