My Fulfilling Career In Data Intelligence
Dian Xu4-Minute Read
PUBLISHED: June 30, 2022
I joined Rocket Mortgage® in 2013 as a Data Analyst Intern, with a master’s degree in economics from Eastern Michigan University. Rocket Companies has provided me with a fulfilling career. It’s transformed me from a shy, fresh graduate to a mature and confident senior leader in data intelligence.
Our company has core group of principles called ISMs. “You will see it when you believe it.” is my favorite of them. My key to success is relentlessly pursing things I am passionate about.
My entire career I have taken ideas and brought them to life even when others may not see the full vision, not only for data and technology, but also for people. I believe that if I can do it, you can do it too.
The Beginning: My Passion With Data
I remember working in the Mission Control area on the 12th floor of the One Campus Martius building during my internship. In my very first month, Warren Buffett walked in for a business intelligence tour led by Dan Gilbert, the Chairman of Rocket Companies.
I will never forget the proud look on Dan’s face when he was passionately showing Buffett a walkthrough of our Business Intelligence Gateway (BIG), and how data enabled senior leadership to make the best business decisions. That moment ignited my passion for data and started my lifelong journey with data intelligence.
Overcome The Hurdles: My Perseverance In Data
The internship experience Rocket Companies provided was a blast. It helped me to gain business and tech knowledge, as well as identifying what my dream data analytics job would look like.
However, when the internship ended, there wasn’t a full-time opportunity on the team for me. In the challenging moment facing the uncertainty of my future, I didn’t give up.
I decided to bring the best version of myself and learn data analytics as much as possible, for every additional day that I could have with the team. I openly communicated my passion towards data with my leadership group and expressed my strong interest in pursuing any opportunity that allowed me to grow my knowledge in data.
A miracle did happen! I saw it when I believed it. The leadership team at Rocket Companies truly cares about the growth of every team member. They recognized my passion and dedication and recommended me for several data analytics roles in other business areas.
With the support from others and the skills I gained from my internship, I was offered a data analyst position on a different team. I was proud to become a part of the Data Intelligence team.
Impact The Outcome: My Relentless Growth In Data
Data is the lifeblood of our business. By digging into the data, I learned quickly how to leverage data to make a business impact every day. I did this by finding data insights and creating self-service analytical dashboards to drive core business decisions towards success.
I felt proud and fulfilled when my business partners sent me birthday balloons or anniversary cards to show their appreciation. My career in data never felt like “a job”, but a meaningful obsession that I woke up every day super excited about.
From hundreds of spreadsheets to dozens of analytical dashboards, I was obsessed with finding a better way to deliver data insights to the business. As data is the lifeblood of business, data engineering is the veins, so I started developing my data engineering skills.
One thing I love about being a part of Rocket Companies is the “default to open” technology philosophy. If anyone has a desire to learn, there are many passionate and knowledgeable team members and leaders here to help.
With the mentorship from others, I grew into a Sr. Data Analyst, then a Data Warehouse Engineer. I was able to build processes so other analysts could find useful information in the data. I also was able to encourage more analysts to grow their engineering skills as I did.
Growing The Communities: My Leadership Journey In Data
After I had my first son in 2018, I faced a critical decision in my career. I needed to decide if I should continue down the data engineering path or consider stepping into leadership.
As a big advocate of data intelligence, I analyzed my previous years’ work in my role. I learned that I had spent over 67% of my time tying threads among teams, mentoring team members, driving data communities, removing teams’ roadblocks and supporting leadership initiatives.
I was able to make a “data-driven decision” for myself. I understood that my passion had shifted towards leadership over the years. Without any hesitation, I pursued it and became a team leader in data.
I was so grateful for all the support, guidance and opportunities I received from other Rocket Companies team members and I was determined to give back.
It’s extraordinarily exciting to be a part of data intelligence leadership. Our mission is to grow teams and revolutionize the mortgage industry with disruptive data science and data analytics. As One DI, we believe it, and we see innovative evolution happening in business driven by data.
A New Beginning: A Note Just For You
The sky is the limit at Rocket Companies. I challenge you to pursue your dream today with me. You’ll see it when you believe it. If I can do it, you can do it too!
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