This article was originally published in PECB insights
Semih is the Digital Training Senior manager at PwC's Academy, the talent and skills development business of PwC Middle East. He has delivered training courses on Artificial Intelligence, FinTech, Data Analytics, Design Thinking, Branding, Project Management, and
other subjects in his areas of expertise as a trainer. He is also the winner of the Instructor of The Year award by CertNexus in 2021 and 2022, and has made it to the Logical Operations Instructors Wall of Fame in 2021.He is also one of the first PECB certified trainers to deliver the CDTO program. His core expertise lies in Business Management, Data Analytics, and Strategy. Semih is a strong advocate of emerging technologies, digitalization, and startups, as he remains actively involved in discussions around the early adaptation of these technologies and aspires to inspire others to improve their knowledge.
He has delivered Keynote sessions at international conferences like LEAP, GITEX, FinTech Surge, AI Everything, Future Tech Event, GISEC, AI Masters, O’Reilly Strata Data Conference, Telco AI Summit, World Class IT Transformation, etc., to increase the awareness of senior executives on these topics. Moreover, Semih has successfully launched and delivered the 1st ever Artificial Intelligence certification program in the Middle East and also secured the first
runner-up position in PwC’s global AI competition. Semih was recognized as Top 50 Thought Leaders in AI and Global AI Ambassador.
When asked about the beginnings of his individual or organization’s journey, Semih said he has always enjoyed working with data, generating insights from data and making his case, convincing others with data. He has taken a Data Mining course during his master’s, the word
data science was not so popular back then. Moreover, Semih initially studied Chemical Engineering and during a Data Science interview, he said “Data is the new oil and I know how to process oil very well. That is why you should pick me.”
And it was his transition into the world of digital. After successfully completing projects utilizing Data and AI, he moved to the training industry where he joined PwC’s Academy at the beginning of the pandemic. Semih focused a lot on gaining certifications in AI and other emerging technologies in the past three years.
Certifications help with two things: First, to stamp your credibility in the field by an international body such as PECB. Second, it pushes him to excel at the topic on the way while preparing for the certification exam.
He has delivered countless days of training since then on digital topics, such as AI, data science, and digital transformation, and upskilled the employees of PWC's clients in the region helping them achieve their digital transformation objectives. Semih's curiosity has always
helped in his career, and it is one of the many things that has helped him achieve this success. He accepted all the challenges and roles he was offered so far, which moved him into a growth mindset all the time. This has also helped him develop his adaptability skills as he changed roles quickly, and he had to learn quickly, apply what was learned, reap the results to prove himself, and move on to the next challenge.
Before transitioning to a new role, Semih diligently subscribes to newsletters pertaining to the relevant field. Presently, he receives an average of 30-40 newsletters per day, and he conscientiously endeavors to read through each one daily. This practice allows him to stay well-informed about the latest advancements and innovations within his area of expertise, as he meticulously scans through the information within his dedicated newsletters folder.
What Is Inspiring To Others Who Are Beginning In This Field?
When asked, Semih said that advancements in the digital world are occurring at an unprecedented pace, making it an exhilarating time for individuals entering or considering a career in this field. One of the most inspiring aspects is the remarkable efficiency with which apps, services, products, or solutions can now be built using modern tools. This progress is enabling even non-technical individuals to engage with these technologies without prior programming experience or technical knowledge.
It presents a tremendous opportunity for everyone to embrace the digital landscape. It is crucial to emphasize that in a few years' time, it may be too late to fully reap the invaluable benefits of going digital, including enhanced customer experiences, improved productivity, and increased profitability. Those who embark on their digital journey early on undoubtedly have a significant advantage.
The Experience with PECB
Semih's experience with PECB mirrors that of many individuals who have engaged in ISO certifications and audits within their respective companies. PwC Academy has been delivering trainings for various PECB accredited certification programs. Semih has also been recently awarded with the first of its kind, globally recognized trainer title, enabling him to deliver the Certified Digital Transformation Officer program in collaboration with PECB. This is a great opportunity for clients and individuals to expanding their knowledge and skills in the realm of digital transformation.
Exploring Relevant Opportunities:Career Development and Networking Expansion
When asked about this, Semih said that most advancements in the digital realm stem from open innovation, where numerous organizations and individuals generously share their work. An exemplary instance of this is Twitter's recent publication of its highly valuable recommendation algorithm. Consequently, active involvement in communities becomes paramount as it fosters mutual learning—an aspect of utmost significance in this field. However, this also poses a challenge: with open access to information for everyone, how can individuals differentiate themselves? Hence, it becomes crucial to curate a portfolio of notable achievements wherein ideas and technologies were successfully brought to life through various projects. Such accomplishments serve as highly sought after attributes for those pursuing a career in this domain.
Advice for Those Just Getting Started In the Field
When asked, Semih noted: One does not have to shift their career and transition into IT to enjoy the advantages of digital tools. As previously mentioned, technology is progressing towards enhancing the lives of all individuals, not solely those in technical roles. Therefore, it is crucial
to acquire a comprehensive understanding of technology, the capabilities of these tools, and leverage digital advancements wherever applicable, fostering a Digital-X approach in all aspects.
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