Interview with Ms. Anunnesha Dey

Aunnesha Dey graduated from Hidayatullah National Law University in the year 2017 and later worked as a Legal & Research Assistant for the Home, Jail, and Transport Department, Government of Chhattisgarh. She has completed her Masters of Laws from Symbiosis Law School, Pune and, specializes in Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property Laws. 

After the completion of her Masters, she entered the Ed-Tech domain and joined upGrad, one of the leading online educational service providers, as a Student Mentor of the Data Science vertical. She has mentored 400+ students enrolled for the Post Graduate Diploma Program in Data Science from IIIT Bangalore and MSc in Data Science from Liverpool John Moores University. She has also worked at GreyAtom School of Data Science as an Outcome Specialist, responsible for taking care of the industry partnerships and helping learners landing their dream job. Currently, she is working as a Learning Manager at Lawctopus and takes care of the entire learning and development process of the courses offered by Lawctopus.

Q. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?  What was your inspiration behind joining law school? 

Hello! My name is Aunnesha Dey. I would like to introduce myself as a lawyer not lawyering. Honestly, I wanted to become a Chef. Back in 2012, I made up my mind to write the IHM entrance exams and had no plans to appear for CLAT. I remember being super excited about working at the Hilton Hotel, London and I used to keep exploring various resorts and hotels where I could work after completing my degree in Hotel Management. However, life had some other plans. My father was aware of this and one fine day he laid down the brochure of CLAT in front of me and asked me to go through it.  

After a lot of exploring, I made a mindful decision that law was my thing. I was told that law graduates make good money compared to others so that was a driving force too. Now when I look back, I would say that it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life.

Q. How was your life at law school?

I was initially very homesick because it was my first time staying in a hostel, but after the first year, things fell into the right places. I personally believe that I made the most of my Law School days. I studied and maintained a decent GPA, had some failures too, learnt from them and came out stronger. 

I was an average student throughout my law school. I studied when I was required to and made time for myself and my friends. I agree that Law is a field which requires you to study a lot but I truly believe that a law school experience is incomplete without participating in volunteer programs and co-curricular activities. I started writing a book while I was in my 3rd year which I am still in the process of completing. I used to spend a lot of my time in the HNLU Library and books have majorly helped me in shaping my career today. Now when I look back, I am glad I could make the most of the resources which were available back then.

Q. You have worked as a Student Mentor at upGrad, how did you mentor students in Data Science as a person with a legal background? 

During my stint at Symbiosis Law School, Pune, from where I have completed my LLM, I got a chance to write my dissertation on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Law. I was already well versed with some of the Machine Learning concepts (theoretically) and since Data Science covers the same, it was easy for me to understand the Program syllabus and the deliverables offered by upGrad. 

As a Student Mentor for the Data Science Diploma Program, I went through some rigorous training before I started mentoring students and career counselling those who wanted to make a transition in the Data Science domain. I am really thankful to upGrad for providing the training which helped me get well versed with the important Operating Procedures involved as well as learn about student success. I have also mentored students enrolled in the MSc Program, where the final leg was the submission of a Master Thesis which is similar in many aspects to the Dissertation that I wrote for my LLM Degree. Though I couldn’t mentor the students on the technical know-how, I lent them my helping hand in formatting, footnoting, referencing, and plagiarism checks apart from offering them career counselling. 

Q. What was your inspiration behind switching your career from law to entering the field of business and management?

I tried exploring various options but was never interested in Litigation, Judiciary, Corporate jobs or Academics. I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do. 

I made the decision of switching careers very consciously. While I was applying for the Student Mentor position at upGrad, I knew that my legal career would take a back seat but I acquired other skills like operations management, customer success and retention, and career coaching. Post this; I wanted to work in an organization where the combination of Legal and Ed-tech operations knowledge was essential to the job. I always wanted to use my acquired legal skills in an entrepreneurial environment and I was lucky that I got to explore the same at Lawctopus. 

I personally feel law gives you an edge when it comes to understanding the regulatory framework and compliances and applying them in any business. I believe that the top management at any organization should have a fair understanding of the law involved, in order to manage their business in a better way. Discovering a new avenue was the primary motivation behind the Career transition that I made. 

Q. Were there any specific challenges you faced in planning your unique and unconventional career switch? How did you push through those challenges? 

This is an interesting question! To be honest one big challenge was to convince the Hiring Manager as to why I was the right fit for their respective organization.

I was always asked this one question that why do you wish to shift from Law to Data Science? I think I pushed through this question by convincing the Hiring Team that helping learners sail through the most important phase of their learning journey, which is a major career transition for them, gave me utmost satisfaction and that I had the required skills to perform the responsibilities in the best possible manner. 

Q. How did you make the decisions with regards to your career changes? Were they planned or did you go with the flow? What were some of the most important elements you factored in while considering such an important career decision? 

I went with the flow. The important element was that before making any career transition I used to ask myself this question, “Can you do this for the rest of your life?”, I would take time to answer this question myself but once I was done figuring out about the job role and the organization, I straightaway went ahead with joining or not joining the Organization.

Q. Looking back, is there anything you wish you had done differently? What would be three important tips you would give to our readers about changing their career to follow their passion? 

I don’t think I should have done anything differently. All the steps I have taken to shape my career did not backfire and that is something which makes me happy.
The three important tips would be:

  1. Challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone.
  2. There is a plethora of avenues out there, waiting to be exploited. Go explore!
  3. Always ask yourself this question, “Can I do this for the rest of my life?” and once you find an answer to this, you will figure out where your interest lies.

Find out more about Ms. Aunnesha Dey – 

Disclaimer – All views and opinions expressed in this interview are personal and belong solely to the interviewee(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the LAABh Foundation or the individuals and institutions associated with LAABh Foundation.

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