A day in the life of…Achilleas Sfakianakis, Senior Data Scientist
Ever wondered what a day in the life looks like at Vortexa for a Senior Data Scientist? We sat down with Achilleas Sfakianakis to understand what makes everyone tick at Vortexa, what kind of qualities someone needs to have to excel here and how our culture impacts day-to-day life…
Achilleas is a Senior Data Scientist based in the London office, responsible for building various market models to predict key market indicators.
Prior to joining Vortexa, Achilleas worked as a Data Analyst in the wider shipping industry.
What does day-to-day life in your role look like?
Each day is like a new adventure, with new challenges to address. It would not be an exaggeration to say that no two days look the same. Generally speaking, I would spend my time between debugging and improving our data and models, bringing in new features, communicating with the business and product specialists to scope current and upcoming projects and, of course, keeping up-to-date with the latest developments both in the tech world as well as in the oil and shipping worlds.
What would you say is the most interesting aspect of your role?
The fact that we are dealing with problems that are inherently really complex and intellectually challenging and we are trying to address them on a scale that has not been done before, using cutting-edge technologies and deep business expertise. It’s like trying to solve a very difficult puzzle with thousands of pieces. Every new piece helps us and our clients to get a more comprehensive image of reality: what happened in the past, what is happening now and what is about to happen in the future.
What was your path to joining Vortexa?
After completing my studies on Electrical & Computer Engineering in Athens, I worked for 1 year in the shipping industry, before moving to London to do my MSc in Business Analytics. My interaction with the world of shipping triggered a genuine and vivid interest to better understand how the physical world and oil industry works. After doing my research, I found out about Vortexa and simply applied on the site. Even from the very first talks I had with Fabio and during my interviews, I had a feeling that Vortexa looked like a great place to work and after 2.5 years here, I can say I am more than happy with my choice.
What kind of qualities does a person need to have to succeed at Vortexa?
Intellectually curious, open, respectful, not afraid to get out of their comfort zone to try new things and ambassadors of the concept of lifelong learning and improvement.
What do you like about the culture?
The fact that it’s so open and meritocratic. All the people here are extremely smart and at the same time are humble and very good listeners. It has been mentioned numerous times by my colleagues but that is simply what’s like in Vortexa: the best idea will win, irrespectively of who had it. There is also a very strong sense of teamwork and collaboration towards achieving a common goal.
Who do you collaborate most with in the company?
One of the things I love is that we have the opportunity to collaborate very often with people from different teams, as almost every single project requires cross-team collaboration. By definition I would spend most of my time with people from my team, but we have very close collaboration with the Market Analysis team (probably on a daily basis) as well with the Signal Processing and Enrichment Team (SPET) and the Application Development Team (ADT).
What are the first three things you do on a Monday morning?
I would take a quick look at Slack to see any new important messages or updates, spend 5-10 minutes to scroll around the news, do my daily morning stretching for 10-15 minutes (particularly important now that we work from home!) and take a bath to start the day fresh.
What energises you most about working as a Senior Data Scientist?
The fact that it doesn’t feel purely as work, for all the reasons I mentioned above. It’s very important to wake up and actually feel happy and excited about going to work. And I can guarantee this is a feeling shared across the whole company and not just from a bunch of people.