Student Ambassador Spotlight: Tokolo Kashupi
The Tableau Student Ambassadors program gives students a jump start for career success, connects them with networking opportunities, and develops soft skills necessary for the workforce. Since the program’s start in 2019, we’ve supported more than 50 students around the globe—evangelizing Tableau and nurturing the data rockstars of tomorrow.
We wanted to learn more about our 2020/2021 Student Ambassadors and their biggest takeaways from developing and hosting a Tableau workshop for students. Hear from these amazing students—Vedant Lakhani, Tokolo Kashupi, and Tanish Jain—on their ambassador journeys and their collaborative global workshop:
Let’s start from the beginning. Why did you become a Tableau Student Ambassador?
I fell in love with Tableau when I started learning how to use different business intelligence tools online. Then I learned about the Tableau Student Ambassador program and thought to myself, “Could I handle it?” I did my research and saw how it could benefit my career, but most importantly, how I could help other students and graduates discover Tableau and what it is capable of. It also occurred to me that I may be the first Namibian Student Ambassador at Tableau, which could be another way to introduce Tableau to my community and inspire others to learn.
What have you learned from the ambassadorship?
I have learned so much from the Tableau Community. Tableau is not just an individual platform where you learn and move on, it’s an engaged community full of people that constantly keep building each other by teaching and learning, a community full of inspiration. Tableau may be a company but for an ambassador like me, it really showed us how groups of people all over the world can come together, learn from each other, and join hands to solve daily problems together.
Seeing the expertise level of the other ambassadors and the amazing Tableau Zen Masters has really inspired me to work to improve my skills, not just to navigate the tool, but also to share and teach other students. Through mentorship and events, Tableau has done a really great job of helping us to sharpen our skills.
Let's talk about your amazing student workshop! You three are all from different universities, in different parts of the world. Tell us about your workshop and how you all collaborated to run such a successful event?
Thanks to the Student Ambassador WhatsApp group we were able to collaborate. This workshop was one of the amazing events I have been a part of. The collaboration was tops, and we had more than 200 registrations for the five-day workshop. Students loved the lessons and the guest speakers showed the incredible vizzes that can be built with Tableau and what wild messages Tableau can transform with data. We also gave students a chance to participate in the viz competition to win a free Tableau certificate license. Yes, it was challenging but the submissions were incredible.
What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
One big challenge was getting the message out to my fellow students here in Namibia as it is not often that we get to engage in things like this. But I managed to get help from university instructors to spread the word and managed to get a great number of attendees.
Another challenge was finding a great data set for the viz competition we planned. We got help from Tableau Zen Master and Social Ambassador Simon Beaumont who was recommended to us.
What is one thing you learned in this experience that surprised you?
We are all from three different universities and the different ways they operate is pretty amazing. It was an honor to have the student IT group from Vedant’s university, Shah & Anchor Kutchhi Engineering College, help with some introductions, even of our guests. I loved this, and it has inspired me to keep pushing and make changes on my side.
What advice would you give to other students who want to learn Tableau?
I would say: Tableau is a free platform for students, and you just need a year to become an expert at using Tableau. It’s easy to understand and once you start with Tableau, you will not stop. Make it your hobby and your understanding of data analytics will grow quickly.
If you could give a tip or suggestion to the current academic world regarding data analytics and data skills, what would it be?
Universities including mine (NUST Namibia) must start recommending students to either do these online data analytics studies or recommend that these tools be included in courses to prepare students who want to work with data for the future. Instructors should start emphasizing the importance and future of data analytics.
What have you been working on recently?
I am currently a full-time Master’s student in Informatics at Namibia University of Science and Technology and a full-time Database administrator at NedBank Namibia. I have also been doing online courses to build my skills in data analytics.