Tamara Castelli

Head of Data & Insight, Unidays

Did you always want to work in the data industry?

I’ve always been passionate about solving problems and puzzles. As a child, one of the few things I had infinite patience for was sitting and solving puzzles. And so I see this as just an adult version of it; it’s gathering all the clues and the evidence to help make the right best decision for that time. What I really enjoy about it is having that evidence to back up what I’m saying. I really love that moment when you can challenge someone’s perception on something that they’ve had based on gut-feel.

How did you get where you are?

Having zero idea of what industry I’d want to work in, what type of analytics I was interested in, or even what my strengths and weaknesses would be in the working world, I decided to take a career in consulting. I felt that that would give me a really great grounding in different experiences, different types of projects, and allowing me to sort of work out what I wanted to do next.
After working as a consultant, I took data and analytic roles with TV broadcaster Channel 4 and online fashion retailer YOOX Net-a-Porter Group before joining Unidays.

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

I would say the biggest risk I’ve ever taken is climbing Kilimanjaro. It certainly was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done; but of course, having achieved it, I can look at it very proudly and it’s created a lot of very fond memories for me, as well as making a lot of great new friends.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

I would say to my teenage self that there isn’t always a right answer – there is only a well-reasoned, justified answer. And quite often the mathematically correct answer isn’t always the right answer; there are other things that need to be taken into consideration. I would have told myself to prepare for this.

There isn’t always a right answer – there is only a well-reasoned, justified answer.
What is your chosen significant object?

My clarinet. It’s actually a reasonably recent object of importance to me. When I was younger I used to play an awful lot of musical instruments, much to the irritation of my parents and neighbours, I’m sure.
Music was always something I was very passionate about and was a big part of who I was growing up. And as I got to university, priorities changed – I was very focused on my studies, and, I just stopped. So last year I had a week off and I decided that now was the time. I went to a music shop, I tried a couple of different instruments, decided that the clarinet was going to be the weapon of choice, and found a teacher and went from there.
It’s never too late to try something new, and give it a go. You never know what’s going to come from it.