Meet Imran, a Skillful Mentor and Strategy & Operations Manager at Uber.
To summarize Imran's career path in 1 line: BA at George Washington University ➡️ Data Analytics @ Hilary Clinton's 2016 Presidential Campaign ➡️ Analytics & Insights @ CIBC ➡️ Strategy & Ops at Uber.
Read on to learn more about how he landed his first role in tech, what motivates him as a Skillful mentor and his feelings on ketchup.
Describe yourself with three emojis
🧐 I’m fairly analytical so I’m constantly going deep and making sure that what we’re working on as a team and prioritizing for project development makes sense. I love putting this “thinking cap” on and thinking about other avenues we can explore
🥳⚽️ We spend a lot of time working and interacting w/ our teammates (both in person pre-Covid and virtually now) so I’m constantly thinking of ways we can make our bonds stronger and our team culture great. One of the best ways to do that is by having a little fun outside of work and getting to know your teammates better - I’ve tried to do this by organizing a local Uber soccer team in DC but I encourage everyone to give this a shot in their own way!
Current role & location?
📍Strategy & Ops at Uber, in Washington D.C. (but originally from Toronto, Canada!)
How did you identify what industry you wanted to shift into?
As someone who has always done Analytics and Strategy related work but has worked in three different industries (Politics, Banking and Tech), I can’t say I focused on a specific industry. I was always looking for interesting roles that satisfied a different itch in my career at that time - as long as the work was in Analytics and Strategy and seemed interesting to me, the specific industry wasn’t a determining factor.
How did you find the role?
My network! I didn’t even know Uber was hiring until a mentor reached out to me to let me know he had heard about a job opportunity at Uber that I might find interesting. Never underestimate the power of your network and make sure to keep in touch with them regularly!
What was the interview process like?
Uber has changed its interview process since I interviewed but I had 4 “interviews”. Started with a call w/ HR, then was given an at home analytics test before having a 1v1 interview with a hiring manager and ending with a on-site super day.
What originally seemed like a daunting process actually made me more eager and interested in the role! By the time I finished interviewing I had done so much research and was so excited about working for the company that when the offer came in I knew it was a no-brainer to accept.
So, you decided to become a Mentor at Skillful. What are your favourite things about being a mentor?
💭 Watching the individual growth and understanding of the Skillfulers from Day 1 to the ending presentation day - it’s amazing what they can accomplish in just a few weeks
👀 Seeing the team dynamics at work! Watching strangers become friends and develop into their own network is energizing to see
🤝 The access to the Skillful community! It’s amazing to see how many smart, talented, driven people there are that are also willing to help and drive each other forward - it’s truly inspiring
What's your favourite way to keep involved with the community, beyond mentoring?
Attending virtual speaker events and participating in the Slack conversations!
Tell us more about your role at Uber! What team are you on?
I work as a Strategy and Special Projects Manager for Uber’s US and Canada Rides business. In this role I report directly to the Head of US City Operations and work on leading and driving Special Projects forward that span multiple teams and cross-functional stakeholders at Uber. It’s a fairly new role - there’s currently only two of us at the company in this role - so it’s also been a unique opportunity to be able to help scope and define what success looks like.
What's a cool project that you've worked on?
- Project Objective / Overview: Determine the root cause of rising wait times for Uber across the US and Canada business over the past year! What’s going on?
- Your Role: Led a team of four analysts to find out the cause of rising wait times, propose solutions and put them into action
- What made it so rewarding? I could see the results of my work in real time when we implemented the solution! My work helped uncover a nearly $600M business opportunity for the company that is being scoped and acted on today!
Okay, let us in on the good stuff - what's a fun perk you can expect when working at Uber?
Pros: You get free Uber credits each month!
Cons: You’re now automatically the friend who calls the Uber every night
Any advice for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? What advice would you have given your former self at the beginning of your job search?
RELAX! I haven’t had a fairly “traditional” career path and there have been many times over the years where I’ve been worried / stressed that things aren’t working out as perfectly as I drew them up in my head or that I don’t have things as figured out as my friends or colleagues.
As long as you have a solid process that you’re committed to, things will work out and there’s no need to be so hard on yourself. Just because a door has closed doesn’t mean another one - with perhaps even better opportunities - won’t open.
And now, a few fun tidbits about you!
📰 Where you get your daily news: Morning Brew, NY Times Morning Update, and a little too much Twitter
🎨 What you're doing outside of work: Struggling to improve my golf game
🌟 A CEO or leader you admire: Masai Ujiri
💡 Fun Facts:
1. I’ve never intentionally eaten Ketchup (the color / texture combo throws me off).
2. I’m a soccer fanatic (Manchester United is my club) and have been lucky enough to sit pitch-side at Old Trafford for a match vs. Liverpool!
*Interview has been edited for clarity & style.