Interview with Mary Ann Bajar, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Optus

Mary Ann Bajar
Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, Optus

Tell us about your current role

At Optus, we’ve embraced Agile ways of working. Under our Agile methodology, I belong in the Data and Platform Management Tribe under the Data Visualisation and BI Chapter, and am part of the Data Innovations squad within the Analytics tribe, as a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst.

Being a BI Analyst in Optus is exciting. It empowers me to use new and exciting tools to be able to mine data and provide actionable insights and analysis to our stakeholders.  I get to work on key revenue generator projects, while exploring new tools to deliver better solutions.  I particularly enjoy hackathons where we work as a Chapter to innovatively solve business problems using analytics, advanced machine learning, AI, and much more.

One of the many rewarding things about my work is that it has tangible impacts on our company strategic objectives. I personally find it motivating to be able to see our Tribe’s work come to life.  That, and the abundant opportunities to learn new things. At the moment, I’m proud to be part of the first cohort of OptusU!

As we look to the future in our Data and Platform Management Tribe, we’re looking to continually improve our delivery capabilities. We’re aiming to leverage the cloud for more efficient and flexible data platforms.

Tell us about your career journey

I’m proud of my career so far, having worked in both the Philippines and Australia.

Before I migrated to Australia, I was working in the Philippines in IT. When I had children, I made the decision to become a full-time mum as it was the best decision at the time for my family.

When I arrived in Australia, I started with Optus initially as a Commissions Controller within the IT area. My role involved responding to commissions queries and then later on evolved into processing monthly commissions for dealers and franchisees. It was my first role within IT in Australia, and it reignited my passion for the field.

I then pivoted my career and moved into an area of Optus that was at the time called Optus Business as a Commissions Analyst. This was a fantastic role as this enabled me to broaden my Commissions business knowledge into Optus Business products. The role also allowed me to be closer to the systems and the technical side of commission process.

In 2020 my career at Optus came full circle, having landed a role back where it all started in IT. I’m so glad to be back in IT – we’re really making a difference to our business and our customers.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

If I was to summarise it in one word, it’s equality.

To me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating what we have collectively achieved whilst acknowledging what work still needs to be done to create an inclusive world.

International Women’s Day gives women confidence, no matter your background or colour of your skin, to be empowered to challenge gender bias and inequality.  

It’s also about raising awareness. I read an article recently about powerful female leaders in tech and our CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin was included on that list. As a female in IT, it was so encouraging and inspiring to read.

What top tips would you give women pursuing a career in IT?

1. Be bold and confident – with any field of work, give it your all. Be bold, confident and passionate about your work and your ideas.

2. Make sure you’re always learning something new – the world of IT and Telco is an ever changing one. It’s important to keep challenging yourself to learn something new.

3. Be inspired and inspire others – surround yourself with the right people who inspire you to grow, learn and be the best version of yourself. Then be that person who inspires others through your actions, support and mentorship.

If you had the chance to speak to your younger self, what would you tell her?

I would tell my younger self that every change comes with opportunity.

Whilst I’ve realised that change can sometimes be unsettling, it comes with new things to discover. Since I started at Optus, I have challenged myself to embrace change and it has led to the most wonderful opportunities and career journey.

Finally, I would say follow your passion – let it always be your guiding star.