carla gentry

Carla Gentry – Data Nerd Extraordinaire

Her twitter handle gives it away. She is a self-proclaimed “data nerd”. Typically, the word ‘she’ and ‘data nerd’ don’t go hand in hand. But Carla Gentry is not your typical woman. Carla, currently a data scientist at Talent Analytics Corporation, was a high school drop out. Married at 17, had her first kid at 20 and divorced at 23. With numbers like that, that would have been the last we ever hear of anyone like her. Married at 17, kid at 20, and divorced at 23 and now a data scientist at an industry-leading firm? Scratching your head? If you want to hear more about her story, you must listen to this podcast interview. I am blessed with so many things in my life but my interview with Carla is one of my finest accomplishments to date.

Below is the link to podcast.

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Some nuggets from this interview.

The struggle for her first break ….

I had a degree in Mathematics and a degree in Economics but no one would hire me because I had no experience and that seems to be the 800-pound gorilla in every room of every new graduate

How she got her first break…

the part about me being a single mother and struggling is what made the president hire me. He thought if I had enough drive to work three jobs, raise two little kids plus go to college full time then I must have something.

What her mentor did to encourage her …

he always pushed me to want to know ‘why’, you know, to never be satisfied that, you know, this follow this trend. ‘Why’, you know, ‘why did that happen

Her father’s influence on her…

My father had a huge impact in my life. He always encouraged me to do anything and I want to no matter if I was a female. He said that I could do anything that I wanted to and I should never let anything stop me and my father recently passed away in April and, you know, that sadness that I had in my heart I also want to use that as a passion to show other people that just because that they think they have failed throughout their life, that there’s always a second chance or a third chance or in my case a 27th chance.

There are so many nuggets in this interview that my article would never end. Instead, I’ll let you listen to that interview for yourself. Below is the link to podcast again.

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Let me know what you think of it. For me, it was truly inspiring and uplifting. Makes me want to believe that there is not a thing I can’t do in my life. How about you?

To read more about some other extraordinary women in data science, please visit our ‘women in data’ section.

Women In Data

If you want to follow Carla, you can do so on her page on our web site.

About the Author Ramesh Dontha

Ramesh Dontha is Managing Partner at Digital Transformation Pro, a management consulting and training organization focusing on Big Data, Data Strategy, Data Analytics, Data Governance/Quality and related Data management practices. For more than 15 years, Ramesh has put together successful strategies and implementation plans to meet/exceed business objectives and deliver business value. His personal passion is to demystify the intricacies of data related technologies and latest technology trends and make them applicable to business strategies and objectives. Ramesh can either be reached on LinkedIn or Twitter (@rkdontha1) or via email: rkdontha AT

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