A couple of months ago I started a job on a small team of less than 10 members as a data analyst. I had no background in this type of work besides a very small connection to my bachelor's degree being in the natural sciences, and having knowledge of statistics from it. I found I really enjoy this type of work but I am not sure how to proceed diplomatically with my mentor or my manager about getting a larger work load.
Since I am new I was originally given a small work load but I was quickly able to show that I could easily do this work. After that I was given what was considered a large work load, and was able to finish that quicker than expected. I have now been given these supposed "large" workloads 4-5 times and I have, I believe, exceeded expectations. Issue is between these sets of workloads I don't have much to do. Now I feel like I spend too much time not having enough work to do and worry that others will assume I am being lazy.
While I don't like others thinking I'm lazy, I also don't like feeling this way. I feel much better about myself when I am constantly working. I like having something to push for (even if its really boring work or an excessive amount of work), I just like having something to do at most times(I understand sometimes there is downtime). In my spare time I try and learn things I might need for this line of work but I feel with no guidance that I might be wasting my time.
I have tried hinting that I could use more work that's always met with "there's always more work" or something of that nature but never anything done about it. I know the other members are overly bogged down with their work (hence why I was hired).
I would really enjoy continuing this line of work but don't want to burn bridges with my first job of this type by being unimpressive to others who I might later ask for a promotion or job reference (I know this is a bit of an exaggeration but its similar to the worry I have). I know I can sometimes be conceited but I know I am good at what I apply myself to and really want to show it more.
So my question is, am I able to ask my manager for more work without coming off as rude or conceited? If so, how should I go about doing it?
As a side note I'm the youngest member of the team by a few years as well as the only one without a related background in the field. Also my previous job required constant work (without fluff), or you were fired, so maybe I am used to much higher demand than I currently have or is expected from anyone.