What are your key roles and responsibilities in your current positions? What do you like most about your job and what do you find most challenging? 

As a data scientist leader, my primary roles and responsibilities are to develop and implement data-driven strategies to drive progress towards organizational and company goals. I’m most energized by being able to solve a broad array of ambiguous problems 70-80% of the way. The most challenging part of doing data science in a business context is simultaneously navigating problem space ambiguity, evolving requirements, and organizational dynamics all while managing stakeholder and partner team expectations.

List or describe the top 5+ professional skills that are crucial to your role. 

  1. Foundation of DS fundamentals: ML, stats, CS, data manipulation, visualization, Python, SQL, …
  2. Strategic thinking: Identify and advocate for investment opportunities
  3. Project management: Translate strategy into action
  4. Communication: Ability to clearly communicate across a range of audiences (functions and technicality) and project phases
  5. Collaboration

How did your time at Yale shape your career trajectory? For example, what skills and/or experiences did you acquire that have contributed to your career success? 

My PhD experience helped me learn how to learn, do some basic project management, and develop some DS knowledge. However, many of the skills I use most day to day I didn’t really develop/hone until I got to industry.

What were the biggest challenges that you faced when transitioning to different workplaces and cultures? What advice and suggestions can you offer to current students to help them prepare for those challenges?

The biggest challenge I faced was learning how to communicate in a business context. In grad school, professors may press you to deeply understand your analysis method. Directors and VPs in industry don’t care about how you did something though; they just want to understand business impact. The best advice I can give is to embrace failure and risk early on. The more feedback you get early, the more quickly you’ll be able to learn and grow into this new context.

Work Experience
  • Senior Quantitative Researcher
  • Google
STEM PhD Pathways
Connect on LinkedIn