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By Plamena Todorova

Ivy League Chooses The Language Industry

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We are diverse. We bring our full selves to work. We are the global Welocalize team. In this section of the blog, we share how we navigate our careers, what brings us to Welocalize, and most importantly, what keeps us here. Come get to know us!

Our goal is to inspire you, to highlight a few career tips and tricks, and to share what we love about working at Welocalize. We are building an insanely great company at full speed. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our career development hints and tips, career stories, and occasional job vacancies.

If you are an aspiring data scientist or work in IT, it is quite likely you are aiming to land a job at one of the top tech companies. These are the natural go-to places for young talent from top universities.

However, tech companies are not the only place you can grow your career in. Consider exploring other industries if you want a fulfilling career in data science and IT. The language industry can present you with an unconventional career path to the job of your dreams. Just like it did for Sumeet Kotaria, Associate Data Scientist, BI at Welocalize.

In his own words

My name is Sumeet and I’m an Associate Data Scientist at Welocalize. My work revolves around analytics, data engineering and machine learning. 

I am originally from Mumbai, India and I currently live in New Jersey, US. I came to the US in 2018 to complete a master’s degree in Operations Research with a focus on analytics at Columbia University in New York.  

How would you describe what you do at Welocalize to a 5-year-old? 

I help people at Welocalize get access to data or information which they can use to make decisions. This data or information helps people make all different kinds of decisions which otherwise people will have to take using their gut feeling or guessing. The adults call it data-driven decisions or analytics.  

Studies & Early Career of the ‘wannabe entrepreneur’

After completing an engineering degree in India, I worked in a startup for a year before deciding to study a masters. Moving to the US and studying with some of the brightest minds at Columbia University has been difficult at times, yet the greatest learning experience of my life. Between spending weekends doing assignments and burning the midnight oil for exams, I learned the true meaning of hard work.

The two best things that happened while studying were getting an internship at United Nations and an opportunity to start my own company. The experience working at the UN helped me learn Power BI.

Interning at the UN’s peacekeeping department also provided a perspective on how data can be used as a way to improve people’s lives and help maintain peace in countries still suffering from conflicts in the world.

During my last semester at Columbia University, I started a company with a friend and built a prototype around it while being in an accelerator program. Fun fact about me, I have been a “wannabe entrepreneur” since my college time and this is the fourth company I have started since. Unfortunately, we had to shut down the company but it is an experience I will always cherish. After graduation, I was looking for a job and I applied for a role at Welocalize. After a few fun and challenging interviews, I was successful!

What are the three most important things you have learned during your time at Welocalize? 

Fortitude – it has been so inspiring to see how our CEO, Smith Yewell stays so calm and composed during these troubled times. I think this is an essential trait for a leader and I hope I develop this kind of level-headedness in my career. 

“I’ll figure it out” mentality – When I started working at Welocalize, I knew very little about Power BI. With help of our Super Users, asking hundreds of questions, reading articles over the web, I kept learning new things and improving my knowledge on the tool. It feels great when you figure something out on your own! 

Communication trumps deadlines – There have been occasions where I’ve not been able to meet deadlines but whenever I’ve reached out to stakeholders in advance telling them I’ll be late in delivering, they’ve been okay with it and have been generous enough to push the deadlines further. I was advised by our VP of Talent, Brennan Smith, “Let them know in advance and set an expectation” and this has been very useful for me.

How would you describe the Welocalize culture to someone outside of the company?

I would say it’s a culture of learning and innovation. During my time at Welocalize, everyone has been working towards making things more efficient. Everyone is appreciative and encouraging of new ideas or anything that improves current processes.  

You are also not expected to know everything and you can be vulnerable about it without feeling embarrassed. Instead, it opens up the opportunity to learn new things and everyone is there to support you. 

I also like how the leadership in the company are very much accessible and available to help whenever any help or guidance is required. 

If you want to come work with Welocalize, check our latest tech jobs.

About Plamena Todorova

Plamena’s eclectic professional journey encompasses digital marketing and strategy, talent acquisition, and lately employer branding. The red thread connecting all her professional experiences is her passion for creating novel solutions and working to solve complex problems. She is always busy building something, be it bridges between people and ideas, or bold visions for a brighter future. She currently leads the Employer Branding & Culture Program, where she finds creative ways to tell the world why Welocalize is a great company to work with.

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