62. Olive Ho – Data Scientist, AEO

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“Struggle is the evidence of progress.”

Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.

We work collaboratively as a team to use data to solve problems. More specifically, we leverage machine learning models, data analysis and visualizations to build recommendations and help customers find the pair of jeans they are looking for!

How do you stay passionate in your career?

We put ourselves into the shoes of our customers to use a data-driven approach to help our customers in various ways. We are motivated not only because we can apply our data knowledge to do cool machine learning projects , but improving customer experiences through personalized online recommendations, sentiment analysis, and more.

Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?

Not really, I started as a Sociology major in college with a minor in Public Policy. During my graduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University, I majored in Public Policy where I learned a lot more about data analytics. After taking some courses, I found that I really like data science and decided to pursue a data career. It was a pretty hard transition at the beginning but rewarding. I am still learning new things every day from reading blogs and from my colleagues, too.

Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?

Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?Python, Pandas, Numpy, Scikit-Learn, Stack overflow, Github

It’s common knowledge that women and femmes often face obstacles in the tech industry based on their gender. Have you ever had to deal with this type of experience and if so how did you handle it?

As a woman in the tech industry, we encounter these issues on a daily basis. We face unconscious biases and stereotypes about how women should present ourselves, for example, women should follow their manager’s instructions regardless. By being up front and transparent, I meet with my manager regularly to review my work and explain my methodologies thoroughly. While we may have different approaches in solving a problem, I am able to gain his respect and prove myself.

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the #womenintech community?

My favorite thing about being a woman in tech is the huge community that support us. Not only women in tech, but many men in tech are so passionate about introducing more women to this industry. “We only grow stronger when we are together.” There are many groups and events in Pittsburgh now that help young girls, young professionals and experienced hires to get into the tech industry.

If applicable, how have you given back to the WIT community?

Yes, I am a professional mentor at Strong Women Strong Girls (Pittsburgh chapter).

What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?

It is never to late to start now!

Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year. 

My colleague and I spent 3 weeks to build a chatbot using Google’s Dialogflow, which was presented to our executives. This chatbot will improve customer experiences by finding their perfect pair of leggings, helping them track a package and looking up return policies. We presented our work at a Data Science conference last month, too.

Favorite quote:

Struggle is the evidence of progress



This post is sponsored by:

Every year, Cisco participates in Girls in ICT Day. We open our doors to young women all over the world and inspire them to pursue careers in STEM through hands-on exposure to the latest technology and engagement with industry professionals.

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