Alyssa Cuyjet | Technical Program Manager
New York, New York, U.S.
Education: B.A. Mathematics, Trinity College, M.S. Statistics, American University
Career stage: Early
What do you do?
My main responsibilities deal with supply and delivery analytics for data centers globally, ensuring that there is enough capacity to meet demand at data centers. As a technical program manager (TPM), this may include more technical work such as writing/reviewing code, running models, and visualizing/analyzing project results, as well as gathering business requirements, defining major steps of a project, and ensuring that work is progressing as expected.
What types of skills do you use?
This job requires a combination of hard and soft skills. Knowledge of optimization, probability distributions, and statistics are needed in addition to coding in languages such as SQL, R, and Python, which are integral to running analytical models and analyzing the results. On top of tech skills, communication with stakeholders is incredibly important to making sure that projects align with their vision, and learning the business helps to see how all the pieces fit together, ensuring that projects will have a meaningful impact.
What are the pros and/or cons of your profession/job?
Pro: Constantly being able to learn. You learn so much by being surrounded by people from different industries and different jobs, which helps when it comes to problem solving.
Does your job offer flexibility?
So far, I’ve been able to keep a good work/life balance. I try to avoid checking emails/messages after logging off for the day and I don’t feel pressure from management to do so.
What career path did you take to your current position?
After completing two summer undergraduate research programs, one theoretical and one applied, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in analytics. Upon completing my grad program, I started as a modeling analyst within the auto insurance industry. I built upon the skills that I developed in school while developing soft skills and learning about business, which is important to ensure that analyses are useful. After that, I moved into a data scientist role at an education technology startup. There, I applied my prior work experience in regression/machine learning while also learning more about data engineering and business intelligence. My current position sparked my interest because it combined my desire to continue working in data analytics and to strengthen my business and management skills.
Was your career path well planned or a result of taking opportunities as they arose?
My career path was a combination of planning and opportunity. While in my first job, I knew I wanted to relocate to New York City, continue doing similar work, and take on a new challenge. When an opportunity presented itself, I took my current job.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing a similar degree or profession?
The data world is vast, so I would recommend trying to find positions that allow you to get experience (or visibility) in different areas: data engineering, business intelligence, analytics, data science/machine learning. This can help you get a better idea of what you want to pursue long term.
Was there anything that surprised you when you started out in your career?
The importance of grasping the business side of things was a surprise. It helps you to understand how your model/results are working, whether results are expected, or if there is an issue.
Typical salary for TPMs can range from $80K–$200K+ depending on experience and location.
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