Experience at Experian
On Wednesday, Oct. 12, Daniela Kolusheva, former Harvard professor and now Senior Data Modeler at Experian, returned on campus to share her journey after her graduation in 2002 and to give students some useful tips as well as information from within one of the leading global information services companies with offices in Bugaria. Her talk on Data Analytics and on her time at Experian seamlessly transitioned into a pop quiz in risk analysis when she gave students a problem to solve, the conclusion from which was that married people are more stable.
Kolusheva discussed her “not so straightforward journey” to Experian and shed some light into “what that strange animal decision analytics is.” Supposedly the “sexiest job in the 21st century,” data analytics is more than crunching numbers, Kolusheva said. Rather it is about “knowing which numbers to crunch” to get to the answer. She also presented current students with information about the company’s internship options.
A semester-long part-time internship targeted towards students with programming skills and a summer compressed training are offered so that students can “figure out whether this is what they want to do.” Kolusheva also encouraged AUBGers to take advantage of the internal referral program that they have in place as many of our graduates work for Experian. However, she warned, “while that will help you to the door, how hard you push is up to you.”
With offices and clients around the world, communication in Experian is mainly in English and work is handled via virtual teams. Kolusheva talked about her current position and her team, praising Experian for having a very relaxed atmosphere. “It’s important that you end up in an environment which is open to new ideas,” she added.
“She was clearly very excited to talk to us, and that made it easier to approach her and ask questions,“ said Blagovesta Dimitrova, a third-year student.
“If you can’t stand them [the bosses] at the interview, I strongly advise you not to take the job,” Kolusheva advised. She stressed the importance of finding a job that is focused on your growth even if that ended up a less lucrative option. “I want to work for a company that cares about the community,” said Kolusheva, and expressed her hope for a possible financial literacy initiative in Bulgaria.
And even though soft skills such as team play and positive attitude will get you far in management, according to Kolusheva. “You can’t have only the sugar, you need some of the medicine too,” she joked. Programming skills, competence with numbers and statistics, and a degree in quantitative subject is what is going to get you up the ladder.
“Make the best of your time here and acquire that knowledge, as it gets increasingly more difficult later on,” she advised the current AUBG students. But as a former “student athlete” in kibitchene (or hanging out) at places such as Under, Kolusheva quipped that gathering that knowledge should not come at the expense of social life.