As part two of our month-long celebration of International Women’s Day, we caught up with Monica, our superstar Data Analyst, who transitioned from a career in banking to analytics in tech. Read on to find out more about Monica, what she does at GoodNotes, and how she finds being a woman in the tech industry!
Hi Monica! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us about your job at GoodNotes! Tell us more about your journey towards joining GoodNotes.
Before joining, I was a data analyst at a SaaS company when a GoodNotes recruiter reached out. I was excited about the opportunity since a few people I used to work with joined GoodNotes and have told me great things about the culture. I wasn’t using the app at that time, but several people I know are loyal GoodNotes users and they wouldn’t stop talking about how great the product is. I thought it was a unique opportunity to join a company that has an excellent product and culture.
Were there any specific skills or traits that helped you when interviewing with GoodNotes?
The ability to break down a big problem into smaller, manageable pieces. One of the stages of the interview involves a take-home assignment, and I found it quite overwhelming in the beginning, as the prompt was quite broad. I started by ensuring I had a good understanding of the expected deliverables of the assignment, broke them down into smaller tasks, then came up with a plan on how to approach each of them. For example, I made sure I allocated enough time to areas that I am more confident in, so that I could cover them well and showcase my strengths. For areas that I am less confident in, I allocated more buffer time for research and learning.
What does an average workday look like for you?
It sounds cliché, but honestly every day is quite different! An important part of my job is to speak to business stakeholders like Product Managers to understand the objective of their projects, in order to determine what analysis will be needed. I then work with engineers to ensure that the right data will be available to perform the analysis. Of course, a large part of my day is spent on digging around in the data to uncover meaningful insights. Last but not least, I also have lots of opportunities to present the results of the analysis to the leadership team and other team members. It’s a great mix of working with other people and some focus time to do deep work on my own. I also get to work with a wide range of teams within GoodNotes and I gain a more holistic understanding of our product and business.
How do you think diversity can impact product design and development?
GoodNotes is used (and loved!) by customers from all over the world and for different purposes. Having a diverse team means that we can be more empathetic toward the different needs of our users. A diverse team is also more likely to see things from a variety of perspectives, which means that we can cover each other’s blind spots and avoid potential biases in product design and development.
What do you think are the most important things our community should know about what it’s like to work at GoodNotes?
Everyone here has a strong sense of ownership over GoodNotes’ success. Because of this, everyone is committed to doing their best work, and willing to go beyond their usual scope of responsibilities if it's good for the team. Working with people like this motivates me to show up as my best self and constantly improve.
What questions do you think women in tech should be asking at interviews regarding diversity and inclusion?
- How important is diversity and inclusion to you?
- Does the team have the leadership team’s buy-in on diversity and inclusion?
- What are the recent diversity and inclusion initiatives? What were the results/impact?
- Can you share data on the organization and the leadership team’s diversity?
I would also recommend researching the company’s values and policies to get a sense of whether diversity and inclusion is prioritized (e.g. mention of diversity and inclusion in company values, benefits/policies that foster a more inclusive environment, etc).
Have you found GoodNotes supportive when it comes to your growth and development as a data analyst?
Yes. Because our hiring process is so rigorous, once you join GoodNotes, everyone is confident in your abilities. You’re trusted to work on important initiatives with autonomy since day 1. My manager also helps to identify new opportunities where I can be challenged and grow. In general, GoodNotes as a company is open to the team’s feedback in order to improve how they can support the team.
What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology?
There is research that shows that women are less likely to self-promote than men and are more likely to underplay their performance. One piece of advice that I would give is to describe your achievements based on facts (and ideally alongside some data to quantify the impact), so that you can make your achievements visible, while still staying true to yourself / feeling comfortable about it.
What are you most proud of in your career, so far?
I didn’t start my career as a data analyst. Before I became a data analyst, I was working in banking. Among all my tasks, I enjoyed reporting the most. Specifically, I enjoyed finding underlying trends in data and summarizing insights - that gave me the idea to pursue a career in analytics.
Where I’m from, banking is one of the most prestigious industries to work in, and I worked in some big, well-known organizations. So, some people around me didn’t understand why I wanted to pursue a different career path. I also didn’t have all the technical skills needed for a data analyst role.
I am proud that stepped out of my comfort zone to follow my passion and challenged myself to learn new skills in order to pursue what I am interested in. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made - since I landed my first job as a data analyst, I’ve never looked back. I am so much happier and fulfilled because I enjoy what I do.
Who is a woman you admire/look up to or want to thank?
I want to thank my mom, who has always believed in me and never expected anything less from me. Because of this, I didn’t think there’s anything I can or cannot do because I am a woman.
What is something you feel passionate about outside of work?
I like to travel because I enjoy learning and experiencing different cultures - their language, cuisine and customs. It is such an eye-opening experience. I think this is also why I prefer to work in a diverse organization.