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Life at Tamr

Stories of career transition and leaping into tech

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“Work for a company that’s doing a good thing and show your value. Don’t worry about your actual position, worry about how you can help the company.”

-Walid Kara, Presales Engineer at Tamr

Walid Kara

Role: Presales Engineer

Walid has an interesting story--Before Tamr, he began his journey as a Mechanical Engineer at Boston University, which led him to work for a medical startup right out of college. He was there at an interesting time when the company was going through FDA approval, and was eventually acquired by a larger company.

  • He’s held four different titles since graduating in 2017. At Tamr, Walid started as a Sales Development Representative, but has since transitioned into his current role as a Sales Engineer.
  • While his roles have changed frequently, one thing Walid has always stuck to is what he knew to be good products.

Advice: “Throw yourself into more side projects--the classes part of school didn't teach me what I’m interested in today.”

  • Something else to point out is the structure of the organization you work for. Walid gives a lot of credit to Tamr for allowing him the opportunity to move internally to something more suited to his goals. He clearly showed his determination and work ethic in the challenging role as an SDR. “You really get to know the product if you take the position seriously, learning about the space and competitors”, he explains. “As an outsider I would have been rejected for a presales job 99/100 times at another organization” Walid predicts. Tamr has a special thing going on with employees and their tours of duty. Everyone is encouraged to grow in their time at Tamr, or as Tamr Co-founder and CEO Andy Palmer calls it, their Tour of Duty. Andy has written extensively about his commitment to each individual’s journey in multiple blog posts about professional development and the link between happy people and healthy startups.
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Liz Michel

Role: Senior Analytics Engineer

Fun Fact: Liz started off thinking she would work in consulting!

Startup perks: Liz really appreciates the opportunity to touch every part of the company and make an impact across the organization and within each team. Her internship at Tamr was totally different from the consulting internship she held earlier, which was more structured with specific things to work on compared to Tamr’s more open-ended projects. She started out as a presales intern when an analytics team did not yet exist. She now has a huge impact on the two-women-run analytics team with Julia Neagu, starring in webinars and contributing to all things graph related.

Check out her latest webinar on Reconciling Disparate Data with Ontologies!

Words to a younger self: “Everyone wants to help you along the way, especially when you’re younger and in college or just starting your career. Email people, even if they're a third degree connection--it’s something easy you can do when you’re in the beginning stages of the recruiting process.”

Words to live by:

Stay true to yourself

Pay attention to what you're interested in.

Keep an open mind

Leave yourself open to explore and gain a diverse background and skill set.

Learn how capable you can be

Allow yourself to realize you’re good at something you never even thought about.

Mingo Sanchez

Role: Senior Presales Engineer

 

Background: Mingo had no inclination of going into tech when he began college. He was always mathematically inclined, but didn’t particularly enjoy it. Freshman year of college, Mingo took Computer Science 101 which ultimately helped set him up for engineering internships during college (including one at Tamr as a Software Engineering Intern!).

Funny story: Mingo is an extremely outgoing person and claims to have brought the productivity down by distracting his engineering teammates at Tamr, hence the transition to presales.

Key driving factors: Mingo always wants to be at a place within a company where he has the ability to make a tangible impact. Previous internships taught him that working at a bigger corporation did not fit within these personal goals. At a smaller company like Tamr, he appreciates being able to work with a variety of people closely where he can gain different perspectives.

Advice: “Don’t just do the first thing that’s offered to you or be afraid to try something different.”

Things to be excited about: "I'm so excited that Tamr is working with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education to help the state better serve its students and educators. I was proud to work on that project early on, and am thrilled now that the case study has been published and we can share that story more widely!"

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“Trust your gut. Things come and go as in the flavor of the month, the cool thing to do. Stay true to what you’re excited about. And naturally not everything is going to work out, but if you trust your gut you will feel a lot more comfortable with your decisions.”

- Louise Baldwin, Solutions Director at Tamr 

Louise Baldwin

Position: Solutions Director

Why tech?: Louise is big on having the opportunity to make an impact at scale. She enjoys always learning, which is a necessity within the world of tech. “The last 10 years will be completely different from the 10 that come after” she explains. Louise enjoys tech because you are always learning and it’s constantly moving.

Background: Louise has a really interesting background and path that led up to her current role as Solutions Director at Tamr.

  • In college she studied Management Science and Information Systems which was an intersection of business and tech.
  • The start of her career was actually in finance-- for the first couple of years out of undergrad, Louise worked in portfolio management. It was much more analytical and less customer facing. And while she enjoyed many aspects of it, Louise was ready to get closer to the action.
  • After four years in the workforce, she returned to school for her MBA and Masters in International Development, which she completed at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School.
  • She completed an internship in Kenya (in-person!) with a small team of 25, wearing lots of hats and another internship in San Francisco at Adobe as a Product Manager.
  • And finally, she is coming up on her 1-year work anniversary at Tamr!

Something to be proud of: Louise worked on a cool project funding telecom infrastructure in Myanmar. It was an unusual case because the telecom market is super developed in most countries; however, because of the military government the country had pushed pause for decades. Therefore, working on this project had a huge impact at scale.

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Shivank Taksali

Position: Growth Marketing Associate

Why tech? Why Tamr?: “There are lots of opportunities for young talent in tech and it’s growing. My family is in the diamond business, but I wanted to break away and forge my own path.”


Background: Shivank is originally from Belgium! He went to Northeastern University where he was an International Business Major. Within this major, students need to pick a concentration. Through the process of elimination and being less interested in other opinions, Shivank chose to concentrate in marketing which is what he continues to work in today. Additionally, through Northeastern's co-op program he had the opportunity to work at Toast and ezCater, other Boston-based tech startups. He also participated in the Entrepreneurs Club at Northeastern which helped to develop his professional network and provided the opportunity to hear inspiring stories from a variety of speakers.


Challenges: Developing his own professional network from scratch while dealing with the uncertainty of obtaining an H1B visa lottery were some of the more difficult things Shivank has dealt with in the process of developing his career. He describes, “It’s hard to be selective in the search, and not apply just for the sake of getting sponsored.” Luckily Tamr fit the bill for Shivank, sponsoring his visa and having a marketing team where he could grow and make an impact.


Advice: "Trust the process. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. But believe that your experience is worthy of landing something meaningful. Anyone can make a difference given the right environment." 

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever."

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