At home in tech: 3 women in Chicago tech share what propelled them into their careers

by Alton Zenon III
May 23, 2019

Everyone’s professional journey is different, and as an employee in the ever-evolving world of tech, there are a number of factors that can influence where you end up in your career. 

For the following women chasing a life-long interest, turning a hobby into a profession and following the advice of a trusted friend all played key roles in influencing their decisions to enter the world of tech. Read on to learn more about their career journeys in Chicago tech.

 

Staff at Tribune Publishing stand for a photo

In addition to the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Publishing operates a number of localized media businesses that include the New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel and more. Associate Account Director Kristine Harth said her path began in a different role at the company, but she followed her innate skills, which led her to where she is now. 

 

What prompted you to pursue your current career within the tech industry? 

I started at Tribune as a college intern through a recommendation from a friend. I started out in a few different roles within the company including marketing, account management and operations. In all of those positions, I worked with salespeople, and all of them told me I would be great in a sales position. An amazing opportunity came along to move into a sales pod of three people, working alongside two senior sales representatives. It turned out to be a great fit for me and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

 

The people at Tribune Publishing have always been like a family, which is why I’ve been here for 11 years and have made many lifelong friendships.”

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

The people make this job the best. I enjoy meeting with our clients and learning something new each day. Due to the diversity of our clients, I have the opportunity to learn about many lines of business and partner with clients on new solutions to meet their challenges. I also get to collaborate with many internal teams to make every solution better. The people at Tribune Publishing have always been like a family, which is why I’ve been here for 11 years and have made many lifelong friendships.

 

GoHealth Business Intelligence Data Analyst Magdalene Odhiambo

Participants in the world of healthcare — patients, agents and carriers — can leverage GoHealth’s end-to-end platform to address and manage their specific coverage or administrative needs. Business Intelligence Data Analyst Magdalene Odhiambo said a love of data drew her to her current role. 

 

What prompted you to pursue your current career within the tech industry? 

Curiosity got me here. In college, I was very fascinated by data. I wanted to know how and why [business] decisions were made. After my first data analytics internship, I realized that data was the answer, and I was hooked. That’s how I ended up in my current role as a data analyst. 

 

I wanted to know how and why [business] decisions were made and after my first data analytics internship, I realized that data was the answer.”

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I get to work with data every day to help the business make decisions. I work with a passionate team that lives, eats and breathes data. We love what we do and enjoy working together. We use SQL and Python to extract and manage data, then visualize it using Tableau for the end user. Basically, I get to do what I enjoy most with one of the best data teams in Chicago.

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Envoy Global team members in a group photo

Envoy Global is an immigration solutions providers, offering companies tools like visa and sponsorship management for their non-native team members. Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Manager Neetha Sindhu said she learned her trade early, and has been applying her professional passion with a desire to help individuals like herself. 

 

What prompted you to pursue your current career within the tech industry? 

I decided to pursue my career in tech at a very young age. I was introduced to coding in my early school years, and the first thing I learned to code was moving a cursor from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ while drawing a line. I was so amazed by it. 

It’s so awesome working at Envoy to use my love for technology in an industry so forward-looking with immigration. Being an immigrant myself and facing all the challenges related to that, I am very proud to work in this industry. Being able to actually make a difference and helping people like me with technology is really cool.

 

Being able to actually make a difference and helping people like me with technology is really cool.”

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

Data-driven decision making is key to every business. I made my way into the data world because I thought it was amazing what we could do with data. It excites me that, in my current role, I am able to not only help the business make data-driven decisions but also to provide valuable and actionable insights to our customers.

 

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