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Nargis Bissett is a Director of Advanced Analytics at Viacom, but don't let the title fool you; she knows her role is more than just synthesizing numbers and data.
"Historically speaking, it's a modern phenomenon that data works at media companies. Data helps companies customize their products for clients. You have to have a belief in the product, an interest in media, an understanding of how data fits into the business and how Viacom's products can be even better and contribute to the success of the company."
Nargis' multifarious academic background in engineering, science and humanities has led her on a winding, yet fruitful journey to her present position at Viacom, where she handles data modeling and database management. That variety has prepared her well for a successful career in media. She explains, "It takes a creative thinking to fit various approaches together, not only for my own future, but for the future of the company. But, overall, my diverse background has helped me to understand the world better and my place in it, to decide what I want to do and where I can implement change. I was always comfortable with math and sciences, but I realized there were things I needed to master to move ahead. Applying academic disciplines to the corporate problems requires developing very different theories."
Nargis feels it's important for her team to approach their work in a similar holistic fashion, to consider how their own work fits into Viacom's greater goals. She says, "We have brilliant and highly technical people with PhDs in physics and neuroscience, but it takes some time for all this expertise to become applicable. And the work needed to understand the business of the company and perform this mental shift to the corporate reality is sometimes underappreciated."
But according to Nargis, Viacom's inclusive and encouraging atmosphere can help employees rise in rank. "Mobility, both vertical and horizontal, is really easy, if one is enthusiastic and has good skills. We are always encouraged to express our opinions, however, uncommon. It's an inspiring environment. Managers not only create opportunities for upward mobility, but expect their employees to be ambitious."
Taking that leap from data to art comes with reward. "Realization is a reward. I realized that my projects and ideas can have a huge impact at a company like Viacom. They may considerably influence the success of our product portfolio."
With a leading global content company like Viacom, home to media networks including favorites such as MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, COMEDY CENTRAL, Logo and more than 160 networks around the world, who wouldn't want to use their data skills to make an impact?
Take that first step and check out Viacom's open roles here.