New York Life's headquarters is a gorgeous, gothic National Historic Landmark, located adjacent to the Flatiron District's scenic Madison Square Park. After over a decade of living in NYC, I was thrilled that my first time inside this legendary building would be for a PowerToFly event highlighting New York Life's data science and analytics leaders.
PowerToFly's event with New York Life was held on Thursday, October 25th, inside New York Life's Ben Feldman Auditorium. After guests navigated the ornate lobby, they were welcomed with delicious food and drinks and had the chance to network with both members of the New York Life data and hiring teams as well as their peers.
PowerToFly's CoFounder and President Katharine Zaleski started the night off by introducing New York Life's SVP/Head of Retail Life Alex Cook. "We are always finding ways to be collaborative because we know a diverse culture leads to innovative and new ways of thinking, which are critical to the future success of the company. I'm impressed that a company like ours that's been around since 1845 and is as large as we are, how quickly we're moving on multiple fronts. For example, in just the last two to three years we've built a 50-person Data Science Team We're also making a lot of investments in our infrastructure and our technology capabilities. We're now at a point where everywhere you look in the company, we're transforming something," explained Cook.
Alex went on to speak about how New York Life uses data in assessing mortality risk and the inherent challenges involved. "You don't know whether your calculations are accurate for 10, 30, even 70 years. It's a very difficult problem to solve and very intriguing from a data science perspective."
As Alex concluded, he introduced CVP, Advanced Analytics Rita Fuller who discussed New York Life's Data Science Academy which, as Rita describes it, "is a program with two educational tracks designed to increase knowledge of Data Science and Analytics for our employees.." The Data Science Academy is part of a cultural shift to generate greater understanding of data science and to create an environment in which New York Life data scientists can thrive. The program features two educational tracks. The technical track is for those who want to gain or improve your skillset in statistical modeling and machine learning. The business track introduces you to case studies involving analytic solutions to foster an analytical mindset. Rita then introduced an insightful short video that provided a better glimpse into a "day in the life" of the data team.
Next up, Katharine introduced our amazing panel of New York Life leaders which included Michelle Bottomley, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer; Glenn Hofmann, VP & Chief Analytics Officer; Mary Louie, CVP & Lead Data Scientist and Beth Schumacher, CVP Human Resources/Training. Our experienced panel discussed their latest projects, how they keep current on the latest tech trends and dove a bit deeper into their individual career journeys. The formal programming for the evening ended by opening up the floor to questions from the audience.
But the night wasn't over yet! Our attendees had plenty of opportunities to network with the panel, members of the New York Life team and each other before the evening eventually drew to a close. As they exited, our guests were greeted with a complimentary copy of a book to remember the evening by. All in all, this was a fabulous New York evening with an iconic New York company.
I have a friend whose discerning toddler refuses to eat her preschool lunch unless it's in a bento box. I get it; baby carrots are much more appealing when stacked in their little compartment than not. That made me think: when did adult lunchtime stop being fun? When did a soggy sandwich brought from home or a $12 bowl of greens, scarfed down in 10 minutes while scrolling through emails, come to define midday sustenance? Enter adult lunchables.
A Q&A with Netskope's Senior Engineering Manager May Yan
May Yan has spent most of her impressive decades-long engineering career in California, but I asked her to take me back to the beginning — to when she first moved to the Golden State from China to get her Master's Degree in Computer Engineering at Santa Clara University. Were there any challenges, I wondered, as she adjusted to life and corporate culture in the U.S.?