Business Analyst — I am a Technical Business Analyst in our core banking team. My job consists of figuring out what our clients need and helping design, describe, and test solutions within our product that meet these needs.
Can you tell us about your background and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Alabama in the U.S. near the Gulf of Mexico. English literature was my first love, but I moved to Estonia ten years ago to pursue my long-held interest in linguistics at the University of Tartu. The coursework was in Estonian, so this was quite challenging. After graduating, I moved to Tallinn and worked for a bit at a small digital marketing company, and from there I made my way into the IT world, first as an analyst, then briefly as a developer, and now again as an analyst. I suppose I’ve gotten to where I am today through rather unconventional means, but the road less taken is still a road, and each step has felt like the next natural progression for me.
You’ve certainly had an unconventional journey! What attracted you to pursue your studies in Estonia?
I was at a crossroads in my life, trying to decide where to go for my master’s degree. In these situations, I sometimes turn to poetry for answers. In my search, I came across the poem “Tähetund” (‘Stellar Hour’) by the Estonian poet Betti Alver, and already from her first lines, I knew I had found my destination. I always say that coming to Estonia for the first time felt like coming home. I have never thought of leaving.
After finding your way to Estonia, how did you find your way to Tuum?
I wasn’t actively looking for a job before finding Tuum. One day, Mia reached out to me and invited me to have a chat; afterward, I remember thinking, “I want to work there.”
How has your experience been at Tuum so far?
I like that I have a lot of autonomy and that I am never bored. Also, I enjoy getting to work with such competent, interesting people.
As Tuum is scaling, we have a lot of new joiners, what advice would you give to them?
Don’t be afraid to take initiative or to share your ideas. Also, the more proactive you are, the more successful you’ll be.
Moving onto more personal questions, can you share with us some fun facts about you that most people would be surprised to know?
Of course. I love writing; it is my passion (other than horses). I write speculative fiction and poetry, and I am trying to finally finish my novel. Speaking of horses; I have two Akhal-Teke horses, (half-brothers) named Mamur and Matador. Mamur is a sensitive and super intelligent but difficult horse, so I have had to rethink a lot of what I thought I knew about horses. Gaining his trust has been one of my great life achievements. Matador is my riding horse. He is very social and will never say no to food. Lastly, I enjoy traveling and would like one day to go horseback riding in Mongolia.
As a passionate writer, do you have favorite books that you find inspiration from?
It is impossible to pick one. I am a huge fan of Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin). I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, so Hyperion (Dan Simmons), The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss), The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin), A Deepness in the Sky (Vernor Vinge), The Fifth Season (N.K. Jemisin) are all personal favorites.
After a hard day at work, how do you wind down?
Outside of work, you will find me either at the barn, buried under a blanket with a book, or playing video games. I also won’t say no to going for a beer with friends or colleagues.
Michelle is waiting for you to join the team, check out our career page at https://tuumplatform.com/careers/.