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      November 29, 2021

      Data Scientist finds her perfect cultural and technical match at Continental

      The perfect match isn’t always obvious. For example, what’s techy about tires? At Continental, digital solutions and sustainability are key to our future growth. As one of the world's largest suppliers of electronics, sensor systems, and software in the mobility industry, our company has a decisive competitive edge. The missing piece? IT needs you.

      The easiest way to explain what I do is predictive analysis.

      We try to look into the future by using historical data. Then we apply it to things like figuring out how soon we can stop an extruder to make the tires we want while minimizing the production of scrap; or how many tires we need to build in Brazil based on whether we think the market size will increase or decrease in the coming days, months, or years. We get to help the business on many different levels.

      I’m a Data Scientist, but that role doesn’t fully describe what I do.

      Since I joined Continental in 2018, the company has been going through a digital transformation, so a lot of changes have been happening. When I first started, I did full stack development and other database and operations tasks I wouldn’t normally do as a data scientist, but we’ve recently brought more people onto the team so our Data Scientists can focus on the most fun part of the job, the modeling itself.

      The Data Science team is a global team, so our manager is in Hanover, Germany.

      There are a handful of people in Hanover, two of us in Fort Mill, South Carolina (including me), and four more in Portugal. I’ve had flexibility as to where I worked since I started (about 50/50 home/office); we’ve sort of always been a team that meets virtually. Our clients within Continental can come from anywhere in the world, so the pandemic didn’t really affect how we work because we work in the cloud and virtually, anyway (though now I work primarily from home).

      Continental was a perfect match for me from the beginning, because I had moved to the greater Charlotte, North Carolina, area.

      I decided I didn’t want to go back into academia and wanted more cash flow, so I was looking for a Data Scientist position that was nearby. When I saw the job posting, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.

      Since then, the company culture has reinforced why this is a perfect match for me. Our culture is very inclusive and diverse and that is familiar to me, because I’m not American by birth; I was raised between Venezuela and the U.S. The culture at Continental is more global. The first time I went into the lunchroom, I felt like I was at the United Nations, because there were at least seven languages being spoken around the coffee machine.

      There’s also more emphasis on quality, instead of bottom line at Continental.

      Continental cares that things are done right – even if it takes longer to do them. That matched my academic sensibilities. The company also keeps things really interesting. It would be boring for me to only do market volume predictions for the rest of my life. The fact I get to change projects, learn about different parts of the company, and then use my skill set or learn a novel method to solve a brand-new problem keeps things challenging and very interesting.

      I’m an avid mountain biker rider and I ride Continental’s mountain bike tires all the time.

      I was first exposed to Continental as a brand as a road cyclist over 20 years ago. I haven’t had any projects yet for mountain bikes tires, but I love that my job gives me the opportunity to work on tangible things that I can actually improve.

      You should join our Continental IT team if you are an open-minded team player.

      You have to want to learn and realize that maybe you don’t know how to do everything. Don’t come in with your mind made up. Be willing to collaborate and be vulnerable. Humility and curiosity are assets. It’s not an unhealthy competitive environment. You will always be challenged in a good way and have a great team to back you up in your growth.

      Claudia

      Data Scientist

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