Adesewa Adegoke is a Product Scientist at Indeed Austin. She uses numbers to help deliver products, and ensures that they launch and run smoothly. She’s a twin, and loves listening to music and imagining doing really cool dance moves, but says she’s not a good dancer.
In our next installment of ‘How I Became A….’, she walks us through her incredible journey of becoming a Product Scientist and how her hard work and preparation met opportunity to bring her to Indeed.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Adesewa was never particularly drawn to computers as a kid. The little interaction she had with computers was in high school for an arts class where she got to do simple designs using Corel Draw, but to her this was more work than fun.
“It was my Dad who encouraged me to major in Computer Science, because he said it was the future. I just knew I had to do it well,” she explains.
Even though Adesewa was a bit unsure, she knew she had to give it her best effort. She went on to study Computer Science as an undergraduate at Covenant University in Ota, Nigeria, and later began to actually fall in love with her programming classes. She was fascinated by the concept of writing code, and the fact that you can watch the code do what you’ve laid out for it.
After graduating, she worked as an Integration Engineer for the next 4.5 years. It was during that time she started hearing more and more folks talk about opportunities in “big data.” She was curious, and after doing her research, soon realized it was something she wanted to pursue.
Adesewa decided to take a big leap towards her dream and moved across the world to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There she received her Masters in Information Systems Management, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.
“I loved certain aspects of business intelligence and data analytics, but knew that I didn’t want to just solely focus on the numbers,” she recalls. “I wanted to use those numbers towards delivering tech products.”
While in grad school she spent a lot of time on Indeed.com searching for internships. In fact, she visited the site so often she was inspired to develop an Indeed mobile app as a way to practice her skills, not knowing an opportunity was approaching around the corner.
Her university soon hosted a career fair for students where Indeed recruiters would be in attendance. She had the opportunity to bring up the backstory of how she developed the app in her spare time as a personal project.
“It was definitely the best conversation I’ve ever had with a recruiter. They were actually interested in what I had to say,” she says.
Her proactiveness paid off. It was at the same career fair where she also got the chance to meet some of the Indeed Business Intelligence team, and it wasn’t long before she received an opportunity to join the team as a Business Intelligence Analyst. After just a few months of showcasing her skills, she was able to move into her role now as Product Scientist.
“A lot of Product Scientists are proactive people, they’re not people who lay back and watch things happen, but rather stand up and look for that opportunity and go for it,” Adesewa explains in a video about her team and what makes them successful.
As a Product Scientist at Indeed, her role supports product owners and product managers from ideation, product strategy, execution, as well as experimentation, to the actual launch of products. To sum it up, she ensures that Indeed products will launch and run smoothly. She focuses on statistics and machine learning.
Learn more from Adesewa and other Product Scientists at Indeed about building the team and what makes them successful in the video below.
But even though she’s found success and solid footing at Indeed, it wasn’t always easy. Early on, she struggled with an internal battle she now identifies as imposter syndrome.
“You’re surrounded by so many smart people, and sometimes you forget that you’re smart, you’re there, because you’re smart. Imposter syndrome is a real thing,” she says.
“There have been times when things were not so great and I just told myself, I’m at that low point. But just give it some time, a month from now, a few weeks from now, things will definitely not be the same.” she recalls telling herself.
In spite of the need for some internal pep talks every now and then, she loves that her role is not monotonous and that she gets the opportunity to work on many different projects using different tools, solving different problems.
She looks back on her journey so far and feels proud that she worked on so many different projects that she’s always wanted to do, while staying on her toes and continuing to learn and grow.
She’s also come full circle as she’s currently mentoring a PhD graduate student on a similar path she was on years ago. It’s super meaningful to her because she can now share knowledge and help others walk the path that she helped blaze at Indeed.
“Providing the help you wish you had, makes someone else’s journey a whole lot better. You’re equipping them for a better journey to make the right decisions,” she says.
“If I could do something differently, it would probably be to doubt myself a lot less.”
Some advice she has for others is to be open to information and stay curious about what’s happening in your industry. She believes information is power. Use your research to guide your job search, to identify what job titles/roles to go after and what companies align with your ambitions.
“Remember that life is indeed about ups and downs, but if you try not to be short sighted and know how to look toward the future, things will work out!”