Welcome to “Keeping up with the Kineticans”, a casual interview series where we talk with some of our awesome teammates about life at Kinetica, their careers, and more. In this interview, I talked with Solongo Erdenekhuyag who’s a PMO Manager at Kinetica. Solongo’s interview is one of three special interviews for International Women’s Day. Check out Dipti and Irina’s interviews too!
How did your career path lead you to Kinetica?
I started out my career in technology management as a contractor to the Federal government, leading numerous high profile programs and consulting to the CIO on key strategic areas such as IT planning/budgeting, enterprise modernization, organizational performance improvement, new technology adoption, vendor management, and more. After working in the Federal sector for several years, I wanted to further challenge myself in a faster-paced environment. I joined Kinetica because it was a great opportunity to grow my tech leadership skills through delivering solutions using breakthrough technology such as an active analytics platform.
What is it that you enjoy most about working at Kinetica?
There are two aspects that I really enjoy about working at Kinetica:
- People: I really enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and experiences and building crucial relationships that help us deliver our projects successfully. I like problem solving with our customers and collaborating with some of the sharpest technologists that I’ve worked with in my career.
- Technology: Being at the forefront of the delivery of our strategic projects, I get to see all the detailed nuances involved in implementing large complex technical solutions which helps me appreciate our technology in a broader, more practical context in the big data ecosystem rather than a theoretical POV.
What’s something you recently accomplished in your position you’re proud of?
I led my first overseas project in Asia for a large telecom customer where we delivered a solution that had material impact on how they run their business operations. I’m proud of this project not only because of the value we delivered to our customer but because it challenged me on all levels personally and professionally. Working and living 10,000+ miles away from home by yourself for half a year forces you out of your comfort zone like no other. Language and culture barriers or getting lost become the new norm. Your perceptions become heightened, making you more aware of your surroundings, people and new experiences. You also recognize that regardless of where we come from, how similar we all are when you get to the root of it.
What do you think is the best part about being a woman in the tech industry?
I think that a female perspective in an otherwise male-dominated environment is really invaluable. Because men’s and women’s brains are wired differently, we approach a problem or a solution from very different perspectives. Women are more detail oriented and intuitive in a sense that we can detect minor nuances that men may easily overlook (I’m generalizing here obviously but you get my point). Also, having female leadership in a male-oriented environment can not only help disarm tense situations but create a non-threatening, friendlier environment that can substantially impact the success of your outcome.
What advice would you give to a woman considering the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?
I would highly recommend women to get into the tech industry as there are so many areas to add value not just in a technical capacity. One of the biggest realizations was that (as simple as this may sound) not everyone knows everything. It’s okay to not know or understand something. This is especially relevant in an area where we’re working with emerging technologies and new innovations that occur rapidly. In this case, Google ends up being your best friend and you get to be a better researcher and quicker learner from working in a fast-paced tech startup environment. Also a big advice would be to not hold back from showing your personality in a professional setting and speaking up about topics that you’re passionate about. I think part of this naturally comes from experience where you become more confident in your abilities as you overcome obstacles and develop your skill sets.
Who is a someone you look up to, has been a mentor, or has inspired your career that you’d like to mention?
As I grow personally and professionally, every year I find new people that inspire me to be a better version of me. This year, Marcus Aurelius’s quotes have really resonated with me and inspired me to be more stoic and handle challenges better. His main message is, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” I find this incredibly positive and applicable to how we conduct our day-to-day operations.
From a more pragmatic standpoint thought, I try to learn something from everyone because each of us have our own unique strengths that can be a lesson to someone else. From our company for example, our co-founders, Amit and Nima have inspired because they’ve achieved a lot in a relatively short period of time. I admire their entrepreneurial spirit that’s brought an idea from inception to the thriving company as we know Kinetica today. I’m also inspired by some of our leadership team from CEO to our CPO who exemplify high caliber professionalism both internally to our teams and externally to our customers and partners.
How do you feel Kinetica innovates for change?
Innovation is one of the core characteristics of this company and that’s why we’re here. We have an innovative technology with a compelling story that we get to tell through solving practical yet complex challenges for our customers. We’re innovating to meet the evolving market needs and our teams are evolving to collaborate better to support those needs.
Kimberly is on the People team at Kinetica.