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How I Got Here: Jasmine Williams, Data Engineer

January 2024

Jasmine Williams, a Data Engineer on the Market Intelligence (MI) Platform team, joined us to talk about her love for problem solving, her career path from fashion to finance, and growing up as a competitive dancer.

Tell us about your role at Point72. 

I am a Data Engineer on the MI Data – Platform team. Every day when I come in, I normally talk to my counterparts and give them a rundown of what I’ll be working on for the day. From there, I am hands-on with a lot of our alternative data sets.  

As a Data Engineer, I’m primarily focused on a lot of ETL processes. ETL stands for extract, transform, and load. I create and maintain the pipelines that take raw alternative data sets and make them a usable resource for other parts of MI Data to transform and publish internally to our customers, the investment teams, for use in their research process. We have hundreds of alternative data sets that we look at so maintaining them all can be challenging. 

I specifically cover the technology, media, and telecom sector (TMT). I think they decided to put me in that sector primarily because of my previous work in a fashion company.  


How did you make that transition from fashion to finance? 

At my prior firm, I was also a Data Engineer but at a startup, looking at fashion companies and gathering metadata and raw data from their sites to figure out upcoming trends in the fashion industry. 

We made clothes based off the trends we saw on social media. Midway through, we found that social media lagged fashion forecasting reports and model runway shows, and it impacted our sales. It was helpful for people who wanted more fast fashion, but their price point was not fast fashion. It was an interesting industry to be in to understand how fashion trends are created.  

I was recruited shortly after by Point72 for the role in Market Intelligence. My background in the fashion industry and working directly with raw data to detect trends was very similar to what I do at Point72 today. Now it’s not just fashion, it’s all of the TMT sector. And that’s how I ended up here. I had no plans of being in finance.   


What do you think makes you a good fit for what you do today? 

I think I have this knack for problem solving and finding the common denominator across what people would assume are quite different work streams. So, A, B, C, and D—I want to find the common denominator between them all. I’m really interested in that, and I think as a firm, obviously we’re interested in that as well.  


How do you think that you’ve grown professionally in your role?  

When I first started, I noticed there was a lot of opportunity for growth in the role. In all honesty, it intimidated me a little bit. I was learning so much just from my environment and by doing, and I had my manager constantly kind of guide me on how I should think about things or how to problem solve.  

In my current role, I’ve found that I have a lot more confidence in my capabilities. Instead of observing the room and trying to gather and learn from the seniors above me, I now give my own two cents about how we should problem solve and what we should be thinking about.  

Now, I lead our TMT data engineering efforts, and I learned that requires a lot more people skills. Previously, I had some difficulty explaining technical problems and decoding them into in a way that might make sense to a less technical person. That is a soft skill that I think I have a pretty good hold on now. It felt like I learned a second language almost, and I find that so interesting and it’s helped so much. 


What do you enjoy the most about working here? 

I really like my team. We have vastly different backgrounds and ways of thinking about problems, but we are all interested in finding that commonality, and we have various ways of going about that, but we’re very encouraging and we like to work together. I find it really fascinating to hear their solutions to hard problems that I often would’ve never thought of. 

We all really want to do well as individuals, but as a team, we understand that people have different strengths, and we can leverage those strengths to achieve a larger goal. It’s really fun and inspiring. 


Tell us a bit more about your personal background. 

I was born and raised in Riverside, California. If you buy oranges, you probably have had one from Riverside. I grew up dancing a lot, mostly hip hop and R&B. But I did the full spectrum because my whole goal was to become a professional backup dancer for large artists. I used to do competitive dancing when I was younger, and stopped when I was 16. 

Southern California is really known for its entertainment industry. Many of my childhood friends are in entertainment now and my brother’s a filmmaker. I always expected that I’d be a dancer. I actually went to see Beyoncé recently, and three of my friends were on stage that I used to dance with.  


What do you do in your free time?  

I currently live in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and if you’ve been there, there’s a lot of artwork and creative people around there. I like to get to know people who primarily use their right brain. I like how they express their creativity in a different way from what I do on a day-to-day basis.   

I also enjoy hosting dinner parties with my friends and trying new recipes. Once you get used to cooking, nothing is really that hard to kind of put together. 


And what do you see yourself doing five, 10, 20 years from now? 

I don’t think I can ever leave data or my analytical role for good. It’s a part of me. I am passionate about what I do right now. I think I’d probably miss it if I was away for too long, so I’ll always come back to it. 

I will say five years from now, I do expect to be exploring some parts of myself that have yet to be discovered. I’m almost certain of it because that’s how I ended up here and I’m really excited for it. 

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