Since I was a child, I have always had a special interest in numbers. As I grew up, this developed into an interest in following a technical career path, but I wasn’t clear on exactly which one. I eventually found the beginning to my passion at NC State.
My bachelor’s degree opened my eyes to the impact that advancements in science and technology would have on society and encouraged me to view those impacts from an analytical point of view. This ultimately pushed me toward my career in big data and advanced analytics.
I see this as the single field that will transform all aspects of life as we know it over the next decades, as big data is poised to push machine learning and artificial intelligence to their full potential and to improve people’s lives. We cannot disregard the dangers that may be posed by these advancements as well, but I believe we will be able to manage and regulate them accordingly.
Since graduating in 2012, I have traveled to more than 50 countries, become fluent in Spanish, completed my master’s degree in big data, made Madrid, Spain, my home away from home (residence immediately following my NC State graduation) and become an emerging thought leader in my field.
Alongside my core work at Google, I was appointed as an adjunct faculty member at IE Business School several years ago, where I teach courses in big data and analytics to MBA students, as well as invited to speak across ten countries and counting.
My degree program at NC State gave me the flexibility to choose specializations that have proven to be the perfect fit. I completed my bachelor’s degree in science, technology and society with a concentration in international affairs and a focus in statistics. My focus in statistics affirmed my love of numbers and gave me the chance to study advanced statistics, which has been a key to my success working in the data world.
My concentration in international affairs connects well with my particular international lifestyle. I moved to Madrid to experience living abroad and ended up never leaving! I learned Spanish fluently during my time here, and I have traveled widely from peculiar destinations such as Oman, Cambodia, Taiwan and Azerbaijan to more typical vacation spots such as Greece, Kenya, Thailand and Germany.
In my full-time position with Google, I use advanced analytics to help some of our top clients in the region reach their full potential, whether through their core digital marketing, global expansion, improved web presence or other strategies. I stay very busy working at Google and teaching at the university level. I found a passion for teaching and enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. During every course introduction, I always highlight my initial studies at NC State as the starting point for my journey in the data world.
Christina Stathopoulos is an analytical consultant and data expert at Google.
This post was originally published in College of Humanities and Social Sciences.