“Qualtrics makes it easy to do my job” – Mariia’s Story
I am originally from Kazakhstan and I also lived in Russia for a while and then I moved to Seattle 7 years ago. I got my first degree in Public Relations back in St. Petersburg, Russia, and towards the end of the degree, I realized Public Relations wasn’t something I wanted to do. That’s when I moved to Seattle, and I had to take a minute to figure out what I actually wanted to do for my career. Computer Science was a popular topic in Seattle and I was good at math so I figured I should check it out. So I took a few intro Computer Science classes and really liked it and decided to go for a full degree. I graduated last Fall from the University of Washington with my degree in Computer Science and started my career as a software engineer at Qualtrics!
How does Qualtrics connect with your "why?"
I get a lot of flexibility in what I do and lots of opportunities for growth. Qualtrics is different from other companies because the management team is really open about giving you projects that allow you to grow and learn. They’re very encouraging and want to make sure that the stuff that we work on is enjoyable and that is a good fit for both your skills and interests.
What was the turning point where you knew you 'had to have the job' at Qualtrics?
When I applied I was looking for a job to start after I would finish my Computer Science degree. Qualtrics had a New Grad position open, both the company and the job looked good and that’s all that I knew at the time I applied. The interview process changed everything for me. When I came to the office, I could tell that everyone was happy and really enjoyed being there. They were there because they enjoyed their jobs and not just because they had to work. I also loved hearing about the educational project time that engineers have during their workday to use to keep learning and growing technically. That’s when I thought that Qualtrics would be a great place to start my software engineering career and realized that I really wanted to work there.
What is your favorite part of your role?
I love that I can learn more stuff and I can pick what I work on. I can take my time to really learn and understand what I’m doing and do my best on the projects. I get enough time to get quality work done.
Any tips for someone who is considering a role at Qualtrics? Or advice for someone looking to get into a career like yours? Tips for someone in general?
I would say to study. Qualtrics is similar to how other companies interview technically. Do lots of study on the basics of algorithms and data structures, read Cracking the Coding Interview, and most importantly, be yourself and be open. Ask questions so you can learn about the company and the people that you could be working with. Share about yourself and your experiences. People who interview you really want to know who you are as a person and what it’s like to work with you, so make sure that you tell enough about yourself so they can figure that out.
What has surprised you most about working at Qualtrics?
How simple everything is - it’s very easy to get things done and if something is broken or not working with your code, there is always someone to talk to that can help you. Actually, when I started, I had some issues with having access to systems for my laptop and everyone was so helpful. Craig Kulfan who is the VP of engineering even stepped up to help me and make sure that everything was resolved even though it’s not his specific job. Everyone at Qualtrics is very approachable and there’s not a feeling of hierarchy within the teams. Qualtrics makes it easy to do my job.
How do you feel you've been able to apply what you studied at school to your career?
The foundation that I built in school (data structures and algorithms, operating systems, computer networking) allows me to learn things and ramp up on new projects quickly now.
|Mariia is an alumnus of Saint-Petersburg State Electrotechnical University "LETI" and the University of Washington Bothell. She started her career at Booking.com. Mariia loves hiking. The next hiking destination on the list is Patagonia.|
September 13, 2021