She-TO Boost: Cristina

For this week’s She-TO Boost Blog Series, we are pleased to present Cristina — CTO Boost’s Business Analyst. Whether it’s crafting the She-TO Boost questions, sharing a fun tid-bit of information, or undertaking new research, it often seems as though there is nothing she can’t do. She’s even been dubbed the company poet, as she’s responsible for writing the beautiful birthday poems we share for each employee. When she isn’t analyzing research, you can find Cristina sipping on a glass of wine on a patio or training for her next triathlon.

What inspired you to get into tech? 

I became interested in technology as a whole during high school, after seeing how it can be applied to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. After starting in tech doing clean energy research, I started getting exposed to innovation in the digital space during my Masters. I was intrigued by the endless possibilities of data, and wanted to explore this new, fast-paced area of tech, the tech we usually think of in 2019. As they say, the rest is history. 

If there was a such thing as a “typical day” in tech, what would it look like for you? 

Doing or learning something new every day, and having things often changing in a blink of an eye.  One minute I could be doing industry research, the next delving into large datasets, the next I could be breaking down a technical solution for a client, and the next I could be taking some time to whip up a birthday poem for one of my awesome colleagues here. I’m usually focused on the analytical side (being a Business Analyst and all) but when all hands are needed on deck, I draw on other skills to help the team out. 

What direction do you think the tech industry should go in? 

There are so many directions tech can go! Innovation throughout the ages has brought much good, and unfortunately some bad, to society, and I believe the emerging tech of today has the potential to address the excesses brought in from yesterday’s advancements. If I had to choose, my main priorities would be for tech to go towards environmental sustainability, open governments, and boosting food, water, and education accessibility. 

What have been the biggest lessons you’ve learned working in tech? 

That humility is the key to surviving in this industry. That doesn’t mean downplaying your skills and experience, but to accept that continuous learning is crucial to truly being excellent. My first week at CTO Boost involved a lot of hearing of, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” by people who have been killing it in their roles. Whether it’s upgrading your skills or researching out to others for help, there’s always something more to learn in tech! 

When you’re not business analyzing, what do you enjoy doing? 

In case you could tell from the whole working-at-a-startup thing, I love doing a mix of different things with my life. Right now, most of my free time has been going to training for my first Olympic and half-Ironman distance triathlons. Because why suck at one sport when you can suck at three? When I’m not training, I like exploring my artistic side by writing poetry and dabbing into drawing and painting. 

If you were an app, which one would you be? 

Untapped/Vivino. If you’re looking for unsolicited, detailed opinions on different types of craft beer or wine, I’m your girl! 

Have you noticed a difference between your past experiences and being in a female dominated company today? 

Oh boy, here we go… 

I have spent most of my professional life in male dominated spaces, whether in school or work. For the most part, the people I have worked with are great (some have become really good friends of mine) but that’s not to say there haven’t been problems. The truth is that sometimes women can face discrimination and harassment in the workplace, especially in a generally male dominated industry like tech, especially when there is still a bit of a “bro” culture in the organization. Fortunately, things have been changing for most companies, but we do still have a long way to go. Through being in a female dominated company today, I’ve seen how much more of a collaborative, supportive environment it is compared to what I’ve been used to. I also find myself able to be more productive, because I feel so much more comfortable not having to worry about the problems I dealt with before.