Employee Spotlight: Rhiannon Davies
As part of our new blog series, we're doing employee spotlights highlighting our amazing team members. First up is Rhiannon Davies, Data Engineer, who's been here at HIVED for over six months.
First, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do in your spare time?
In a moment of madness, I signed up for the Budapest marathon in October, so I'm spending quite a bit of time training for that (which is far too hot for now). I also enjoy some gardening if I ever need to de-stress. Sometimes I take up a new crafty hobby every other week that I get bored of by the following week.
Before joining HIVED, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
I worked as a waitress in the hotel for a theme park with a zoo! There was a special walkie-talkie code for if a gorilla or lion escaped, and sometimes I'd be driving home and see an escaped antelope on the roundabout. The restaurant had an attraction of South American leaf-cutter ants that walked around in a glass case and would frequently eat through their cage. We had to hoover them up quickly before customers got bitten.
How did you first learn about HIVED, and what initially drew you to the job?
A LinkedIn recruiter approached me. I hadn't considered working for a small company before then, but it seemed really special after they described HIVED to me. I liked the ethos of the mission, the environmental focus, and the idea that I'd get to do a varied role.
On top of that, I also enjoyed my interview. Previously I had been asked why I had always wanted to work in X specific role, which was hard to answer when I didn't know what I wanted to do. Instead, Murvah and Mathias (HIVED co-founders) asked what I would like to do day-to-day in a job, and I have got to shape this role into doing precisely that.
Describe your role and what you're doing at HIVED?
My official job title is Data Engineer, but I'm somewhere between an Analyst and an Engineer. Before I arrived, there was no central location where we stored all our data, so I set up the entire data warehouse and the structures for how we get our data in there. I also work out all the company metrics to see how we are improving and the areas we need to focus on. Lately, I've been working on more complicated things, like machine learning to predict how many parcels we'll deliver in the future.
What do you find the most challenging with your job?
Often someone in another department will have an idea of how they want something done that sounds simple on paper but is difficult to translate into an algorithm. For instance: sorting parcels based on size, but a computer has no idea that 'Large' means bigger than 'Medium'. I don't think this is specific to HIVED, but rather just a classic example of how technical and non-technical roles don’t always speak the same language.
What do you like most about HIVED?
The culture. It's such a lovely, driven group of people who are always ready to help each other. Everyone is so prepared to listen to each other, and it's amazing to have people with so much industry experience asking for my opinion on things six months out of university. Another bonus is that everyone is fairly into cycling, so there's always someone to cycle home with after a couple of beers.
If you could switch your job with anyone else within the company, whose job would you want?
I'm always impressed by what Adrian, our Creative Lead, does. It's incredible to design something and then tangibly see it on vans and cars driving around London, whereas my results are just a bar chart. He really gets to build the basis of the HIVED brand.
What is on your wish list for the next ten years with HIVED?
I'm eager to see the team grow and how the data warehouse evolves. It'll be interesting to see something that I set up the foundations for to be used by other people. I'm also excited for us to expand internationally, and it would be fun to go abroad for work.
And lastly, what advice do you have for future candidates?
Just be yourself, and get across your enthusiasm about the company. Trying to oversell your specific experience isn't a lot of use when you'll be doing fifteen different things here. Instead, stress your motivation for the mission and how you can help make that vision come true.
Bonus question! What's the weirdest fact you know?
Butterfly in Welsh translates to 'little chicken of the summer'.
But wait, there's more! Get some behind-the-scenes by spending a day at HIVED with Rhiannon. Check out the video here.
Have any questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.