Tess Newkold’s Journey to Tessellation: Always Asking Why

Growing up I was always the kid asking “why?”, I was good at math and science, loved exploring and learning new things. I was the typical nerdy kid who loved reading about why the sky is blue and the grass is green. As I grew up, nothing really has changed. I still ask why. I love learning new things, understanding why things are the way they are. Most importantly, thinking about how I can use data and visualization tools to better understand business problems and help make them better and more actionable.

How I Started a Career in Data Visualization

I went to undergrad at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and studied Biology. My first job out of college was working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as a Laboratory Technician studying the development of the fetal immune system. A few years later I managed a group that studied hematopoiesis and leukemia. Working in basic science taught me how to think, ask questions, and be voracious about learning. We worked alongside a Bioinformatics team, which analyzed the sequencing data our lab produced. Though I loved working in research, I knew that a career in data analytics would allow me to work in many different industries and projects. I decided if I was going to pursue this, I would need to go back to school. Luckily for me, I worked across the street from one of the best. 

For graduate school, I went to the University of Cincinnati for Business Analytics. There I learned so many things and met the best people! One of whom would eventually lead me to Tessellation. After graduation, I consulted with the US Air Force. I can’t say much about what I did there, but let me tell you, it was very cool! I knew right then, I was hooked on using Tableau to discover the unknown. I later went to work for a legal publishing company where I further refined my ability to report data for more business use cases. My work was used in Sales and Marketing to discover trends and ways to improve overall business strategy.

Finally, I ended up here at Tessellation where I could not be happier. I get to work with the smartest people in the business and am learning something new every day. If you are reading this and are curious about a career change or what it’s like to work at Tessellation, please reach out to me on LinkedIn, I am always happy to chat and meet new people. Changing careers can be scary, so talking to others who have made the change can help you realize that it is possible. 

When I’m not at work having fun with Tableau I enjoy cycling, lifting weights, any way to be active. I love trying new restaurants with friends and family. I set a personal goal for 2021 to watch all the Best Picture winners from 2021 back to 1990. Next year I will work my way back to 1980 and repeat until I have made it back to 1929 when the Oscars first aired. Setting personal as well as professional goals keeps me motivated and excited about tackling the day. I want to live my life with joy, determination, and grace. Landing here at Tessellation has brought joy back into my everyday work and I can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for me! 

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