Solving puzzles in my grandfather's library
‘I discovered my passion for mathematics when I was a little girl. My grandparents met and fell in love when they were both studying mathematics, and my mom is a mathematician too. But it takes more than genetics to excel in mathematics. You have to constantly learn and improve your skill. Without the hard work, all the talent in the world will never be enough. And I love it. I love the process of facing a new problem, and at first having no idea how to solve it. And then, slowly, with time and patience, working through it until the solution becomes clear. It’s important to enjoy the process instead of focusing on the solution.
‘I grew up in Georgia, and I lived with my grandparents and my mom. My grandfather had a library in our house, and I remember spending hours with him there, solving puzzles and discussing mathematical theories and approaches. It was my favourite place in the world, and it really enhanced my love of maths.’
Carrying the passion forward
‘Throughout my teens and into my twenties, I competed in maths Olympiads and competitions that strengthened my skills and connected me with great people. I got my Bachelor’s in Mathematics from the university where my grandfather was a professor. We talked about going together to a university abroad – me to get my Master’s, and him to teach. But unfortunately, he passed away in my third year of college. I had another puzzle to sort out. How to carry on without my beloved grandfather, who always shared my passion and supported my work. But I knew he would want me to pursue my dreams.’
Maing a name
'Moving to the Netherlands to get my Master’s was a bit scary, since I’d never lived away from my family before. My classmates were surprised that I would call home sometimes six or seven times a day. But the school and the community really welcomed me. One of my classmates even helped me find my dream job. He interviewed for a position at NN, and mentioned my name and some of the work I had done. A short time later, I got a call from a recruiter, and I interviewed for a Quantitative Developer position. If it hadn’t been for that classmate, I might have never ended up at this place that suits me so well. I feel like it was meant to be.
‘NN encourages you to use your skills and talents in the way that best suits you. And I felt free to learn from my colleagues every day. I worked hard to solve the puzzles my job entailed. NN appreciated the work I was doing, and within a year they asked me to join the IFRS17 team. It was a challenge I couldn’t refuse. IFRS17 is not just one set of regulations to implement. It’s a principle-based system. I’m part of the team that’s testing out different ways of processing and reporting our data and making accounting choices that represent NN as it truly is.’
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