|Language and Linguistic Science|
|Mathematics and Linguistics|
|Digital and IT services|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
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A day in the life of a Knowledge Engineer in the United Kingdom
I loved studying linguistics, but wasn't sure how to apply it in a real-world job. I then discovered Natural Language Processing as an area that involves lots of working with language while making useful things
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I work for Amazon Alexa
What do you do?
I work on understanding all questions customers ask Alexa. I mainly work on meaning representation, and how to leverage Knowledge Graph techniques and automated understanding methods to understand informational questions so they can be answered by Alexa.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I loved studying linguistics, but wasn't sure how to apply it in a real-world job. I then discovered Natural Language Processing as an area that involves lots of working with language while making useful things! I started learning how to code and did some internships around NLP. I then did a master's in computer science with a focus on NLP, and then got hired as a Knowledge Engineer for Alexa after I finished.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Not really - in fact, voice assistants like Alexa or Siri were what I always used as example when people asked me "but what kind of things can you do with Linguistics & Maths/ NLP?"
Describe your most memorable day at work
The first time I pushed a change. It's really exciting knowing that my work will directly impact the experience of millions of customers around the world!
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I was a course rep; being able to identify and collect problems faced by peers & to bring them forward and drive solutions is definitely useful!
I also did a few internships which really helped me move into a field I was interested in - it was a good way to build up more expertise in language technology, which then helped with my masters & with finding a job after!
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
I found looking for internships during summer break really useful - this can help you get experience in a field you're interested in and help you figure out what you like/ don't like, but also build up your skillset
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