Nationwide is on My Side

Nationwide is proud to be the Diamond Sponsor for the 2022 DataConnect Conference because like Women in Analytics, we’re not just passionate about data, but also the people behind the data. This is why we want to let one of our many amazing data science and analytics associates share, in her own words, what she values aboutNationwide.

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been working in Nationwide’s Enterprise Analytics Office for almost three years. Since joining, I have advanced rapidly, from graduate research assistant to data science specialist, consultant, and now manager. I currently lead a team of five associates—three data scientists and two technical documentation engineers. As a data science leader with an MS in Statistics and prior experience in the financial industry, I have many options when it comes to my career. I’d like to share a bit about why I continue to chooseNationwide.



Between theCOVID-19 pandemic, inflationary pressures, market uncertainty, and accelerating technological disruptions, there is no doubt that we are living in extra ordinary times. Thankfully, Nationwide has a proven track record of making intelligent strategic, allowing the enterprise to prosper in times of turmoil.In fact, Nationwide posted one of its best years ever in 2021, an astonishing feat during this unprecedented time. Part of the Nationwide’s strength derives from the fact that its business extends beyond insurance to financial service sand investments, and it’s focused on building long-term strength. This gives me confidence in Nationwide's ability to survive and thrive, providing opportunities for my growth and vertical advancement as a data science professional.


Opportunities for Advancement and Diversity

My personal trajectory is a testament to the ample opportunity within Nationwide. Our analytics team is growing at a swift pace as we have expanded into our key practice areas of actuarial research, behavioral analytics, high-performance computing, and statistical learning. With this sustained growth, associates have gained opportunities to lead a team of their own or to pitch in on special projects that could land them in a senior consultant role. What’s more, I have seen these roles filled with a diverse slate of candidates. Nationwide values diversity and it’s reflected in our team: my departmental cabinet is both majority women and majority minority.As a first-generation college graduate and Latina, it is important to be able to see myself in those roles.


DataScience Greatness

Through my initial experience as a graduate research assistant with Nationwide, I quickly realized that I was surrounded by data science greatness here. Now, after a couple years, it makes sense why. Nationwide is committed to continuing education for its entire workforce, as reflected by its generous tuition reimbursement plans and “Future of Work” initiative, where associates have paid time allotted for professional up skilling. The data science and analytics team is also especially committed to continuing education. We have monthly modeler’s forums and knowledge sharing sessions where data scientists present on theoretical concepts or practical implementations. Our team also has special interest groups (we call them “SIGs”), which are basically small research teams studying recent advances in topics such as natural language processing or deep learning.We are encouraged to read papers, and we have a dedicated library team to assist in compiling research materials for project work. Here, I get to work on problems that are intellectually stimulating, and there are always opportunities for me grow as a data science professional.



Many new data scientists dream of working at burgeoning startups, or only consider who can offer them the biggest salary. But for me personally, I seek a company with sound ethics, not just in their core business model, but in their leadership and management styles. A mutual company, Nationwide can leverage its diversified portfolio of businesses for long-term consistent growth. Our core mission is to be there when our members need us most, and that's something I can get behind. I would never, in the course of my work, be asked to use policyholder data in “creepy” ways—on the contrary I am expected to escalate something like that if I witness it. Nationwide also truly respects employees physical and mental well-being, and this is important for me to help balance work and life (see also: night life as a rock and roll drummer). The company has generous vacation and paid family leave policies, and its culture of caring for associates has extended to the pandemic era, where we’ve enjoyed flexible hybrid work options and additional pandemic leave time for illness or childcare.



I interviewed with several Fortune 100 companies, as well as some exciting startups, while searching for the perfect place to launch my career in data science, but Nationwide was a clear winner. Even as I’ve continued to receive direct messages with job offers on LinkedIn, it’s been Nationwide’s combination of a sound, ethical business model, technical thought leadership, and genuine caring culture that have continued to make it the right fit for my life and my career trajectory. In short—Nationwide is on my side!


Christina Sousa, M.S.