Ellen Cousins, PhD – Creating History: Women in Tech & Business Leadership at Athenium Analytics
This March we celebrate Women’s History Month by recognizing some of the fantastic women at Athenium Analytics. Our company is so proud to have so many exceptional women across all of our teams, including meteorology, data science, engineering and product management. These women are making history every day by solving some of the toughest problems in the insurtech world. Karlene Kiskinis, Design & Social Media Manager at Athenium Analytics, will be interviewing women all month long and sharing their stories and insights about their careers in tech.
Meet Dr. Ellen Cousins, PhD. She is the Chief Science Officer here at Athenium Analytics, managing a team of 16 data scientists who build products across AI, predictive analytics, insurance and more. Ellen started as a first-generation college student at Dartmouth and built a successful career as a STEM-focused executive. Ellen’s confidence and determination are an inspiration to women pursuing careers in STEM.
Name: Ellen Cousins, PhD
College / Grad School (and Majors): Dartmouth College with a Bachelor’s Degree and Ph.D in Engineering Science
Title: Chief Science Officer
Time at Athenium Analytics: Since 2014 (4 years 7 months)
How did you start your career?
I started my career on the academic track. I had a professor in college I really liked, and I received the opportunity to work on some research with him. I also really enjoyed my TA jobs as an undergrad. These opportunities led towards becoming a professor, through a PhD and postdoctoral research fellowship.
What was your very first job?
Throughout my adolescent years, I worked with my mom doing landscaping. In high school, I worked as an office assistant at the charter school I attended. I also worked as an academic tutor at the local community college. I tried to keep my students from discovering I was still in high school!
What was the most challenging part of getting to where you are today?
Growing up in a small, under-resourced community and the first generation of my family to attend college meant there was so much I didn’t know about the business world. It didn’t help that I started out on the academic track, with all my mentors being academics. Before interviewing for industry jobs, I did informational interviews through my alumni network and a lot of Googling about roles in industry.
Do you have any advice for women pursuing their career in science?
Take all opportunities to learn from others. Seek out feedback and advice, but also be careful of imposter syndrome – be confident in what you know and don’t let your mind tell you that you don’t belong.
What do you like most about working for Athenium Analytics?
Definitely the people. I love the team, both my team and the other teams that I interact with. I appreciate the mentorship of CEO Bill and CTO Tom. I enjoy the day-to-day collaborations and learning with my peers and team members.
What inspires you to keep working at Athenium Analytics?
I’m motivated by opportunities that help solve difficult challenges and problems. Serving our clients and helping them solve their problems is rewarding for me.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy running, walking my dog and baking.
What is your favorite book/podcast/movie?
I like decompressing on the train with British detective novels.
Athenium Analytics would like to thank everyone for reading career insights from the inspiring women at our company throughout the month of March. We hope that the determination and success reflected in their stories is an inspiration for women across all industries.