According to Carolina Bessega, being humble is crucial to your success in the tech industry. It seems she, like most experts, follows the general rule that you shouldn’t walk around like you know everything, even when you have decades of experience in the field. Other advice: always do your research, stay hungry, work hard and allow yourself to be inspired by others.
1. WITH MORE THAN 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE AI INDUSTRY, WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED SO FAR?
The most important thing I’ve learned is never to give up. In AI, or in any other field where you’re doing research, you’ll never get the perfect result the first time around. You’ll often be confronted with problems you don’t think can be solved and you might get discouraged, but you must believe that there’s “something you can do”. You must also stay humble. Advancement in our industry is a collaborative effort. It’s extremely complex and nobody starts from scratch because if we did, nobody would get anywhere.
Basically, find an idea, persevere through the process by finding an angle, or solution to your problem and don’t be afraid of being inspired by your peers.
2. SO, WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU’RE CONFRONTED WITH CHALLENGES? HOW DO YOU COPE WITH FINDING SOLUTIONS?
There are two types of overwhelming situations: the first is when I’m working on a project and I can’t find a way to solve a problem. I usually have a brainstorming session with a group of people with different backgrounds. It allows me to hear different perspectives. Sometimes, all it takes is explaining an issue to someone else for the solution to suddenly appear out of nowhere.
The other is when I’m overwhelmed by juggling multiple projects, my trick is organization and coffee. There’s nothing better than the experience of going out for a good cup of coffee. Everything seems to make sense after that. *smiles*
3. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE WITHIN STRADIGI AI?
I’m the Chief Scientific Officer, which means I oversee all projects from both a scientific and business perspective. My understanding of AI and business acumen sets me apart from “pure scientists” and that combination allows me to successfully manage the lab.
On a daily basis, my plate is quite full as I oversee all the research for our projects, offer my knowledge to collaborate and assist our scientists and I also work directly with our CEO. I meet potential clients and perform feasibility analysis on different projects. In my spare time, I try to do research. Attaining a high-level position shouldn’t void you of passion and keep you from working hard and continuing to learn. I truly believe that a manager should be knowledgeable and lead by example. I strive to be the best version of myself and hopefully inspire people to do the same.
4. HOW DOES THE LAB SET ITSELF APART FROM THE COMPETITION?
At the moment, our industry is booming and there are more than enough problems for everyone to collaborate, however we have 3 very important strengths that allow us to stand out from the pack:
- Our multidisciplinary staff of researchers is truly fantastic. Not only are they intelligent, committed and understand innovation, they’re also pragmatic and have a passion for solving problems. This diversity brings a richness to our brainstorming sessions.
- Our innovative spirit – in research and the ability to put products on the market. We develop new AI ideas within our lab, incubate them in our Ventures arm, and leverage our team of engineers & developers to take complex products to market. This symbiotic relationship between the three entities is an incredible advantage that is unique to us.
- The variety of specialization of our partners and advisors. We believe in collaboration. Our executive branch has a great business vision and substantial network, so we’re fortunate to have partners and advisor specialists in different areas of research.
5. WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
My main accomplishment has been reestablishing myself after coming to Canada. Before coming here, I was a professor at the University of Venezuela for 10 years. I was very successful and well-known in academic circles and I came to Canada with nothing, barely speaking French or English. I made a fresh start and had to build my career from nothing. I realized that nobody likes the intern, especially if she’s the smartest person in the room. *laughs*
There were many sleepless nights, but I persevered. I was consistent and worked very hard to prove myself. It took many years, but I’ve finally reached the same level I was at back in Venezuela. I am very proud of that.
6. WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE LAB?
Over the next few years, we want to focus on efforts on the health and sports sectors. My vision for the lab is continue to be the leading AI experts and top consultants and developers for both sectors.
7. IF YOU COULD SWITCH PLACES WITH SOMEONE FOR A DAY – REAL OR FICTIONAL, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Captain James T. Kirk, because he’s the greatest leader I know! He was able to successfully lead a group of people with diverse backgrounds and always brought out the best in them.
He knew that a team who challenges you is more important than the one that says “yes” to everything. He was smart, able to find alternative solutions to impossible situations and he was also incredibly funny! To be the captain of the Enterprise and “to boldly go where no man has gone before”, that’s definitely my dream!
Feeling inspired? Are you looking for an opportunity to work with Carolina at Stradigi AI? Check out our careers page for job openings!