Skip to main contentA logo with &quat;the muse&quat; in dark blue text.
Advice / Career Paths / Career Stories

From Intern to Engineer: How a Recent Grad Launched Her Career in Fintech

Preethi Narayan, an associate DevOps engineer at Tradeweb
Preethi Narayan, an associate DevOps engineer at Tradeweb.
| Courtesy of Tradeweb

It’s a rite of passage for kids to refuse to do what their parents tell them. And Preethi Narayan was no exception, especially when it came to her career. Her mom is a QA manager and her dad is a software consultant—which meant Narayan grew up wanting nothing to do with tech.

“They both built their careers on learning how to code and spent most of my childhood trying to convince me to follow the same career path,” she says. “Naturally, I refused and stayed as far away from coding as possible!”

But life has a funny way of working out sometimes. In Narayan’s case, she realized on her own terms that she actually could see herself working in the tech industry. It all started when she decided to major in business technology management because of her interest in business and finance. This area of study required her to take Python courses.

“To my surprise, I enjoyed them!” she says. “I eventually found my way into an intro to data science course and fell in love with it, so I immediately added data science as my second major.”

Narayan went on to get real-life work experience during two summer internships at the electronic trading company Tradeweb, where she’s now an associate DevOps engineer.

Here, she shares why Tradeweb was the perfect place to launch her career, how the company supports employee growth, and her secret to adjusting to professional life after college.

Why were you excited about interning at Tradeweb, and what made you want to return the following summer for a second internship?

While I was looking for an internship during my sophomore year of college, Tradeweb reached out to me about its summer internship program. I became interested immediately; I loved that the role would allow me to develop my data science skills and learn more about data engineering practices.

During my internship, I worked on a machine learning model that predicted credit usage for Snowflake queries and I built a neural network that predicted Snowflake query credit usage with 99.8% accuracy. This experience exposed me to natural language processing techniques such as named entity recognition (NER) and part-of-speech (POS) tagging for sequence labeling tasks.

Not only did I work on my technical skills, but I also worked alongside other interns, which gave me an excellent opportunity to enhance my communication and leadership skills. I enjoyed my internship experience at Tradeweb so much that I applied for the program the following summer and was accepted.

How did your internship experiences help you realize that Tradeweb was the right place to start your career?

They helped advance my personal and professional development by expanding my range of knowledge from just data science to data engineering, release management, DevOps engineering, and platform engineering. Overall, I have a better understanding of the software development life cycle, and the skills I learned gave me the confidence to be a better engineer. These experiences have also allowed me to experience Tradeweb’s incredible culture and how supportive everyone—including my peers, my direct manager, and executive leadership—is in helping others around them learn and develop their skills.

What are you responsible for as a DevOps engineer?

My responsibilities include encouraging and automating processes; selecting and utilizing appropriate integration and delivery/deployment tools; implementing various development, testing automation, and IT infrastructure tools; communicating customer requirements and project KPIs; and performing incident management and root cause analyses.

What’s a recent project you’re particularly proud of?

I helped kick off a recent migration Tradeweb had away from Elastic/Kibana onto a new platform and became deeply ingrained in the  technology. I built several custom dashboards and tailored solutions that have allowed various teams to derive more meaningful insights from extensive log data. I also optimized log management processes within the new platform, ensuring accurate and efficient parsing of log data, and converted more than 30 dashboards, streamlining visualization and monitoring capabilities.

What makes Tradeweb a great place to join early in your career?

One of the great things about Tradeweb is that the company offers many resources for you to succeed, especially early on in your career. Managers and senior leaders advocate for their team’s success, and there’s significant opportunity for upward mobility. The managers I’ve worked with have been excellent and have always worked with me to ensure I’m involved in projects that enhance my professional and technical skill sets and expand my knowledge in different areas.

How has Tradeweb helped set you up for success in your role?

Tradeweb has provided me with all the resources needed to develop my technical skills and pursue certifications. More importantly, Tradeweb has an environment where I feel empowered to ask for help. My team members and managers have always been incredibly supportive and willing to answer any questions I’ve had. My manager has been a great mentor and has always set me up for success by assigning me projects best aligned with my career development and future goals.

What has been the biggest challenge adjusting to full-time work after being a student and how have you overcome it?

Adjusting to a new schedule has been challenging. I’ve appreciated the stability of full-time work, but it took some time to adjust at the beginning! Sitting at the computer for long periods can be difficult. I mitigate this by taking 10-minute breaks to go on a quick walk or grab a coffee. Sometimes, I’ll even go to the gym during my lunch to ensure I’m getting physical activity in.

Switching to a primarily remote work environment has also been a transition from college, where I attended classes in-person daily. I manage this by scheduling time to visit the office and meet with some of my coworkers.

What advice do you have for others who are trying to start their careers in data science/engineering?

My best advice would be to jump in! Start by completing certifications or online courses in data science (there are a ton of free ones!), focusing on Python, R, SQL, and other coding languages to familiarize yourself with the work and industry jargon. After learning the basics, I would focus on individual modeling or data analysis projects to practice your skills. Working on these projects is a great way to hone those technical skills and learn how to work with messy datasets!

What are you currently reading, watching, and/or listening to?

I’m reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and look forward to reading the sequel. I’m also a huge fan of fiction books. I recently finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I just finished the first seasons of House of the Dragon and The Last of Us and eagerly await the second seasons of both!