Becoming a leader: female forces at GetYourGuide
In today’s post, we hear from Anna Barnett, Senior Data Analyst, on the different paths that led her to a career in Data Analysis, how her career has progressed at GetYourGuide, and what she learned along the way.
My name is Anna, I’m a Senior Data Analyst, and I’ve been with GetYourGuide for 4 years. As a Product Analyst, I work with 3 different mission teams: Native Apps, Discovery, and Recommendations & Relevance. My role is to enable these teams to make decisions based on data. I have ownership of the entire analytics funnel from exploration through recommendations to impact measurement.
When did you start at GetYourGuide and how has your career progressed since then?
I started at GetYourGuide in early 2015 and joined the Performance Marketing team. My initial role was to launch and optimize performance marketing campaigns across 15 different languages. We were a small team of just 3 people but we had a lot of leverage. Whatever we touched turned into money for GetYourGuide and it was really satisfying to see how the business grew thanks to our efforts.
As GetYourGuide grew, so did the amount of our marketing data. I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about Big Data analytics. At the time, I was working directly with software engineers, data scientists, and tech-savvy managers who supported me in my pursuits. For example, our VP of Acquisition along with an engineer organized a weekly Python class for my team – “Python for Analysis and Automation.”
Outside of work, I also put a lot of extra effort into learning new tools. I completed several online courses, read a ton of books, and made sure to use what I was learning at work. After proving my ability, I eventually became the first Data Analyst at GetYourGuide. From there, things happened quickly. I changed teams, I was promoted to Senior Data Analyst, and now I’m in my current role working with the product teams.
When you work in a start-up, the landscape is constantly changing. Luckily, I could make this fast-moving and changing environment work for my development.
How do you think about and plan for your own career development?
Based on my personal experience, detailed long-term plans rarely pan out. Instead, I prefer to think about paths that are of interest to me and then focus on acquiring the necessary skills to pursue these different paths. Knowing I can always course-correct gives me the confidence to take more risks.
For example, in university, I studied quantitative methods in economics, which is a combination of econometrics, statistics, and business. After graduation, I decided to shift gears and work in marketing. It took 2 years for me to realize I wanted to go back to data and pivot into a tech career. So, I decided to do an extra degree, this time in Computer Science. However, after a while, I understood I would be better off learning some of these skills on the job. This led me to course-correct once more. Joining performance marketing felt like a good option, a middle point between pure data and pure marketing. This choice built a bridge for me to eventually transition into the technical world.
What are the key pieces of advice you would give someone to help them progress in their career at GetYourGuide or elsewhere?
Ask and you shall receive.
Being vocal about my needs and demonstrating my motivation to forward my career has helped me a lot. Managers often don’t know what will bring their direct reports professional joy, so it’s very important to articulate where you want to go and invite your manager to create a plan with you on how you will get there. For example, after a long time in performance marketing, I wanted to learn about other parts of the business. I shared my ambitions with my manager and we came up with a transition plan. This kept me motivated because it showed there was still room for me to progress within GetYourGuide.
It’s also better to address these topics openly and regularly during your 1:1s instead of waiting for a performance review. If there is a project you’re super excited about, tell your manager you want to work on it. If you want a promotion, tell your manager, and work with them to reach your goal.
Build your confidence.
During my career, I’ve worked with very high-caliber professionals: C-level executives, managers with years of experience, and experts in their field. At first, I felt like I didn’t belong. I would sit in a meeting and think to myself, “What am I even doing here?” But then, I started to realize that people in the room believed I had something to offer. Only after realizing this did I start to ask questions, speak up, and show others what I could do. Instead of worrying that you don’t belong, see this as an opportunity to learn. By working with great people, you get closer to becoming one of them yourself.