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It’s About the Journey: Starting as a Graduate with Machine Learning Engineer III, Bhavana Sajja

Across many different years, locations, divisions, and teams, a whole host of our employees have experienced starting their careers on one of our Intern, Apprentice, and Graduate Programs (part of Emerging Talent & Careers at EG). We’ve taken some time to explore some of these amazing and interesting career journeys, to find out what these have experienced since the programs, and what they’ve learned along the way.

Bhavana’s career at EG began with the Graduate Program and is currently a Machine Learning Engineer III in the Seldon team. Read about Bhavana’s reflections on team culture and the experience at EG so far.

Tell us about your current team and role

I work for a modelling team, named Seldon. I work as a Machine Learning Engineer III and we help with getting products into production. We also help to debug issues while running experiments. Recently, the team has been working on an online series that helps to detect any fraudulent actions online. It’s based on levels, if you get a very high probability score from 0 – 1, that means the transaction is fraudulent and we log the transaction right away. This service takes care of different business domains that we have today like EFR, which is Enterprise Fraud and Risk.

My role pretty much involves getting the requirements for a project, whether it be a new project or an existing project and adding some features or use cases. So my day to day job involves getting requirements in a clear way, documenting them, presenting the design to the team and then to implement, run the testing, and development. Each engineer in the team regularly gets together for a call which helps us to understand what tools and processes the team handles each day.

Tell us about your career journey at Expedia Group so far, since you started in 2019

I started at EG in 2019 and joined as a Graduate. I completed by university Master’s degree and then began at Expedia Group. When I joined, I was very new to the Machine Learning Engineering stack, I just had bookish knowledge but I didn’t have any practical knowledge on how to implement things. I was quite new and naïve to the technology and I didn’t have much exposure working with the software but the team was very welcoming. The team has changed a lot since I began but the we’ve always been great at being aligned with EG’s core values.

My managers have always encouraged us to research new concepts and come up with new developments. I find that there is no fear of failure here. You can try a number of things and then even if you fail that’s okay. I’ve learned how to do things, and how not to do the things, everything is welcomed. I’ve found that diversity is very good here, too – that’s something I had on my mind before joining a company but at EG there’s truly a diverse community.

What advice would you share with an Intern or Graduate starting at EG? 

I would encourage them to be enthusiastic and to focus on learning new skills and knowledge. This personally helped me at the start of my career. Once you start working on a project you won’t know everything, and that’s okay, you’ll continue to learn the more experience you get. It’s all about continuous learning and having that passion to keep building your knowledge and skillset. I would also suggest that they ask questions, the more you do the more comfortable it will feel. I felt shy to begin with but I soon learned that you don’t need to be so cautious. Be open honest and ask questions.

What do you enjoy the most about working at EG? 

Something I really like at Expedia Group is the work-life balance and the community we have in each office, it helps you to build a sense of belonging, and that you can be yourself.

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