Why I want to work for the Wikimedia Foundation

Skills, interests, experience, and aspirations make us a perfect match.

Cameron Crow
May 7 · 4 min read

(Quick Context: The Wikimedia Foundation manages Wikipedia, and they currently have an opening for a remote Senior Data Analyst. I want that job. Bad. This is my cover letter.)

Hi, Wikimedia Foundation!

I think I’m the ideal candidate for your Senior Data Analyst position. Let me explain.

I’m a quadruple threat.

I have senior data analyst skills and experience. I’m a transparency and civil discourse nerd and advocate. I’m a business founder. And I’m a good writer. Elaborations below.

Senior data analyst skills and experience.

I have 8 years of data analysis experience, and prior to focusing on my own businesses (also data -related), my last job was Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Kount, a fraud prevention software company. Before that I was a business intelligence analyst at Prezi (their first data hire in San Francisco), and I started my career as an intelligence analyst at the National Security Agency.

I’ve used a variety of tools to do virtually every analysis task. With big data, I’ve used Amazon Redshift, HP Vertica, Pig, and Hive for queries. For ETL, I’ve used a home-grown system at Prezi and Pentaho Data Integration. I’ve written python and bash scripts for data engineering. I’ve used Tableau, Chartio, Slemma, Pentaho, GoodData, and all the spreadsheet options for reports and dashboards. I’ve advised and project managed for individual contributors, managers, directors, VPs, and CEOs. I’ve worked in domains including product, marketing, client success, sales, finance, and user research, to name a few.

And since being an employee, with the help of dozens of volunteers and subcontractors, I’ve served ~50 clients through the analytics consulting company I started, Boise Analytics. I have a wealth of skills and experience to bring to bear on your toughest problems and biggest opportunities.

I’m all about information transparency.

I’m obsessed with what you’re all about. In college I started a discussion group called Friday Forum to stimulate conversation about controversial social issues. Later, I co-founded Open Boise to promote and utilize open data for civic aims in my hometown. I’ve donated to your foundation for the last 3 years in a row. I’m an active member of my local nonprofit facilitating civic discourse, City Club of Boise. I recently taught Analytics for Design at Boise State University guiding students in qualitative and quantitative research and open-sourcing it at the end.

I’m also currently leading a movement advocating for policy changes at my private Christian high school. It’s called Cole Valley Speaks, and it spontaneously began after a blog post I wrote, providing an open and honest account of my experiences there. Since then, we’ve created a website, support group, joint statement, video interviews, are negotiating with the school, and we’re filming a documentary.

I founded two businesses focused on data accessibility.

I became a full-time entrepreneur in May 2018. I started Boise Analytics with the goal of making data analysis accessible and affordable for small and medium organizations, because I think everyone should be able to get help making better decisions with data. I managed a network of dozens of data analyst volunteers and subcontractors serving our over 50 client engagements, many of which were community-oriented projects.

My second business, Make Idaho Better, is about making market research accessible and affordable to the same types of organizations. When surveys with traditional research companies cost $20,000-$60,000 a pop, it’s no wonder that hardly anyone does them. I designed a creative business model to offer similar services for 90–100% less cost. It’s a freemium model where the overall results, my analysis, and recorded interviews are publicly available. Custom views and services are for pay. The mission is making Idaho voices heard and making a difference on state and local issues.

I’m a good writer. I have to be.

Boise Analytics is a remote-first consulting company, and clear communication with my colleagues is essential for it to work properly. Whether I’m using writing, project management software, or video, I have to think hard about being clear, concise, and effective in transferring my ideas.

With Make Idaho Better, writing is the name of the game. My analysis pieces need to communicate context, insights, methodology, interpretations, and caveats. And I need to make this something that anyone can benefit from, no matter their familiarity with the subject, research methods, or data visualization.

I also blog personally because I feel an obligation to share the things I feel strongly about with others. I’ve personally benefited from numerous writers in the past, and if my perspectives help one person, it’s worth it. Here’s my Medium blog, and here’s my private, weekly blog on Patreon.

Despite owning businesses, I want to be an employee.

You may be wondering why I’m applying to this job since I have two cool companies. Well, I’ve learned countless lessons focusing on my ventures full-time over the last year. These learnings range from the tactical and strategic to personal. Essentially, I learned that the work I’m most interested in doing has the least potential for paying my bills. I’ve gotten real with myself about this and decided I want a day job that allows me to work on my experiments during the evenings and weekends without them needing to provide a livable wage.

Why the Wikimedia Foundation?

Besides all the common interests we share that I mentioned above, there are a lot of other things about you that inspires me. You’re global — intercultural collaboration is something I relished about working for Prezi. You’re aspirational and visionary — you’re thinking big about making a better future for humanity. You empower people — this is why I care so deeply about information transparency, mentoring, community organizing, and inclusivity.

Not only do I think I’m the ideal candidate for this job, but I consider you the ideal workplace for my interests, values, and aspirations.

I just submitted my application, and I hope we can talk soon!

Cam Crow

Considering ideas and thinking out loud

Cameron Crow

Written by

medium.com/cam-crow

Cam Crow

Cam Crow

Considering ideas and thinking out loud

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