Mary Kate Comer
From an early age, Mary Kate, better known as “MK”, loved a good puzzle. She thrived on tasks involving problem solving; finding comfort in knowing there was always an answer and thrilled by the challenge of finding a solution.
Following the footsteps of two generations before her, MK chose to study Applied Mathematics at the University of Notre Dame. While a student, MK was attracted to the language of mathematics – relishing in the precision of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and lack of subjectivity. However, when it came to programming languages, MK convinced herself she was more of a “people-person” and shied away from taking elective coding courses.
When MK began her career as a data science consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, she naively assumed her role would focus more on consulting and less on data science. On her first project, she was staffed as a junior software engineer. Shocked, she thought there was a mistake; she didn’t know how to code! Her manager encouraged her to give it a shot. MK took this challenge and never looked back. MK spent her early career designing and building enterprise analytic modeling software for US government clients. As part of her role, she strove to make the data science problems (and the math behind them) more approachable to key stakeholders, clients, and fellow engineers. MK is a huge advocate for learning on the job and saying ‘yes’ to any new challenge. Years into her career, MK yearned to connect with women technologists beyond the government-space. Her manager pointed her in the direction of Women Who Code – a non-profit committed to inspiring women in their technology careers. MK was appointed as a Leadership Fellow and tasked with leading the distribution of technical content, coding resources, and mentorship opportunities for the global community. Inspired by every woman she met in the Women Who Code network, MK recognized the value of mentorship, inclusive communities, and the importance of empowering others to succeed.
When a hiring manager reached out to her about Microsoft, MK recognized that CSE fit her need to be surrounded by an inclusive team who is committed to strong engineering fundamentals and building on each other’s success. MK loves the challenge of meeting customers where they are at and empowering customers to succeed. It keeps her in constant learning mode. MK approaches every engagement as a new challenge and opportunity to learn a breadth of technologies alongside fresh faces and brilliant minds.
When she’s not coding, MK is eating her way through New York City or playing the Irish fiddle as a part of the Irish Arts Institute of NYC. You may even catch her speaking Irish Gaelic on occasion.