Melissa Robinson, 2018 MA Linguistics Alumna, credits her background in research for the career she currently has. While in her MA Linguistics program, she worked on language documentation projects with Dr. Shobhana Chelliah and had the chance to go to India to do field research. Then she worked with and learned from Patricia Cukor-Avila, Rosalia Dutra, and Alexis Palmer on her thesis. Dr. Palmer helped take her research to the next level and extend beyond the research into new projects that also led to numerous publications and presentations. Having experience in research from beginning to end helped her get to where she is now since a big part of her job at Verilogue is writing up and sharing research reports.
Melissa just had her 1-year anniversary at Verilogue, where she says she has learned a lot. She had a strong background in sentiment, which is what many of their clients are looking for in the data of the dialogues: How do people feel about their products and how can they improve? Most of her clients are pharmaceutical companies that want to understand how doctors explain their products, which her company investigates through anonymous recordings and transcripts by manually analyzing dialogues. Then those findings and implications are presented to the company in a 60 to 90-minute presentation.
While looking for full time work in the field of linguistics after graduating, Melissa worked at UNT in advising and part time at Appen, a great place to work part-time and with flexibility while gaining skills in annotation, a skill important to linguists.
Her advice to current linguistics students is to get involved in research in any way they can and find part-time work, like at Appen to gain skills along the way. These strategies have clearly worked for her as she is a very successful alumni working in the field that she studied in.
Melissa will speak on February 9th at 3:00 as part of the CODE Series. Learn more and register: