A TURNING POINT FROM AI LEAD AT MAJOR SEARCH ENGINE COMPANY TO TECH STARTUP | Kaustubh Kulkarni

JELLYFISH

A TURNING POINT FROM AI LEAD AT MAJOR SEARCH ENGINE COMPANY TO TECH STARTUP | Kaustubh Kulkarni

Walked through the hardest part of the job change process, now we had the chance to sit down and listened to Kaustubh Kulkarni's experiences. A conversation where Kaustubh shared the story and process of how he changed his job from working as an AI engineer lead at a major search site in Japan. Kaustubh also shared what is he holding for his future career.

Kaustubh started his career as an engineer in his home country, India, and went on to graduate school to improve his skills. After that, he joined a major Japanese company and was in charge of product management from team management as lead AI engineer. We interviewed Mr. Kaustubh about why and how he changed jobs.

 

1. The motivation for a job change

Q. Mr. Kaustubh, you were working as a lead AI engineer at a major Japanese company, why did you decide to change jobs?

I have been working for the same company for about 5 years since I came to Japan, and I felt like I would like to experience other companies. Recently, my main job is management, and I also wanted to continue engineering.

 

 Q. You worked for this company for almost five years, didn't you? What kind of work were you doing here?

For the first 2.5 years, as an engineer, I was involved in analyzing text content using machine learning. We were improving the accuracy of the model in order to classify the questions and answers of famous question sites in Japan.

After that, I was transferred to the search department and worked as a product manager for query processing using the Deep Learning model.

In addition to engineering, we had a roadmap and horizontal development to grow the product in one year, and management to achieve it.

 

2. "I want to continue making things using AI while being involved in both engineering and business."

 Q. Now, I would like to ask you about your new job. What kind of company is it?

It is a company that operates online review sites for famous restaurants in Japan. The company is a relatively large company, but I belong to a team like a startup.

Here, we plan to play the role of creating new businesses using the various data that we have accumulated so far.

It's a startup team, so it's challenging. I think I can balance both engineering and business. The other position I was taking was mainly the engineer role, so I am excited to be able to do both.

After joining the company, I plan to participate in a project that uses the latest technology of NLP, which I am most interested in, so I am looking forward to it.

 

Q. It seems that this time you changed job to a company introduced by JELLYFISH. How was it when you actually worked with JELLYFISH?

All of the response from JELLYFISH was really polite, and I was able to change jobs with great confidence.

The CP, Ms. Sakamoto, carefully listened to me and introduced me to matching companies and positions. Also, thanks to all the advice I received, such as interview practice, I was able to prepare well and take on the challenge.

 

Q. At first, it seems that another company was your first choice. Why did you change your first choice to the company you are currently working at? 

As I consulted with Ms. Sakamoto, my understanding of the company deepened and I was attracted to it.

At first, I didn't know much about the company or position, and I wasn't very attracted to it. However, Ms. Sakamoto listened to my strengths (experience) and talked about how it can be applied to the next company.

I have a strong desire to make use of AI to create products that have a particularly large impact, and to continue manufacturing, and I felt that it was a company that could realize that.

In addition, I had the opportunity to talk with the manager before the interview, and I was able to gain a solid understanding of the company, which made me want to work for this company.

 

3. The realization of salary negotiation difficulty

Q. It seems that your salary has increased considerably from your previous position in this job change, congratulations! Furthermore, I heard that you received a job offer with a salary higher than the salary originally offered. How did it come about?

We negotiated with reference to CP's advice. Specifically, by appealing that I can do a plus-alpha job based on my past experience, I successfully got a job offer with a higher salary.

 

4. Reflection points

It is uneasy for mid-career IT professionals to change jobs by themselves while having a 9-to-5 job on the table. Scheduling and making appointments for interviews are not difficult, but time-wise it would not be ideal for all.

With Jellyfish, our career partner team will suggest jobs that have the highest compatibility with your experience and abilities. We will carefully walk you through all processes of the job change transition!