In our latest People & Pathways interview, we spoke with Talent Acquisition Associate Tonya Horton about how she got to WorldQuant and why technologists may want to consider joining the firm.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Stamford, Connecticut, area, not far from WorldQuant’s headquarters in Old Greenwich. I was actually born in North Carolina at an army hospital, as my father was in the military. My family and I moved to Connecticut when I was around 5 years old.
Tell us about your college experience. What did you study?
I attended Virginia Union University, an HBCU (historically black college and university) in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated cum laude. I majored in social work — that training has generally enabled me to connect well with others.
Tell us about your journey to WorldQuant.
I joined WorldQuant in August 2016 as a contractor working in a hybrid role on the Human Resources team. After a few months, an opportunity on the Tech Recruiting team became available, and I was excited to learn more about the space. I decided to join WorldQuant on a full-time, permanent basis, as I realized the possibilities were endless and there was a lot of room for growth.
What is it like to work at WorldQuant?
Working at WorldQuant is being surrounded by super smart people, who also happen to be very nice individuals, in a collaborative environment. Many of my colleagues have become my friends.
What’s your favorite part of working at the firm?
While there are many areas I enjoy, my favorites are being part of a welcoming culture that embraces diversity and working alongside my manager and team.
Why should a technologist want to work at WorldQuant?
Technologists should want to work at WorldQuant because they will be intellectually stimulated, challenged and have an opportunity to solve real world problems. Their contributions will be recognized and they will be joining a firm that encourages collaboration among teams, and believes great ideas come from anywhere.
How does WorldQuant support you in your professional journey?
WorldQuant supports my professional journey by offering many opportunities for learning and development. In addition and probably most importantly, I’ve been blessed with a supportive and empathetic manager who empowers me daily by valuing my input and trusting my judgment.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day for me is usually joining a few Zoom meetings — team, one-on-ones or others — to strategize or discuss pending and current items, working directly with candidates and agencies throughout the day to arrange interviews, collecting feedback and sharing any updates or changes with the hiring managers. I also work on different diversity and inclusion initiatives with several universities and student groups, in hopes of enhancing our D&I efforts, and I spearhead a few campus recruiting events and other projects throughout the year.
Are you involved in any employee groups at WorldQuant?
I am a member of the Women of WorldQuant (WOW) group and have attended a few of the multicultural events, organized by our HR team. The events have all proven to be informative and oftentimes lots of fun!
Do you have any advice for incoming WorldQuant new hires?
My advice for new hires is to get involved and take advantage of the many opportunities for learning and development, attend as many of the guest speaker series events as possible, make sure to join the biweekly Keystone Forums and if you have ideas on ways to improve any of our processes, speak up and share your ideas with your manager.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am a total foodie and love dining out and trying new restaurants with my family and friends. I enjoy weekend road trips, being outdoors and taking walks at the beach and park with my sweet fur babies.