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Dora Kholmiansy: How I Landed my Dream Job in My Second-Trimester

Dora Kholmiansy, an algorithm developer at Nova, took a deep breath before calling who she hoped would be her future manager, Kobi Barkan, Nova’s Algorithms Group Manager. She was already deep into the hiring process, which had taken place during the Covid-19 pandemic. All interviews had been done via Zoom, and nobody noticed she was pregnant.

Knowing that this could be an issue, Dora was worried about Kobi’s reaction but decided to speak to him about it. Kobi’s response was the best Dora could have wished for: He warmly congratulated her on her good news. When Dora asked if it would have any influence on the final decision to hire her, Kobi immediately reassured her: “Not at all! I want you to be part of Nova for many years to come, so I naturally assume that you will have children and raise them while working here.” Dora remembers the relief she felt at that moment, mixed with certainty, that she made the right choice with Nova.

I sat down with Dora to learn more about her and what she loves about her work.

I’m so excited for people to get to know you. Give us a little background about yourself.

I’m 34 years old, married to Yoav and the proud mother of three girls the youngest one is just 2 weeks old.  I live in Modi’in. I studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I hold a BSc in Physics and Chemistry and an MSc in Physics in Nonlinear Optics. Up until a few months ago, I was an intelligence officer in the IDF.

 

Dora Kholmiansi, Nova Ltd.

 

Tell us a bit about what you do at Nova.

I work in the algorithmic group, but I actually belong to the CTO group. This means twice as many meetings, but also twice as many treats served at those meetings. 😊

Can you share your thoughts about what it’s like to be hired during an interview process affected by Covid-19?

Wow. It was a long and thorough process, which included six Zoom interviews. I have to admit it was peculiar but completely understandable given the circumstances. Everyone was so nice and pleasant to talk to that it made me really excited to join Nova.

What is your favorite part about working at Nova?

It has to be the exciting challenge of working on leading projects – ones at the forefront of the company’s business, even though I’ve only been here for several months. And besides, working with people here at Nova is so much fun. We have a rare atmosphere of friendship, collaboration, and camaraderie.

What makes you take pride in yourself?

Without hesitation, I can say that I’m very proud of my courage to make a significant change in my career – leaving behind a military career and starting anew as a physicist.

With three kids and one of them a newborn, a career, and life, you probably have a lot on your plate. Do you still have time for hobbies?

Up until I got pregnant, I practiced kung fu. I also paint oil paintings and love to travel. But as you mentioned, who has time for hobbies with three tiny tots?

What is your superpower?

If you ask me, it’s determination.

If you ask my mother, it’s being stubborn.

You seem to be very calm and relaxed. What drives you crazy and makes you mad?

Slow people. That drives me insane—for example, my husband. Every time we leave home, I end up waiting for him in the car for at least five minutes.

If you weren’t working for Nova as an algorithm developer, what would you be doing?

I’m now doing exactly what I dreamed of doing, so I would probably be doing the same.  

What don’t your teammates know about you yet?

Hmmm. They still do not really know that I can be extremely sarcastic. On the other hand, I’m lighthearted and laugh a lot.

Name three reasons why someone would want to work at Nova:

  1. The intellectual challenge – that is by far the top reason
  2. The wonderful people, which I enjoy working with everyday
  3. The variety of fruit that is served throughout the day

 

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