Science, technology and advocacy: Raven Tiem
Science, technology and advocacy: Raven Tiem
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Whether working to enhance diversity in the science and technology fields to laying the groundwork to help find a cure for cancer, there’s always been purpose to Raven Tiem’s career.
It’s a trait that has helped her forge a path from a Master of Accounting (MAcc) graduate to a leader and advocate at Tempus Labs, a genomic sequencing company that gathers molecular and genomic markers into usable data to create more targeted cancer therapies and treatments.
Tiem (MAcc ’17) spent some time discussing her role as a commercial systems architect at Tempus Labs, her passion for diversity and her strong ties to Fisher and Ohio State.
What exactly is a is a commercial systems architect?
As a commercial systems architect at Tempus Labs, I am responsible for the design, maintenance and infrastructure of all commercial infrastructure — if any system or service contains or is responsible for the flow of commercial data, my team owns it.
What are some exciting “wins” you’ve experienced in this role?
One of the systems within my scope is Salesforce. In August 2022, I took my team to Salesforce’s Chicago tower to compete in the company’s Application Innovation Day against five other health companies to design, build and demo the most innovative app. We won!
I'm proud of this because it showed team cohesion and system architectural innovation — all things that will improve how we serve patients. I also got to do a little trailblazing: My team was the only women of color-led team in attendance.
Since graduating, what are you most proud of?
After graduating from Fisher, I trusted my gut instincts and took a business analyst job at Exal Corporation, a manufacturing company in Youngstown, Ohio, to see what paths I could forge from there. I was introduced to my first customer relationship management software, realized I had an aptitude for configuration and development, then segued into CRM consulting in New York City.
I'm proud of the way that I was able to transition my Master of Accounting degree into a systems/technology focus. I am excited each day to have the opportunity to apply the problem-solving skills I learned while obtaining my degree to the system decisions I make for my company.
How has your academic background equipped you or made a difference in your career?
Everything about the MAcc program prepared me for where I am and what I am doing now — from the curriculum to my networking and social skills, to the overall rigor of the program. The curriculum taught me how to problem solve and efficiently learn and master complex concepts — something I have to do regularly, as the tech field is constantly changing.
Taking a lot of the leadership offerings in the master’s program gave me an excellent management foundation, and my negotiations course gave me the foundation to always negotiate for what I’m worth.
My colleagues in the Class of 2017 were one of a kind – they taught me so much about myself and how to truly care about humans. The overall rigor of the program taught me to never give up.
Now for some favorites:
Favorite faculty member:
Tzachi Tzach. In autumn semester, I had a lot of issues in my personal life that affected my schooling. Tzachi gave me a stern yet empathetic talking to that resonated with me and stuck with me to this day. His style of teaching — respectful, transparent and without the air of academic self-indulgence — really resonated with me.
Favorite spot on campus:
The graduate lounge in Gerlach Hall. It was multi-purpose and versatile. We used this spot for napping, eating, studying, hanging out and all activities in between.
What advice would you give to a current student or a new Fisher graduate?
It's not always about what your major is — after graduation, don’t be afraid to try different paths to see what you like. It’s much easier to align yourself with a career you’re passionate about when you explore your options.
What's the most interesting fact about you that isn't on your resume of LinkedIn profile?
I've modeled for DSW! One of my past partner’s siblings worked in social media for DSW. She asked if I wanted to model for shoes and I said sure!
Thanks to Fisher and Ohio State's extensive network of alumni and friends, I've...
Found mentors and friends who are the best sounding boards. I also met my fiancé, Morgan Hill (MAcc ’17)!
How did it feel to speak at the MAcc program’s 2023 commencement activities?
It was a tremendous honor! I felt humbled, grateful and privileged to be able to speak to the soon-to-be alumni whose path I’ve also walked. It was so special to witness and soak in commencement activities as an alumna. There is such pride, optimism, hope, and love at every event — I feel lucky to be a Buckeye!
What was it like being back on campus?
It was wonderful, like I never left. I spent some time walking around campus alone and it was so special to reflect on my time here and where I’ve been since.
Can you share a few words of wisdom that you shared with this year’s graduates?
Seek what scares you, be intentional about it, and find your version of personal authenticity. Risk being seen in all of your glory.
What causes, organizations or topics motivate you to action personally? Why?
Creating paths for black/bi-racial folx in technology leadership is something I’m passionate about. At my company, I am the only bi-racial woman who leads a technology team and this should not be the case.
I’m currently the lead of Black Voices at Tempus and have led diversity groups at two prior companies. Within this space, I’ve facilitated panel discussions between employee resource groups, volunteered in the community to bring science and tech to elementary students, and have positioned myself as a resource to all black/bi-racial folx in the technology org at Tempus.
I’m also a board member of Black Women Benefit, an organization that focuses on holistic wellness for Black women by providing financial awards for therapy and mental health, grants for entrepreneurs, and is currently fundraising for survivors of domestic violence.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? Why was it so meaningful?
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.” It’s a nice reminder that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to still be good!
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Everything about the MAcc program prepared me for where I am and what I am doing now.
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