July 13, 2023

Life at EMURGO: A Journey from Academia to Blockchain

Albert Kim


In our “Life at EMURGO” series, we talk with different talented individuals working across EMURGO to show what it is like to work at EMURGO, how they started working in blockchain, and other information about Cardano-related jobs.

In this Q&A, we spoke with EMURGO Africa Tech Scientist Mayuko Kondo about her blockchain career, why she chose EMURGO and other questions about her work life at EMURGO.

You can also find out how to apply for blockchain jobs at EMURGO at the bottom of the page.

Q&A with EMURGO Africa Tech Scientist Mayuko
My Journey To EMURGO Mayuko Quote Square

Hi Mayuko. Please give us a short introduction.

Mayuko: Hello everyone. I am Mayuko Kondo, a tech scientist at EMURGO Africa.

What is your career background?

Mayuko: I had been working in academia in the field of development economics and applied econometrics for over 10 years with an interest in researching money flows from the well-funded to those lacking in funds. In late 2020, I started reading more about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology on the news and social media as it appealed to my academic interest in economics. I already had programming skills through my applied econometrics work (Stata, Matlab, R, etc.), and this new interest made me start learning Solidity, Python, and Data Science-related languages by myself.

How did you start your career in blockchain and crypto, and what was your journey to EMURGO?

Mayuko: In early 2022, I got a chance to receive a scholarship to join DappCamp and learn how to build and scale Web3 decentralized applications. It was a 3-month program for blockchain developers. 

After graduation, an alumni posted about his project. It was an insurance protocol for vulnerable communities in low-income countries. The protocol was trying to connect risk crypto investors with people in the agricultural areas where climate change could affect and destruct their agricultural products through index insurance using blockchain. 

I felt that this was what I was looking for, a money flow from where money is abundant to where money is scarce, and I talked to him and conveyed how cool their project was. He replied that his team was looking for someone who knew data science and econometrics, had good knowledge of blockchain, and was familiar with living in low-income countries. I felt like I was a perfect fit. So I joined their project to start gaining experience working on blockchain projects. 

During the latest crypto winter, I had an opportunity to meet the founder of an African VC firm through an alumni networking community I was a part of. He introduced me to the co-CEOs of EMURGO Africa, Yosuke Yoshida, and Shogo Ishida. I started researching EMURGO and the Cardano blockchain and felt its potential which made me decide to join EMURGO Africa.

In your opinion, what makes working at EMURGO different compared to other companies?

Mayuko: My first job in blockchain was at a tiny startup company with limited funding. Everything was done by ourselves. Here at EMURGO, everything is larger and more established, with more human resources to support us. In every part of the company, from venture capital, software development, and marketing, to communicating with leaders, there are professionals. I feel the power of teamwork, with people with different skill sets, professions, and backgrounds coming together to make a bright Web3 future. 

My previous career in academia was also another world. It took years to make some things happen. But here at EMURGO, things move very fast. New investments, new businesses, and even new companies are launching all the time. I can feel how dynamic the company and the blockchain industry are.

EMURGO is a founding entity of the Cardano blockchain. How has working in blockchain and Web3 benefited you?

Mayuko: There are many scams and questionable projects in the blockchain space. This creates a huge demand for high-quality research and trustworthy reports that business professionals and others can rely upon. Those who have professional skills in research and have the will to pursue something impactful and meaningful in this space can have great chances to expand their career.

Describe your best work moment at EMURGO.

Mayuko: Since I started working at EMURGO Africa, I have met many people I would have not met if I stayed in academia. Talking and discussing with people with very different professional and cultural backgrounds is always interesting and fun. I never knew until I came here that I like talking with many people! 

What’s the best EMURGO employee perk or benefit?

Mayuko: I like the flexibility of my work. Not only the working hours and location, but you can establish your work style. EMURGO has an open and accessible culture so we can talk casually with CEOs. They listen to you.

What advice would you give to those interested in working at EMURGO?

Mayuko: If you are your person and like a dynamic business, you will enjoy working at EMURGO. No need to be reserved!

Tell us three fun facts about yourself!

  1. I am a mother of a girl and a boy 👩🏾‍❤️‍👨🏽 
  2.  I am a wife of a Kenyan 🇰🇪🇯🇵 
  3. 3. I love freedom 🗿
Want to work at EMURGO?

Click here to apply.

Are you passionate about Cardano? Interested in building awareness of Web products & services? 

Then, EMURGO might be the best place for you.

Search and apply now for available positions including both technical and non-technical roles at EMURGO and its global business units.

Visit EMURGO’s Careers page here to apply.


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