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Five Question Friday: Upendra Devisetty

November 13, 2020

Meet Upendra, this month’s 5 Question Friday participant! Upendra is a data scientist at GreenLight, working on both crop protection and human health projects. He enjoys using his skills in data science and bioinformatics to help contribute to multiple projects simultaneously.

Upendra completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Agriculture in India before moving to the UK for his Ph.D. in Crop Genetics from the University of Nottingham. He moved to the US as a Postdoc researcher at the University of California Davis, where he worked on understanding how crops respond to shade.

Today Upendra shares a funny story from his first day at GreenLight and the best place he’s ever visited. Read on below!

1. Do you have a funny memory of your first day at GreenLight?

As part of my onboarding on my first day, I was asked to attend the IP and Legal orientation via zoom from RTP. Since this orientation is not a frequent event, whoever attended the meeting introduced themselves and indicated that even though they were working at Greenlight for a long time, they still didn’t have a chance to do this orientation. When it was my turn to introduce myself, and I mentioned that I was here for only a couple of hours, everyone burst into laughter. That is my funny memory of my first day at GreenLight.

2. What do you miss most about being in the office?

Snacks. Jokes apart, I was never a “work from home” person even though all my work is on the computer. Even in my previous job, I had the opportunity to work from home, but I always preferred to work from the office. I am a strong believer that you learn a lot just being in the office. The thing I miss most about not being in the office is the interactions that we have as a team and between teams. Unfortunately, with the current situation, we are not allowed to work in the office. I hope things will fall back to normal in the near future, and I get to work in the office again. 

3. What’s the biggest perk of working from home?

The biggest perk is flexibility in terms of working hours and not needing to travel to work. I am a morning person and would like to start my day at eight, which I can do now without worrying about driving to work and preparing my lunch (I prefer freshly cooked home food). 

4. What’s the best place you have ever visited, and why?

I am not an outdoor person, and I don’t travel much unless needed. However, the best place I have so far been is definitely Marseille in France. It’s a port city in Southern France, and I went there for a conference during my Ph.D. I loved the place because of its crystal-clear blue water beaches, historical neighborhoods, national parks, fantastic cuisine, and much more. You cannot get enough of Marseille however long you stay there. I wish to go back one day for sure.

5. Do you speak another language? How/why/when did you learn that language?

Being an Indian, I have my mother tongue, which is Telugu (It’s also called the Italian of the East). Other than that, I speak Hindi very well since that is my second language at school, and I also lived in North India for some time (where the majority speak Hindi). I can speak a little bit of Kannada and German.