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Lead Data Scientist - NLP/LLM Fine-tuning

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

We are seeking a highly skilled and motivated Natural Language Processing (NLP) Data Scientist with a focus on fine-tuning Large Language Models (LLMs) to join our innovative team. The ideal candidate will have a solid background in NLP, deep learning, and machine learning, with expertise in fine-tuning LLMs to solve complex language understanding and generation tasks

At Northwestern Mutual, we provide real-time, highly available, and outstanding capabilities for our Field and Home Office users. Our team closely partners with our business functions, making our work crucial to the success of our organization. Additionally, our foundational Gen-AI team is driving and innovating on key business opportunities, driving growth and efficiency for our partners.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Research, design, and implement pioneering NLP algorithms with a focus on fine-tuning LLMs, including BERT, GPT, and their variants
  • Develop custom fine-tuning strategies and techniques to optimize performance on specific language tasks and domains. Collaborate with cross-functional teams to integrate fine-tuned LLM solutions into our products and services
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in NLP, LLMs, and AI technologies, particularly in fine-tuning methodologies
  • Analyze and interpret experimental results to guide decision-making and improve model performance
  • Apply creative problem solving and inter-departmental networking to address data and information needs across the enterprise.
  • Share proven techniques with peers through coaching and mentoring around core methodologies, patterns, standards and processes.
  • Drive innovation by exploring new experimentation methods and statistical techniques that could sharpen or speed up our product decision-making processes
  • Through extensive analysis, discover technology improvement opportunities and will work with other teams to address these opportunities.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Master’s degree in Data Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Operations Research, Computer Science, Econometrics or related field
  • 6-8 years of professional experience
  • At least 6 years of professional data science or analytics experience
  • Good background in NLP, deep learning, and machine learning, with experience in fine-tuning LLMs
  • Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, TensorFlow, and PyTorch
  • Experience with popular NLP frameworks and libraries (e.g., Hugging Face Transformers, AllenNLP)
  • Solid understanding of linguistics, semantics, and syntactic structures
  • Extensive experience working with data and developing, designing and presenting analytics, including some programming experience and work with multiple databases
  • Knowledge of software engineering leading practices including version control and testing methodologies
  • Guide level knowledge of sophisticated analytical model development and construction
  • Comfort with questioning assumptions, demonstrable relational analysis and integration of all components needed to solve problems
  • Demonstrable ability to build rapport, negotiate, gain the confidence of others and work successfully with business leaders across the company
  • Experience leading the way we make decisions through idea sharing and consensus building
  • Experience in coaching and mentoring staff members
  • Proven track record in meeting ambitious deadlines
  • Identifying data requirements for analytical needs
  • Advanced/PhD degree in Data Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Operations Research, Computer Science, Econometrics or related field preferred
  • Familiarity with cloud computing platforms and distributed computing environments (i.e. GDP, Azure, AWS) preferred


Compensation Range:

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Northwestern Mutual pays on a geographic-specific salary structure and placement in the salary range for this position will be determined by a number of factors including the skills, education, training, credentials and experience of the candidate; the scope, complexity as well as the cost of labor in the market; and other conditions of employment. At Northwestern Mutual, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for their role and compensation decisions are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. Please note that the salary range listed in the posting is the standard pay structure. Positions in certain locations (such as California) may provide an increase on the standard pay structure based on the location. Please click here for additiona l information relating to location-based pay structures.

Grow your career with a best-in-class company that puts our client’s interests at the center of all we do. Get started now!

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you work or would be working in California, Colorado, New York City, Washington or outside of a Corporate location, please click here for information pertaining to compensation and benefits.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.