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The first time Sasha Luccioni applied for a position at Hugging Face—the AI startup now valued at $4.5 billion—she was rejected. “I wasn’t what they were looking for,” she recalled. This was nearly three years ago.
Shaking off that initial rejection, she went to work at BigScience, a yearlong volunteer research workshop funded by Hugging Face to train the first open source, large language model. Luccioni directly reached out to Thomas Wolf, the startup’s co-founder, during the project and “proved my worth,” convincing him to offer her a job.