Jesse Wright, Floor Supervisor: “I always tell people this can be the most rewarding job you ever have—and it can also be a lot of fun, which never hurts.”

I’ve been with OppLoans for four years, so I’ve seen a lot of things change. But one thing that’s stayed the same is our company culture. Even with all this rapid growth—we went from approximately 20 employees to over 300 in just three years—we kept our culture intact.

And that’s no accident, either. That’s by design. When our CEO, Jared, joined OppLoans in 2015, he didn’t come in and start saying “We’re going to do this, this, and this.” Instead, he took about three months and acted more like a fly on the wall, absorbing everything. And he figured out what worked here, and why.

Our culture was something that worked. Jared understood that, and he’s worked hard to preserve it. But I think that our culture actually starts with another one of our executives, Bob O’Connell, who oversees our Loan Advocates.

Our founder, Todd Schwartz, had a vision for the company and for our customers from day one. When he hired Bob, that was a huge catalyst for everything that came after—for bringing Todd’s vision to life. Bob and Todd set the foundation and then Jared built the rest.

When Bob first started, I think he really took people by surprise. It went from a pretty standard workplace to, all of a sudden, you’ve got Bob instilling elements of fun. And he listened, too. If somebody had an idea or a complaint, Bob would stop and hear them out.

The first time I met Bob, I remember thinking, “If this guy is for real, this could be something special.” And when I started as a Loan Advocate, I got to know him better. I quickly learned that he wasn’t fake in any way; he was the real deal.

But beyond his openness and his sense of humor, what Bob did was encourage people to be themselves. And that’s what makes OppLoans different from any other place I have worked. OppLoans embraces the fact that you should be yourself at work instead of having to check your personality at the door.

Once people started following Bob’s lead, working here stopped being just a regular nine to five. We started having fun at work, and we started going out together after work too. Within a year, Jared came aboard, and we started growing.

At the place I worked before OppLoans, I was very disconnected from our CEO and from the leadership team in general. I never got the sense that they understood what their employees actually went through in doing their jobs.

Jared is the exact opposite. He gets it. A couple years back, we were transitioning between systems, and it was really rough. Jared sat down at a desk and started answering calls. That was the moment it clicked for everyone—what kind of leader we had.

Working at OppLoans has also meant opportunity—to learn, to grow, to take those next steps on your career path. That opportunity is still there. I always tell people this can be the most rewarding job you ever have—and it can be a lot of fun, which never hurts.

There have been hectic times before and there will be again. If you can embrace change and growth, working here can be a great opportunity for you.

It’s also a wonderful opportunity to help people. OppLoans is all about providing our customers with stellar customer service. We get customers who call in frustrated or upset, and when we find them a solution, you can hear the relief in their voice.

As much as I love helping out my team members—and I love my team, don’t get me wrong—helping out our customers is still my favorite part of the job. And it always will be.