Natasha Anand, Director of Customer Operations: "Start doing the job you want."
My advice for someone starting at OppLoans who wants to grow within the company is to start doing the job you want. When an opportunity arises, take it. Find one aspect of the business and become an expert in it. Own it.
The great thing about OppLoans is that the opportunities will definitely be there.
When I first joined OppLoans as a manager on the Business Operations team, we were rolling out a new change—adding a new product feature. So I took it upon myself and learned everything there was to learn about that particular product.
I wasn’t satisfied just writing a product story and then having someone implement it. I wanted to know the back end.
Because of that, I became the resident expert on that product. When OppLoans later began work launching another similar product, guess who was made the de-facto product manager? Learning everything there was to learn and owning one product opened a lot of other doors.
Our leadership gave me the room to run and the authority to corral all these department heads. Sometimes, that meant corralling members of leadership themselves!
That’s my favorite part of working here: The autonomy that I’ve been given and the fact that our leadership team is open to trying new ideas.
After spearheading the launch of our lending partnership, I was promoted to Director and moved over to Customer Operations, where I now oversee our arrangements team. I’ve had the opportunity to grow and structure the team in a way that serves the customer best.
Our hierarchy here gives every manager access to our CEO, Jared. The only other places I’ve worked have been large investment banks, places where I’m on a team of ten within a department of 400 within a bank of 25,000 employees. OppLoans is totally different. Our culture is more nimble and transparent.
Hiring the right people is step one, but step two is being open and willing to listen to employee concerns. My manager is our Chief Operating Officer and he lives by the “open door” policy—absolutely anyone one the team can pop into his office and tell him about any new idea and he’ll take it seriously. That’s not normal.
And then there’s the fact that people actually have fun here. I’ve never had an environment where I wanted to hang out with my coworkers after work or on the weekends.
I’ve heard Jared say it’s so much easier to get up and go to work in the morning when you’re sitting next to your friends. That’s a philosophy that definitely trickles down from the top.
There’s a lot of opportunity at OppLoans for people to grow, to learn, and to take on new challenges. And you get to do all that alongside people you actually enjoy working with. What’s better than that?