If there is one thing Gerardo Santacruz has in spades, it’s passion. He’s passionate about his work, his team, and his extended family and friends across the globe. To find out about his role on the Data Science team and what he likes to do for fun, read below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and where do you live currently?
I was born in Jersey City, NJ, and grew up next door in Bayonne for most of my life, only to have recently returned to JC where I currently live - a stone's throw away from the office. Despite keeping to my Jersey roots, my family hails from Colombia, so I’m frequently in between countries visiting them.
When did you start at Even and what is your current role? Describe your team and how it fits into the company.
I joined Even in the summer of 2019, and am currently the Data Science Manager. DS is a small and scrappy team that handles everything from advanced analytics, to statistical modeling, to data and machine learning engineering. While you may not hear from us much, we’re present in almost every aspect of the business. From offers being recommended to users, revenue predictions, lender pricing ― it’s all powered by data science models and analytics. Coupled with our amazing platform and savvy partner managers, we bring the promise of being “the definitive search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services” to life.
What is your favorite thing about working at Even?
We have an incredibly diverse cast of smart, driven, and all around wonderful human beings, all of whom bring their best, most genuine selves to work every day. That both humbles and motivates me, while consistently keeps me honest.
Of course, I can’t forget to give a shoutout to my fellow weebs at Even, past and present, y’all make the chaos worth it.
What has been your biggest accomplishment or crowning achievement working at Even so far?
Helping build and protect the foundation of our team, despite the shocks of the pandemic and a constantly shifting marketplace, has been both exhilarating and a quiet joy for me to see come to fruition.
It feels like only yesterday when we were in the throes of pandemic uncertainty; today, we’re busy hiring at a breakneck pace, eagerly looking toward a horizon of possibilities. The one constant principle I’m proud to have kept alive, however, is the fundamental belief that remains true no matter what environment we’re in ― it’s always about the people.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time for hobbies?
When not working, you’ll usually find me lifting heavy weights, catching up with old friends halfway around the world (and probably planning trips to see them!), watching/reading anime and manga, cooking, and occasionally arguing with people on the internet. You can also find me strolling down random streets in NYC – don’t be a stranger if you do!
What words of advice or encouragement would you have for a prospective Even employee?
There is a great deal of hype surrounding fintech and what the possibilities are with data and consumer finance, and Even is in a rare spot to actually bring these possibilities to life. We’re still small, but have built an enormous network, and with that comes the benefit of seeing a large portion of America’s credit appetite. Paired with the blessing of having an incredibly talented team of engineers, sales, business, and operations folks, I can guarantee you’ll be in for a heck of a ride. So buckle up!
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