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Meet Greg from the Engineering Team

Greg next to Avant logo on blue background
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Every unique and talented Avantee is a co-creator of the Avant culture we love. We hope the @Avant series helps you get to know who we are, how we do what we do, and what it looks like to build your career at Avant.

Greg Ver Halen

Engineering Manager on the Engineering team – Account Opening

Joined Avant in 2020

What’s it like to work @Avant? We asked Greg for his take on our culture, and here’s what he said:

1. How would you describe Avant’s culture?

Greg smiling in glasses

We’re a learning culture, both individually and at the organizational level. Just look at how far Avant has come over the last nine years—we’ve learned from mistakes and found ways to turn weaknesses into strengths. On the individual level, every single engineer is expected to learn and move around. Nobody is static, nobody is stuck in one spot, we move around and try new things. We’re not perfectionists! We don’t expect people to be experts, but we do expect each other to try our best. And if you hit a wall on your own, we pick it up together and move forward from there.

There’s a curiosity that fuels our culture. We welcome all questions, from any corner of the company. If you want to know about something my team is doing, because it might affect something you’re doing, it’s easy to reach out. Just yesterday, I got a message from somebody who I’ve never even heard of before, but they found me in the org chart and I was able to help them out. That’s pretty common. We all really have that desire to help.

2. Why are you happy/successful here?

In the two years that I’ve been here, I am already on my third or fourth role—which is exactly what I was looking for. That ability to help set the culture and grow as the teams grow, as the products grow, as everything else grows—that’s the fun of it. The way I describe it to new recruits is that we’re somewhere between startup and Big Corporate, and each of us gets to help set the direction of the company. We don’t have to worry about the roof caving in on us like a startup, and we don’t have to worry about top-down controlling of every aspect of our work either. We’re still growing, still creating our culture.

3. What’s a superpower you get to apply at your job?

My superpower is the ability to look at things holistically, from the very top level all the way down to a single line of code. I generally have enough information that if somebody spots a problem or asks for help, I can get them started or point them in the right direction. To be able to view the world from the very minute up to the very large, that’s my superpower.

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An engineer of some sort. I come from a family of engineers and I always wanted to build things. It was mostly mechanical stuff when I was smaller, because I could visualize it, and then in high school it became software and some electronics. I really just wanted to build stuff.

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