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Meet Sahaj from the Finance Team

Sahaj smiling next to the Avant logo on a bright 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.

Sahaj Patel

Director for the Finance team

Joined Avant in 2015

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

1. How would you describe Avant’s culture?

Sahaj smiling in white

Our culture is warm, welcoming, and open. I came to Avant from large corporate companies, and I quickly realized how much more inviting it was. The people here were very open to helping me, getting me up to speed, answering questions. It was truly an “open door policy.” That was really different for me, and it made me feel very much at home. We’ve surrounded ourselves with like-minded, driven, talented people who are working toward the same vision (not just climbing the corporate ladder). The opportunities are endless, which means there isn’t this competition with each other.

You get credit for your own work here. When I first started as an Associate, I got to present a model to senior leaders in my second week. That would never happen at any of the places I worked at in the past, because there was this expectation that you give the work to your boss, and they go and present it. But at Avant, everyone owns their work.

And, something we do really well is to constantly refine and make things better. If you’re someone who has the ability to think outside the box and bring ideas for how to improve efficiency and reduce risk, that is very welcomed at Avant. We’re trying to do something different than what traditional financial institutions have done. It’s part of our culture—we’re always innovating, we’re open to suggestions, we speak our minds.

2. Why are you happy/successful here?

I get bored very quickly. Prior to joining Avant, the longest I had ever worked at an organization was 3 years. And I’ve been here almost 7 years now. Part of why I stay is that I’ve been fortunate to have several roles in which I can take on different challenges, learn new things, and see my impact, all with a great team around me. It’s that variety of roles and challenges that keeps me happy here, and I love that you can start something and actually see it through. You’re not just a cog in the wheel—you can really see the impact your work makes. That’s very different from your typical big company feel.

3. What’s your favorite thing about the way your specific job role works?

In my role today, I work cross-functionally across the entire organization, which means I really get to see what’s going on. Even in this remote environment, I can still keep tabs on what’s happening as we grow, and chat with different people and build relationships. That allows my team to learn new best practices or find new ways to do things, because each team has diverse skill-sets and experience levels, and we get to blend a lot of that into our own team as a result.

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

I really wanted to be a garbage man. I always liked cars and trucks, and looked forward to seeing the garbage truck go by. That job seemed cool and different. There was the one person driving the truck, and the other person who swung the trash in. You got to be outdoors and hang off the side of a car. Wind in your hair, slingin’ that trash.

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