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.
Associate on the Compliance Advisory/Vendor Oversight Team
Joined Avant in 2015
What’s it like to work @Avant? We asked Vanessa for her take on our culture, and here’s what she said:
1. How would you describe Avant’s culture?
Fast-paced, collaborative, and motivating. We’re all working toward the same goals, and that really shows cross-functionally. We bring each other into projects at the earliest stages in order to achieve positive results with a diligent but quick turnaround time. Really, we just love to figure sh!t out and to get sh!t done. And we always do! My coworkers are amazing. They’re always pushing me to do better, think better, come up with innovative ways to do things.
2. Why are you happy/successful here?
I attribute my happiness to two things. One, to my hard work, which I inherited from my parents (shoutout to them!). And two, to the mentors that I’ve had over the last six and a half years here. Nupur, Pooja, Arshiya, AJ, and so many other people have challenged me to think outside of the box or take the next step in my career, or even change career paths.
I actually started in Operations on the call center floor. I always had really good quality assurance averages and was interested in that aspect of what the agents do, so I took it to the next level and moved to Quality Assurance. That’s where I realized that I am really interested in Compliance. So one day, I went over to Dave and said, “hey, I noticed someone on your team is leaving. Can you tell me about the role?” and it took off from there.
It was scary to transition to the corporate side—I’ve worked in customer service since I was 16—but I was welcomed with open arms. It’s so great to have people I trust pushing me to take opportunities outside of my comfort zone. And I feel like I’ve been flourishing in this vendor oversight role. I get to combine my strong project management skills with the Compliance skills I’ve acquired. And I genuinely care about our customers, so the work the Compliance team does to protect them is meaningful.
3. What’s your favorite thing about the way your specific job role works?
I think my favorite thing about working on the vendor oversight team is that I get to work with a lot of different people, both within the company and externally. Internally, obviously I work with my own co-workers, but I also work across bands and departments. That’s pretty unique—like, someone in my role wouldn’t normally be speaking to the CCO. It’s really enjoyable to be able to make those types of connections. And I am so enthusiastic about where Avant’s headed. Because I’m able to see the vendors that are being onboarded, I get a bit of a sneak peek into what’s coming down the pipeline. I really enjoy that.
We also have a more collaborative approach to risk acceptance with new vendors that you don’t see at other companies. Our approach is to put controls into place and do a proof-of-concept test with a vendor before we fully onboard them. We have that tolerance to make some mistakes and learn, and that way we can come up with a smarter gameplan. Traditional banks can be less willing to take that risk and make those mistakes, learn, and come together collaboratively. But our approach is really collaborative! So many new vendors are coming out all the time, and just because you’ve had a vendor for 20 years doesn’t mean they’re still the best. That innovation is so important.
4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be a vet. I love animals.