‘I Love My Job’: Making an ‘Upsized Impact’ on How Finance Is Done at a Mission-Driven Company

Sponsored by Upstart

Sai Vemuri. Photo courtesy of Upstart.

Sai Vemuri. Photo courtesy of Upstart.

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June 23, 2024 at 1:50PM UTC

Welcome to I Love My Job, the series where we hear from women who really love their jobs. In this edition, we sat down with Upstart Software Engineering Senior Manager Sai Vemuri. Upstart uses artificial intelligence to improve access to affordable credit.

“We’re a mission-driven company on a path to change how finance is done,” Vemuri says. "Growth here is unbounded, and we have great women in our leadership team, as well as employee resource groups, such as Super Women, which offer mentorship programs. Upstart is a great place to be and to make an upsized impact.” 

Vemuri says she loves the “awesome coworkers, career growth opportunities, and strong leadership,” at the company, as well as Upstart’s differentiated products and mission. And Upstart’s mission of expanding access to credit is close to her heart. 

“My team and I are very well connected with the mission of the products and the company — we really care about the work we do,” she says. “Many of us have faced hardships getting financial aid.” 

For Vemuri, that meant dealing with an opaque, inefficient, and time-consuming financial aid process when moving to the U.S. for a graduate program at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Upstart is working to make borrowing an easier and more inclusive process for all. “At Upstart, our belief is that a person's credit score does not represent the true potential of that individual,” she explains. “The impact of my work at Upstart is huge and involves helping people across the U.S. get the financial support that they need as they try to start small businesses, consolidate debt, or weather an unexpected financial situation.”

In the video below, Vemuri tells us more about why she loves working at Upstart. We also provide lightly edited highlights from the video discussion in the following article.

Could you tell us more about your role at Upstart?

I have been with Upstart for close to two years. I started here leading the personal-loans engineering team... After setting up that team for success, I started supporting small-dollar loan products, building the engineering team, and together we have launched a flagship product in six months.

I'm currently focused on leading and expanding the small-dollar loans engineering team.

How would you describe the culture at Upstart?

Upstart believes in hiring mission-driven people and giving them autonomy to make an outsized impact. All the teams here share an overarching purpose to enable effortless credit based on true risk. 

At Upstart, we live by our values on a daily basis, including doing the right thing even when it's hard and making clever use of numbers. Leadership is also extremely supportive of our teams getting things done, and everyone is open to receiving and giving feedback. This has helped us make necessary process improvements and build strong teams. 

Another big thing that describes the culture here is transparency. Every week, we have a company meeting that all Upstarters are invited to, and they're welcome to post questions to our co-founders and the leadership team. And our co-founders still make time to meet with all the new hires for a Q&A where they can ask questions, which is a pretty cool experience for all the new hires here.

What types of benefits does Upstart provide?

Upstart also offers great perks: unlimited vacation policy, good health coverage, technology, and personal development budgets. 

Upstart is also a unique company that provides stellar career growth opportunities. I've seen engineers move into engineering management roles and people move across teams — this speaks to how Upstart values employees and provides career growth.

Interested in joining the Upstart team? They’re hiring! Click the link below to browse opportunities.

Fairygodboss is proud to work with Upstart. Find a job there today!

Check out other posts in the ‘I Love My Job’ series:

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