<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=316029722675592&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

I am Mexican American. My father, Lazaro, came to this country from Mexico at the age of 14 and my mother, Alejandra, at the age of 17. They left behind their comfort, homes, and families in Mexico to pursue the American Dream— without knowing a single word of English or having finished elementary school.

When thinking back to my childhood, the biggest topic of conversation at the dinner table was education. My mother always told me, “Finish college, get an education, so that when you grow up, and you see something wrong, you can be the voice for those who are afraid. Be the voice for those who do not understand and cannot defend themselves.” This was my motivation for pursuing a career in People Operations/Human Resources.

Socure fosters a culture of curiosity, where team members are encouraged to ask questions and share ideas. I feel incredibly honored to work for a company that supports my growth, celebrates my heritage, and allows me to take on projects such as this.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I had the opportunity to interview some of my wonderful colleagues who are also of hispanic heritage, to learn more about what (and who!) makes Socure so unique.

Unice

 

 

Unice Arce 
Manager, Graphic Design

 


What is an important lesson you’ve learned during your career?

Never get comfortable and never stop learning. Be involved in projects that might be out of your comfort zone which make it challenging and an opportunity to grow. That way, you can learn new skill sets that will help you expand your portfolio and have the ability to choose from many career paths and industries in the future.

How has your culture played a role in your career?
I honestly haven’t felt my culture has played much part in my professional career, at least not in a conscious way. I’m from a border city (the mexican side) and most people had my same culture or were exposed to it daily. When I moved to NYC, there were tons of different cultures pursuing the 

same opportunities as I was. Besides betting with my coworkers on a losing team every 4 years in the World Cup, nothing relevant comes to mind. Well actually, I’m bilingual— so that helps sometimes!  

How has Socure supported your growth and development?
Socure has always supported me in my pursuit of new skills, which is something that I’ve always wanted to have in my career. I’ve been able to use my moderate, but increasingly improving UI abilities for both the DocV native app and our website (coming soon!). I’ve also had the opportunity to refresh my front end development skills with a General Assembly course that Socure was kind enough to sponsor through the professional development allowance to all employees.

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
As my previous creative director used to say, “At the end of the day, it’s just hamburgers”. He used to work at Jack in the Box (fast food chain in the west coast) and he would say this to me every time he saw me overwhelmed over a project, a client or a deadline. Point being: it’s not the end of the world if something goes wrong (which it always will); nobody is going to die or be scarred for life. P.S. I don’t recommend this advice to surgeons.

What has been your greatest achievement at Socure?
I’m proud to say that my "greatest achievement" changes constantly as time goes by, but I’m more fond of my first one: I was able to create the entire design of our Money 20/20 trade show event with just a couple of weeks in the company and working on a brand refresh at the same time. I still pat myself on the back for that.

What advice would you give to other Hispanics/Latinos pursuing a career in FinTech?
Don’t feel yourself different or any less from anyone else, just go for it. I’ve never considered myself at a disadvantage for being hispanic or a woman designer; I’m a designer, no labels attached. True, there might have been some situations that weren’t too favorable for me in my career but I just think of them as a “stuff happens” moment, don't dwell about it and move on.

Omar

 

 

Omar Guiterrez
Senior Director of Data Scientist

 


What is an important lesson you’ve learned during your career?

I’ve learned that initiative, creativity, and taking ownership of my work are the most crucial factors in reaching my professional goals. Although my Master’s degree was in mathematical finance and not data science, I was always interested in this field and thus took the initiative to gain additional skills that would make me more competitive— and those skills are what led me to where I am today. When looking at data science problems, I have learned that looking at them through a theoretical lens might not always be the most effective. It is oftentimes the more practical approach that is the most useful. Ultimately, what I have learned is that it is important to constantly challenge ourselves and our views because the best paths or answers may be where we least expect them. 

What was the biggest lesson you learned growing up in your household that you value till this day?
I was raised by two very hard working immigrant parents that taught me that a strong work ethic and individual responsibility are crucial for attaining success. They also taught me that excuses never take you far, it is only by overcoming obstacles and challenging ourselves that we can truly reach a level of accomplishment that we can be proud of. 

How has Socure supported your growth and development?
I started as a data scientist and was soon given the opportunity to lead other data scientists. The challenge of leading a team was difficult, but it pushed me to be better and it was thanks to the support and trust of Socure that I was able to expand my leadership skills. 

What advice would you give to other Hispanics/Latinos pursuing a career in FinTech? 
Although Latinos are currently a minority in the FinTech field, it does not mean that we are not welcomed or that we do not belong. When I got started in this field, I never saw myself as a minority, instead, I saw myself as part of a team that shared the same goal. My advice to Latinos pursuing a career in this field is to always look for ways to improve by learning new skills and to think outside the box. FinTech companies, and more specifically startups, are data driven companies that depend on their team members to bring their creativity to solve difficult problems. While challenging, pursuing a career in this field is extremely rewarding because every member is important in determining the success or failure of the entire company and it is exciting to be part of a team that is constantly changing and innovating.

060518 PICZ - HEADSHOTS--19

 

 

Luis Sosa
Senior Data Scientist

 


How has your culture played a role in your career? 

It has motivated me to work harder in my role. There are not many Hispanic/Latino data scientists in general, therefore I've felt more motivated to exceed expectations and deliver as best as I can.

How has Socure supported your growth and development?
Socure has supported my growth by giving me new responsibilities in areas where I can continue to grow. I have seen my responsibilities range from delivering machine learning results to leadership, to managing weekly meetings focusing on big projects and initiatives. This wide range of responsibilities have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. 

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
I used to be quiet and shy in meetings until my former manager Omar Gutierrez gave me advice on speaking up and sharing my thoughts/ideas more. Since then, I've found the confidence to voice out my opinion and ideas in discussion. Another good piece of advice is the importance of documenting and writing a plan out, which came from my current manager Artjom Klein.

Who has been the greatest influence on your career?
I’ve had many great influences in my career, but most recently, I have been inspired by Socure’s management. A few of our VP's are Hispanic/Latino, and this has had a profoundly positive and inspirational aspect to my career growth.

What has been your greatest achievement at Socure?
My greatest achievement working at Socure would have to be working on evaluating a list of data vendors. In the beginning there were so many vendors we were evaluating and it was very overwhelming. However, once things started moving we were able to streamline some processes which allowed for quick and efficient evaluations of many data sources. 

What advice would you give to other Hispanics/Latinos pursuing a career in FinTech?
Get into a habit of over-delivering and continue to be curious and open to learning new technologies. Hispanics/Latinos are underrepresented in fintech but that does not mean we are under-qualified, so it’s very important to get into the habit of exceeding expectations. Do not be afraid to ask questions and most importantly learn from others the same way others can learn from you.

Topics: celebration, women, careers, women in tech, employees, work life balance, team

Michelle Tovar

Michelle Tovar

Michelle is Socure’s People Operations Coordinator. Previously, she was at Enterprise Holdings as a Management Trainee and then HR Professional where she discovered her passion for helping her colleagues in a variety of areas specifically employee development and growth. When not working, you can find her at the Kensico Dam Plaza where she loves to walk and catch up with her friends.