Alan Day, in Growth Finance, shares how creativity in finance can take many forms

Dropbox
Dropbox
Sep 27, 2018 · 7 min read
Alan Day

For Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM), from September 15 to October 15, we are highlighting the contributions made by members of the Latinx community in creative fields all over the world, with the theme: “Celebrating Latinx Creative Energy.” Our employee resource group LatinX@ will host activities in our offices that will shine a light on the creative expressions of Latinx and Hispanic figures, celebrate the diversity within the community, and inspire everyone to release their creative energy. In honor of HHM, we’ll be featuring Dropboxers and sharing their stories and what the month means to them.

Q: What is your name, what office do you work out of, and how long have you been at Dropbox?

A: My name is Alan Arturo Day García, and I’ve been working at Dropbox HQ in San Francisco since May 2018.

Q: What is your current role at Dropbox?

A: I work on the growth finance team, which works alongside the growth product team to keep our business healthy and growing. We own revenue forecasting and tracking for our self-service (i.e., non-outbound) products and provide analytical support for new initiatives. Basically, we help the growth team make the best decisions for Dropbox and our stakeholders.

Q: Anything that you have done/accomplished at Dropbox that you’re proud of?

A: I was proud to be a part of Dropbox’s second earnings call in September. My reporting and analysis were used extensively by our executive team as they answered questions from Wall Street analysts, which was very exciting. Most importantly, we were able to share the results of a complex initiative in a way that makes sense and highlights the strength of our performance.

Q: Have you had transformational or inspirational moments at Dropbox?

A: I made a shrine with my team to celebrate our colleague, who just had his four-year anniversary with Dropbox. It was a lot of fun to memorialize all the good times he’s had on the team — a reminder that we work with some cool people.

The shrine made to celebrate Alan’s colleague’s 4 year Dropiversary

Q: Why did you decide to join Dropbox?

A: I attended a party that Dropbox hosted for interns in the Bay Area in 2013, while I was interning at Google. I got to (briefly) meet Drew and Arash and was super impressed by the company’s culture and positive vibes. Since then, I kept my eye out for the right role and, with the help of some friendly Dropboxers, joined up this year!

Dropbox Intern Party in 2013

Q: What surprised you most about Dropbox when you joined?

A: I was pleasantly surprised to see how involved my team is in strategic projects. Finance teams don’t always harness their tremendous, specialized knowledge to drive better decisions, but this group is always plugged in and providing deeper insights to help us improve the business.

Q: What does creative energy mean to you?

A: Creative energy is the urge to produce something beautiful. Whether it’s a website, a skyscraper, a painting, even a financial model — creation is an exciting and beautiful act that defines our time on earth. Creative energy is excitement, both on the job and outside of work. Perhaps more abstractly, I’ve also long agreed that art doesn’t need a reason to exist, which is all the more reason to unleash your creative energy every day.

Q: How do you unleash your creative energy in your day?

A: At the office, creative energy is the pride and joy I get from delivering a well-crafted analysis. Working in finance may not seem like a creative endeavor, but the insights I drive with my team almost always benefit from a little-added ingenuity. This can take the form of visuals, language, or presentation.

Q: What are your hobbies? Or what can we find you doing outside of work?

A: I enjoy making music (piano and singing, mostly) and taking my adorable poodle on “wisdom walks.” My wife and I love dinner dates, and have been known to frequent the Himalayan Tandoori & Curry House in Berkeley and Gen Korean BBQ in Concord. I also just inaugurated a new grill we received as a wedding gift — I have a feeling it will become a much-enjoyed leisure activity. Finally, I get some great video game recommendations from my brothers Adrian and Victor — Civilization V and Minecraft have eaten up many hours of my life.

Alan enjoying a meal with Osito

Q: What is something interesting about you that not a lot of people know?

A: In 2011, I spent several months wandering around Spain. I visited my old hometown, Avila, and then journeyed north to Santander to spend time with a former schoolmate. On a whim, and with the last-minute advice of my friend, I decided to take a bus to Pamplona to partake in the raucous festival of San Fermin, better known as the running of the bulls. I arrived in Pamplona on the afternoon of the festival, met some fellow Mexicans in the bus terminal, enjoyed the festivities through the night, slept in a park the next day, and took a train to the airport to return to the United States.

Q: Anything else, you’d like to share?

A: If you’re looking for a fun, culturally-stimulating vacation, I will encourage you to visit my home state of Guanajuato, Mexico. My mother’s hometown, Dolores Hidalgo, is known as the cradle of the Mexican independence movement. San Miguel de Allende, where I married my lovely wife, was recently named the best city in the world by Travel & Leisure — for the second year in a row! Finally, Guanajuato city is an incredible destination built into the rocky hills surrounding it. We are fortunate to have some of the most beautiful colonial landscapes in the country and a rich history. If you visit, you won’t be disappointed.

(left) Alan’s home state of Guanajuato — this is San Miguel de Allende

About Hispanic Heritage Month

Q: What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

A: Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for our community to share our stories with the world. The cultures we live out every day are vibrant and lovely and worth sharing, especially in a country that doesn’t fully understand or appreciate them.

Q: If you’re comfortable, do you mind sharing your background?

A: I grew up in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. My mother’s family lives in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, and my father’s in Merida, Yucatan. Having moved around quite a bit as a youngster, Dolores Hidalgo feels like home. I went to high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was super fortunate to join the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program at American University in Washington, D.C.

Q: Are there any past or present-day figures in your life who have inspired you?

A: My dear mother fed my voracious appetite for knowledge from a young age, taking me to museums and cultural landmarks whenever possible. Some of my favorite memories are touring Paris and London during the time we lived in Spain, as well as going to natural history museums to view dinosaur exhibits. She is always in my heart for pushing me to dream and be a better person.

My other primary inspiration in life is my wife, Nallely. She is a proud fellow Mexican and a shining light for Latinx men and women alike. A first-generation child of immigrants, Nallely is pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at Berkeley, where she focuses on migration and inequality. Her hard work and passion for justice are always uplifting, as is her sense of humor.

Q: This year’s theme is about celebrating Latinx creative energy and recognizing the creative contributions from all over Latin America. Do you have a favorite creative?

A: I love Mexican muralism (fun fact: it features heavily in my wedding photos) for its celebration of our national identity and the way it has immortalized the great sociopolitical debates of decades long past. The three giants of this genre are José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera. My favorite is probably Rivera, primarily because of two great works: La Gran Tenochtitlán and El hombre controlador del universo.

Alan on his wedding day, posed in front of a Mexican mural.

Q: How can we celebrate every day and not just limit it to the 30 days?

A: This is an important moment in history to live out our cultures and be proud of our identities, and we should also hold ourselves to a higher standard, so our community has role models. We may have to work twice as hard to achieve what others in this country take for granted — thankfully, we have closely-knit families, good food, and good humor to pull us through together.

Check back soon to meet more Dropboxers. In the meantime visit us at dropbox.com/jobs. Dropbox is growing, grow with us!

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Dropbox is transforming the way people work together. Our mission is to unleash the world’s creative energy by designing a more enlightened way of working.

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