Meet Fundera: Our Product Designer and Traveller Extraordinaire

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Fundera.com. By Georgia McIntyre

Each month, we interview a member of our team to introduce you to the people who work hard to make your experience at Fundera top-of-class.

Next up on the Meet Fundera series? Meet our Product Designer, Leslie Luo. (And check out July’s interview, too!)

Leslie Luo, Product Designer

Nickname: My roommate and my brother like to call me “Lesss.” My boyfriend and his friends like to call me Yung Les. (I prefer neither.)

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Education: Design & Sociology — Organizational Studies at University of California, Davis

NYC Neighborhood: Chelsea

Favorite TV Show to Binge Watch: Modern Family, Bob’s Burgers, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Agents of Shield… Basically anything with humor and nothing with a complex story line.

Favorite Musician: Way too many…

Favorite “Fast Fact” About Yourself: I once climbed up to the top of Pam Bok Waterfall in Pai, Thailand. In Nike slippers. Because swollen mosquito bitten feet. I’d recommend and do it again 10 out of 10 times.

Putting a Face to Fundera

So you’re from California and went to school in California… How’d you end up in New York?

So I grew up in the Bay Area, went to school there, and I actually had a job offer out there. But I didn’t end up taking it because I wanted to see what else was out there and experience new things! Staying in the Bay Area would be comfortable for me, but it’s those uncomfortable situations that make me grow.

Fundera was actually the one who reached out to me and encouraged me to come over to New York and join the team. I figured I’d broaden my horizons and give it a shot!

What made you want to join Fundera?

I’ve always been interested in how design and technology come together, and the idea of solving that problem at Fundera sounded like an exciting challenge for me.

Fundera gave me a chance to explore something that I was super interested in and I’ve always wanted to do — and that opportunity doesn’t come around often.

What’s your favorite thing about Fundera?

What drew me to Fundera in the first place was the company’s mission. When I joined, it was clear that I was becoming a part of an effort to solve a real problem that exists for so many people. There will always be small businesses out there that need funding, and it should be much easier for them to get the capital they need than it currently is. Fundera is trying to solve a serious problem and help people, and I love being a part of that.

What’s great about being a product designer here is that I get to help influence how we connect to small business owners. My role is really all about the small business owner and making their experience with Fundera seamless. I love that I’m able to talk and interact with people on the front line and hear the voice of our users.

And one of the best things about Fundera is that everyone here is all about the small business owner. Every person on the team plays a different role, but it’s so clear that we’re all working together under one common mission. I love that we invite small business owners into our office for what we call “Brown Bag Lunches.” The whole team comes together and listens to how Fundera has helped a small business grow. Those lunches really show how our product serves real people with real life problems.

Switching gears… What’s your favorite thing about New York?

Well, when I came to New York from California I was really excited about how big the design community is here. As a designer, I’ve found that one of the best things we can do in our industry is network and just talk to people about what they do. New York gives me the opportunity to ask questions and learn from an amazing community of people.

Another great thing about New York is that, even though I’ve been here for 7 months now, I still get lost all the time! I’m always walking around asking myself, “Where am I?” Out in California I was used to an easy routine, but New York keeps me on my toes.

When you’re not in the Fundera office, how do you spend your free time?

I love hiking. I used to hike all the time in California, but as you can imagine, it’s a little harder to do here in New York.

I also love dogs, and I spend a lot of my time volunteering at ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

Leslie on her hike in Pai, Thailand. (Check out the slippers.)

Last thing. What’s one thing you wish more people knew about you?

I love to travel. Something about being in a new place, with (mostly) no internet, and having to rely on gut, paper maps, body language, and my relationship with whoever I’m traveling with is such a great learning experience. I also travel based on flight deals — I’ve traveled to Mexico City, Thailand, Portland, Denver, New Zealand, and Japan within these past two years. Next stop? I’m hoping Vietnam!

***

Have a suggestion for Leslie’s next destination? Feel free to leave it in the comments!


Originally published at www.fundera.com on August 15, 2016.

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