Role: Senior Machine Learning Engineer
Team: Engineering Data
Why did you join Fast?
I had been following Domm (Holland, Co-Founder and CEO at Fast), Allison (Barr Allen, Co-Founder and COO at Fast), and the Fast team on Twitter since March of 2020 and was a huge fan of their marketing strategy. I thought the product was brilliant, and I absolutely loved their Twitter strategy – it was just so fun. Then an engineering manager I knew through a Latinos in Tech community mentioned they were looking for people with a background in machine learning and engineering, and the stars aligned.
What were you doing before?
I spent most of my career in financial services working as a data scientist and engineer at AIG, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Goldman Sachs.
Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?
I grew up in the South Side of Chicago. Both of my parents are from Mexico, so I was a fairly typical Mexican-American kid, by which I mean I was an altar boy, listened to a lot of loud Vicente Fernández, and spent most of my time around my enormous extended family.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I won my first amateur boxing match … but I lost the next two.
What’s your productivity hack?
Waking up early. I start the day at 5 a.m. mostly because I find that my best work is early in the day before the natural chaos of life interferes.
When did someone’s kindness toward you make a big difference in your life?
Pretty much every step of the way. Growing up in a working class immigrant family didn’t provide access to an excessive amount of opportunities, but people along the way in high school, college, graduate school, and throughout my career supported me.
One of the people that stands out the most is my college econometrics professor, who encouraged me to pursue my first master’s degree and to take more advanced coursework. It set me on the path to work in data, computational statistics, and finance.
Who’s your celebrity doppelgänger?
According to starbyface.com, it’s Gennady Golovkin, the professional boxer from Kazakhstan or Keanu Reeves, the latter of which I’m happy to accept!
Living or dead, who would you like to interview and why?
Probably Kurt Vonnegut. He’s my favorite writer, and I just loved how he saw the world. He has this simultaneously dark yet profound outlook on humanity and life, and I just find that fascinating.
What’s your top travel destination?
Taipei, Taiwan. My wife and I went there for our honeymoon, and it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to go back again.
Where do you see yourself a year from now?
Building out more data and machine learning at Fast. Fast has been the most fun I’ve had in my career, and I’m excited about the work I do here everyday!