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Meet Mariano Avila: The Fast Interview

Mariano Avila, Product Designer at Fast

Mariano Avila

Role: Product Designer

Team: Product Design

Talk about your background leading up to Fast.

This is actually my first job out of undergrad. Before Fast, I interned at Facebook for a couple of years while I was in college, doing product design for the consumer side: Facebook events, Facebook ads, all that fun stuff. While I was in college, I did a bunch of agency work and started a couple of failed apps. It's a pretty short background since this is my first job, but it's been fun.

How did you learn about Fast, and why did you say yes to joining the team?

Domm (Holland, Co-Founder and CEO of Fast) DM’d me on Twitter because I had posted this Apple Card redesign on my personal Twitter, and he said, “My name's Domm. This is what we're building.” “We'd love to chat.” So we chatted about Fast and what he and the team were building, and it sounded interesting. I knew I didn't want to go back to Facebook and do the big company stuff. It was a good learning experience, but it wasn't necessarily my thing. I wanted to try startups just to see if I liked it a bit more, and I'm glad I did.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?

I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, right outside of Tulsa, called Owasso. I've always been super creative and curious. I never liked school. My friends and I would always write scripts for short films and stuff like that, instead of doing assignments. I also skateboarded a lot when I was younger.

What was your first job ever?

My first paycheck actually came from an acting gig. I used to do commercials and random jobs as an extra in films. My dad was an indie film director for a little bit when I was growing up, so I was exposed to it from an early age.

Besides the career path you’re on now, was there ever a different one you considered taking?

I was interested in film. I think just growing up in it, that always seemed like a potential career path for me. I also thought I was going to be a lawyer for a little bit because I did mock trial throughout high school. I had the opportunity to shadow a couple of lawyers, and I found out that I didn't like the actual day-to-day of being a lawyer.

What app on your phone do you use the most?

Probably either Twitter or iMessage. I have 837 unopened messages on iMessage.

What food do you uncontrollably eat?

Can I say a drink?

Yes.

Cool. I'll say matcha. I love matcha. I have a matcha latte almost every morning.

Who’s your favorite TV or film character?

I don't know if there's one person necessarily. I'm a lot more interested in who's behind the camera, like directors, who styled the wardrobes, who scored the movie, stuff like that.

Do you have a favorite director, producer, or studio?

A24 is a film studio that I've been into a lot recently. I have a lot of favorite directors, like Tarantino, Scorcese, but recently I think Jonah Hill's directorial debut with “mid90s” was really good.

What was the last show you binge-watched?

It was probably “Looking for Alaska.” It was really good.

What personal goal would you like to achieve in the next five years?

I want to create in multiple industries, like music, fashion, and film. All that stuff has always interested me. In tech, it'd be cool to be able to invest in underrepresented founders and people like those in my hometown who don't necessarily realize this as a career path.

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