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Meet Christine Hurtubise, VP of Data Science at Stash
Christine will be a featured speaker at our event for data scientists in NYC on 6/19
Christine Hurtubise, VP of Data Science at Stash, the innovative company dedicated to simplifying investing, is spearheading how Stash uses data to drive value. We spoke to Christine about her career journey, what products Stash has in their pipeline and how she's found her own leadership style.
On June 19th, Christine will be a featured speaker at an invite-only event PowerToFly is presenting for women data scientists, engineers and analysts. If you are interested in attending, you can learn more about the event here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation.
How did you first become involved in data science?
I studied Mathematics and French in college, so I was always interested in an interdiscipline practice, and Data Science is a great mix of communication and quantitative work. After graduation, I became a consultant at the software company SunGard, where my team worked on developing and implementing banking risk models. At that time (2011), data science was blossoming as a field, so I moved to the FinTech company, OnDeck, as a data scientist. It was an opportunity to leverage my financial modeling skills while better understanding machine learning and the start-up business.
In November, you transitioned from being a data scientists to the VP level. How were you able to make sure that this transition was a successful one?
I was at OnDeck for three years, where I had started and ultimately led three other teams of growing size. The biggest difference between an individual contributor role and a leadership one is that your focus has to be on elevating the work of those around you. Growing the skills of my team is crucial, but I am also tasked with making sure Stash uses data in a way that drives value. I spend a lot of time with my colleagues understanding our roadmap and what we can deliver to the market.
During your time at Stash and beyond, what have you seen as the biggest change in the fin tech landscape?
FinTech companies need to develop a strong brand around client trust, as they are new entrants in a market that is tasked with a sensitive and important role of customer's financial well-being. Customer privacy and protection are central to our values at Sash. We do not share data. Our focus is using data to offer financial access at scale, and being able to customize clients' experiences across our various products.
What current or upcoming products at Stash have you particularly excited?
I'm very excited to see the evolution of our Coach feature, which guides your journey on the app by presenting dynamic and personalized challenges. This gamification is one of several places where we can use models and user-specific rule sets to make finance fun and engaging.
What advice would you have for other women who are looking to enter leadership roles?
There's no "one size fits all" in leadership; you have to find your own style and voice. I'm not loud or particularly outgoing, so I focus on developing genuine relationships and producing quality work consistently in order to give the times I do speak up the most impact. If you have a clear vision for your practice, then you should take opportunities to step up and share your ideas.
Working at a startup can be a fast paced environment. How do you maintain a strong work-life balance and how does Stash help you achieve that?
I try to approach each project with high quality focus, as opposed to grinding through arbitrary hours. Stash gives me flexibility in my hours along with a lot of creative control over my work. The work here is so interesting, that I get excited to continue. My commute is quite long, so I can never stay late in the office, but I am happy to work at home later.
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Disclosure: The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Stash. Stash is not providing any financial, economic, legal, accounting, or tax advice, or recommendations in this article