Our Employee Spotlight series continues with Diana Liu, a veritable Swiss army knife, who isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and jump in wherever she’s needed.
Diana Liu may call California home, but for the foreseeable future, she’s criss-crossing the continent in an effort to take full advantage of Finch’s remote-first model. In a recent conversation, she told us about her extensive travel plans, her eclectic role at Finch, and the recent read she couldn’t put down.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in the Bay Area and went to Berkeley for my undergrad degree. I’ve always been in communities where innovation, big ideas, and working really hard are encouraged. On top of that, my dad is an immigrant who started his own technology company in his 30s. I always thought that was really impressive of him and very admirable. I think that's what brought me to Finch–wanting to be part of this culture that I grew up in.
What did the path to Finch look like?
I wasn't technical; I didn't take a lot of coding classes in undergrad, but I still wanted to be a part of the tech world after I graduated. After college, I joined Deloitte’s HR strategy consulting arm. That's where I first realized how complex HR can get with fragmented data and a lot of manual processes. When Jeremy and Ansel reached out to me, I was very excited about the opportunity to change the employment data landscape.
What makes you a good fit for Finch and vice versa?
One thing that is really stressed is execution and ownership, especially when I started, because there were so few people to do the work that needed to be done. I think that's something that's in my nature: taking responsibility, managing projects, tracking action items, and reminding people to get stuff done.
What’s your role at Finch?
I work on functions that don't have a full-time person allotted to them and on ad-hoc projects. I also help with functions that the team thinks are critical–hiring, for example. I help with recruiting by conducting phone screenings and creating interviews. I address customer support tickets, create public-facing documentation for our customers, and manage billing and invoicing. I'm also working on marketing, security, and on streamlining some company-wide processes.
How would you like to see your role evolve?
What I would really like to do is continue to be a jack of all trades. By working in every function, I'll have a good idea of how they can effectively operate together. This also lets me create process documentation and playbooks for each role, so that when new hires join us, they'll have a baseline to iterate on.
What’s challenging about your job?
Most of my experience is in project management and product operations. I’m surprised to find myself working on customer support, hiring, security, and marketing projects. The learning curve is challenging, in a good way!
What excites you about your work?
Honestly, it's the customers. As I've come to understand our product more and see all of the manual processes it reduces, I'm really happy to see more customers connected and more integrations set up. I try to make sure that everything I do contributes to our mission of being there for our customers and helping as many as possible connect through Finch.
What makes Finch a great place to work?
At the end of the day, it's about the people. The whole team is very intelligent, very hardworking, but they're also very kind, which I think is hard to come by. Although I've liked most people I've worked with in the past, I do think that this group has something special.
How are you taking advantage of the fact that you get to work from home?
I plan to spend eight months out of the year traveling around North America and finding out what it's like to work and live in different places (depending on COVID). I’m super excited and I'm really thankful that Finch is a remote-first company, and it's not just because of the pandemic. We fundamentally believe that great people can come from anywhere and work from any city.
Where are you going, and where have you been?
I’m most looking forward to Hawaii, for sure, because Hawaii is Hawaii. I’ll also be in L.A. for two months, Puerto Rico for a few weeks, and Canada for a few weeks. I already spent a few months in New York, which was great. It was my first time visiting for more than a weekend, and I met up with one of my teammates several times.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
When I'm traveling, I like to do all the tourist-y things like exploring museums and eating good food. But when I'm at home, I like to do things that nurture my soul. I have treasured plants and paint with acrylics once in a while. I love to read, especially fiction or autobiographies by Asian-American authors, and I like to spend time with family and friends, for sure.
Have you read any great books lately?
There’s one called Not Yo’ Butterfly. It's by Nobuko Miyamoto, who was a professional dancer as well as an activist, and she’s pretty famous in the L.A. area. She writes about her life, what it was like being a minority in the ballet world, and her experience learning what it means to be an Asian-American activist.
What are you passionate about?
It's going to sound really cheesy, but I'm very passionate about spreading kindness in the world. Especially with COVID and everything that happened in the last two years, there's a lot of negativity, both in the news and on social media. I'm realizing, as I grow older, that life is hard for a lot of people and to just be kind to everyone I meet. I think that's also what drove me to go into HR-related work –because people spend so much of their time at work, they might as well enjoy it there.
Interested in joining Finch? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions.