New Hire Spotlight: Melissa Santos, Senior Product Manager

After a winding and opportunistic career, our new Senior Product Designer is bringing a creative viewpoint to the team!

The Lendtable TeamNovember 28, 2023

Hi Melissa, we're so excited to have you here! Why don't you introduce yourself a little?

Where are you from?

I grew up south of Seattle in Kent, WA, but have been in SF ~12 years and lived in Southeast Asia ~3 years before that.

Before coming to Lendtable, what were you doing?

I was a designer at Microsoft. Before tech, I was a chocolatier fine dining pastry chef.

What made you choose to come to Lendtable?

It's something I could have used when I was early in career—it could have changed my wealth story dramatically. Besides that, fintech appeals to me because people will always have money problems; why not try to solve them with a rad, energized team?

Why is Lendtable's mission important to you?

I'm a child of immigrants and a woman, which has led to a lot of "save, don't spend money you don't have" type of advice. It's decent, but limited. I love giving more people the tools to build wealth. We're uniquely positioned to change their trajectory for generations to come. That sounds lofty, but if we get this right, we can do some real good.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Designing dumb swag, riding bikes, and helping my dog Taters live her number-one-seagull-botherer dreams.

Where do you look for financial tips and advice?

When I was at Microsoft, there was this great employee resource group for women's finance. People shared their money wins, strategies (travel hacking, maxing out benefits, tax advantages), and money questions they were afraid to ask anywhere else. You better believe I'm bothering my financial people at Fidelity quarterly. I also love talking to friends and colleagues about compensation, career, and finances, and how we can help each other get where we want to go.

What do you consider your greatest financial accomplishment?

There are so many ways to look at this. I'd say the most impressive was keeping my hooks in San Francisco while working in the restaurant industry for 3 years. I made less than $30,000 a year and lived in a rent-controlled apartment that had more roommates than bedrooms and a truly unpleasant cat (and I love cats). Thank you, Craigslist.

Other big moments were fighting a pay equity issue and winning, getting my first apartment by myself, and negotiating compensation.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

Do more intentional goofing off and trying things on. Invest.

Rapid fire time!

Favorite season?

Bike ride season (always be biking).

Pet peeve?

Wet countertops.

Favorite cuisine?

I'm in a big soup era right now.

Favorite city?

Bangkok.

Favorite drink?

Leeward Negroni at PCH or a dirty gin martini at The Lone Palm.

Nickname?

Chef.

Any last remarks?

I'm so glad to work with this team and see their wonderful faces IRL. Remote work has unlocked a lot of opportunities, but it's not it for me.

Want to join us? We want to hear from you.

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San Francisco
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