Meet The Originals: Celebrating our 100th employee

We reached 100 employees! To celebrate, we put together a special edition of Meet the Originals

December 23, 2021

Our co-founders Matt Watson and Joao de Paula started Origin with one goal in mind: To help people reach financially healthy lives while creating a great place to work. In this series, get a behind-the-scenes look at life at Origin and hear first-hand from Originals about why they enjoy coming to work every day so much.

Today’s “Meet The Originals” post is special. We’re thrilled to share that, after launching in 2018, we recently hired our 100th employee. This is a meaningful milestone for our team. Why? Because it demonstrates that what we’re doing at Origin is working. We’re growing the number of employers we work with every year. Our existing customers love our product. And the Origin platform only gets better—and more comprehensive–with time.

To celebrate, we want to put the spotlight on 5 employees who make the work we do every day possible (and really fun). Check out our conversations below!

Neila Pereira

Neila Pereira
Neila Pereira

Neila is our São Paulo-based People Partner. Her role is focused on recruiting top talent to join Origin (FYI, we’re hiring) and finding ways to help the team be more productive. In her free time, she loves watching TV shows about home building and organizing.

Q. What does financial wellness mean to you?
Financial well-being means having freedom, building dreams, and achieving goals. It’s also about having the power in your hands to change your reality.

Q. What made you want to work at Origin?
I view Origin as a huge white canvas being worked on by amazing painters. The idea of contributing to this work in progress with extremely motivated people was very attractive to me.

Q. What’s one thing that people interested in working at Origin should know?
A good team is made up of diversity, in all forms. Here at Origin, we value that a lot—and this has made our team extremely powerful. Our environment is full of challenges that will help you build the best version of yourself while also delivering exceptional results.

Alvin Tsuei

Alvin Tsuei
Alvin Tsuei

Alvin is our Strategy & Operations Analyst. He joined Origin one month ago and is currently based out of New York City, which means he gets to visit our New York office several times a week! Alvin has been loving the journey at Origin so far and says the company has been a phenomenal place to grow, learn, and work alongside outstanding people.

Q. What’s the best financial advice you’ve ever received?

Invest early because compounding is very real. The biggest differentiator in how much an investment grows isn’t the original amount invested, but how early and how much time the investment has had time to compound.

Q. What’s the best part of your job? What’s the most challenging?

I love wearing many hats on a daily basis and thinking through complex issues that we have to tackle. The most challenging part is definitely how fast we move, but that’s also what makes work so exciting and interesting.

Q. Can you give us a behind-the-scenes look into a typical day at Origin?

There’s no typical day—at least in my team! Our workstreams can range anywhere from hiring Certified Financial Planners or Certified Public Accountants for planning or tax, to researching international planning conventions for our international expansion plans, to meeting with our team and various other Origin teams to think through the strategy of specific projects or issues.

Heather Comella

Heather is our Sacramento-based Customer and Planning Success Lead and has been at Origin for 2 years. Fun fact: she once crowd surfed to the front of a Stone Temple Pilots concert, went on stage and sang “Plush” with Chester Bennington.

Q. How has Origin changed since you joined?

The number of people at Origin since I started working here has grown 25x in the United States! I love that we’ve developed a culture that has a fast-paced environment, encourages constant learning and support, and prioritizes the end-user experience.

Q. What’s one valuable lesson you’ve learned since working at Origin?

To use a scientific approach to product decisions. For example, we’ve developed hypotheses for driving engagement that we’ll be testing in the new year. With this approach, it’s OK to be wrong as long as we’re ready to adapt and adjust quickly. So many small businesses get stuck and don’t grow because they’re afraid to test hypotheses that would allow them to scale.

Q. What are some things you’re proud of accomplishing since joining Origin?

I’ve developed so many relationships with clients that I believe will be lifelong. The connection and level of trust gained in those relationships are really rewarding.

Bruno Barretto

Bruno Barretto
Bruno Barretto

Bruno is Origin’s very first Product Designer and has been with the team for almost 3 years. He currently lives in São Paulo and, before joining Origin, was the co-founder of a design agency that worked with some of Brazil’s top singers and bands—including Ivete Sangalo, Margareth Menezes, and Xanddy.

Q. Why is financial wellness so important?

Financial wellness makes it possible for people to be able to get rid of the stress that affects their mental and physical health. By taking control of your finances, you can accomplish your biggest goals and have more time to do things that make you feel better and happier.

Q. What differentiates Origin’s culture from others?

At Origin, I learned that a company can be humanistic. I can feel how much Origin cares about the lives and health of its employees. In addition to offering benefits focused on physical and mental health, Origin supports all employees through meditation sessions, mental health workshops, and articles written by our People team. Origin’s culture encourages people to help take care of each other.

Q. What would you tell candidates who are thinking about applying for a job at Origin?

Origin’s culture is the golden key. I’ve never met people who are so proactive and interested in collaborating with everyone. We have the opportunity to learn from experts in all fields, and we’re motivated to grow professionally and elevate each other. This company has the best people I’ve ever worked with.

Joice Sena

Joice Sena
Joice Sena

Joice is a Junior Frontend Engineer working out of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Outside of work, she’s passionate about orangutan conservation and dreams of one day being a volunteer at the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation—an organization that saves orangutans in immediate danger by rescuing, rehabilitating, and reintroducing them into protected rainforests.

Q. What recommendation would you share with someone who is just starting their financial wellness journey?

You need to have an emergency fund for unforeseen situations and think about important life moments like retirement. Sometimes—especially when you come from a non-privileged background—you may think that setting financial goals is silly. But it’s not! Once you get your needs and savings under control, you can plan for your wants as well.

Q. Why did you join Origin?

I wanted to work for a product company that cares about helping people. And I believe that Origin’s mission of bringing financial wellness to everyone, everywhere, is definitely something that can have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Q. What is it like being on the Origin engineering team?

Of course, being on the engineering team involves a lot of coding. We’re always coding something—alone or during pair programming—and also reviewing other people’s codes through pull requests.

But a typical day for me involves much more than just coding. It’s also about communicating a lot, providing visibility into what I’m working on, and syncing with the team to see if what we’re doing is aligned with the expectations for that sprint or if we need to reprioritize something.

Also, on my current team, we follow the dual-track agile methodology, which means that— depending on the moment of the product—a typical day can also involve doing discovery for new features, analyzing prototypes, and refining tasks to get them ready for the future sprints.

We’re so grateful to our employees for all their dedication, hard work, and meaningful contributions to our team. Stay tuned to our “Meet The Original” series to get to know our other team members. Also, if you’re curious to learn more about what it’s like to work at Origin or want to check out our current job openings, visit our Careers page!

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