Wai Ling Ye is a city girl whose path to MK Decision (MK) has been quite an adventure. As a born and raised New Yorker, she grew up in Queens, went to high school in Manhattan, and attended college in Rochester. Eventually, she settled in the West Coast—almost 2,800 miles away. Wai Ling joined the MK team as a Product Manager after successfully completing her Time For Experience (TFE) program as a User Experience (UX) Designer. In this month’s People Spotlight, Wai Ling discusses her interest in product management, why she loves her job, and what surprised her while working at MK.

What did you study in college?

I received my bachelor’s degree in cell and developmental biology. I planned on becoming a researcher, but working in a lab wasn’t what I expected. The long hours and tedious repetition requires being passionate about the subject, which I wasn’t.

Is that what led you to seek a career in UX Design?

I’ve always been drawn to designing, but I didn’t know what UX Design was until a friend introduced it to me. I was excited to pursue it professionally because I love to create designs that not only look beautiful but are highly functional.

How did you get started at MK Decision?

I joined the MK team as a UX Design TFE. My first project was to draft a simple, streamlined sign up for MK's website. After I finished my assignment, Guru Dharam Khalsa, co-founder and COO of MK, asked me to try writing business process stories. I found that my design background helped me to see the big picture and establish the detailed requirements needed to turn an idea into reality.

What are your duties as a Product Manager?

I identify what our partners need and lay out the plan to build products to meet those requirements. To ensure the delivery of a project, I break it down into smaller tasks that can be assigned to team members. Moreover, I constantly update our associates on the platform we’re building for them.

What attracted you to the Product Management role?

Similar to the design process, I’m able to architect an entire project from start to finish. I like being able to plan features that are functional, easy to use, and visually appealing.

How would you describe your role to a child?

If you asked me to build your dream castle, my job is to decide where everything goes. For instance, how high the towers are, where the courtyard should be placed, and how many roses to plant in the garden. After that, I’ll make a schedule and find the builders to make your castle a reality.

If you could describe MK in one word, what would it be and why?

Exhilarating. We’re moving incredibly fast in an industry that moves very slow; we’re truly creating the future of lending.

Has anything surprised you while working here?

I’m surprised in myself. I’ve always been nervous to take on leadership roles, but I’m really enjoying being a Product Manager. I don’t feel like I’m out of place, which is due to the welcoming culture at MK.

How did you know MK was the right place for you?

Guru Dharam and Har Rai Khalsa, CEO of MK, are really receptive and passionate about helping community banks optimize their lending programs. They believe in the impact of their mission, which is incredibly important to me. As part of the MK team, I also want to feel like my work is significant. While I don’t have a lot of experience in the banking industry, I know the value our products bring to both borrowers and lenders.

Interested in learning more about the MK team? Check out the People Spotlight tag.