Ready for a change of scene, Anthony Villanueva moved from Houston, Texas to his wife’s home state of California to embark on his professional career. Anthony started at MK Decision (MK) as a Time For Experience “TFE” intern with an eagerness to learn. After many hours of hard work, he was hired on as our engineering department’s Quality Assurance Engineer. In this role, he ensures that all of our products are free of any bugs or errors. Each morning his commute consists of a two-hour train ride on the Coaster from Irvine to San Diego; he is incredibly dedicated, hardworking, and spreads positivity to all he works with. When MK transitioned to working remote, he continued to support our team by lifting our spirits. During our company-wide standup, he shared a quote from Gandhi about perseverance, “we may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.” In this month’s People Spotlight, we learn more about his role, his motivations, and what it is like working at MK Decision.
What did you study in college?
At first, I started college studying Sports Administration for a couple of years, then halfway through I switched majors. I was not sure where I was going with the Sports Administration degree, and always enjoyed technology. One day I thought, 'I am going to study computer science', I changed my major, and the rest is history.
What were you hoping to achieve with your degree?
It was important to me that I make applications that could better the world. I did not have a set plan going into it. I wanted to be able to create whatever I put my mind to, hopefully, something that could help society and improve our lives with technology.
What initially attracted you to MK?
I had recently finished a coding boot camp in the area, and wanted to work in a startup, the TFE program was the perfect opportunity. MK is constantly growing and evolving, I applied and was able to start as a TFE intern.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Every morning, my dog is the first thing to get me out of bed. I enjoy coming into work, knowing that I am doing something good. My biggest motivation is helping banks through these tough times, aiding them in getting their products into production, and providing services to ensure they can operate a successful business.
What is a typical day for you as a Quality Assurance Engineer?
Each morning I check the logs, I make sure that no errors have occurred overnight or anything has broken, then I report my findings to my product managers. The rest of the day I go through my assigned tasks, it is usually quite a lot. If I do not have any outstanding tasks, I go into my automated testing, it is essential to continuously update the testing by adding new elements and test cases to improve that process.
What part of your job would you say is the hardest?
The hardest part of my job is thinking as an underwriter, I do not have banking experience, so I did not have much insight on how to QA as an underwriter. At MK, they truly care about sharpening our professional skills. My CEO and product manager take the time out of their busy schedules to train me on how to think as an underwriter. Their guidance has given me a better understanding of how to think like a banker, and overall QA better. Once I can QA better, the whole company succeeds as a whole.
How is the culture at MK?
The culture at MK is great, I love it. Everyone at MK is motivated to innovate, it keeps you on your toes and makes it easy to work as a team. MK is a family. When we were on site, we would play hangman, each of us had a little scoreboard. Now that we are working remotely, MK is keeping our culture booming, by hosting online social gatherings such as Friday Lunches, birthdays, and anniversaries. I have a strong connection to my coworkers that even in my free time we meet up to play video games together. The culture is there, it is still strong.