Ready to take the world by storm, Arzang Kasiri lived a jet-setting youth moving from the United States to Canada to England to India before finally settling down in Duarte, California to attend school. To continue his education, he enrolled at UC Irvine to earn his Computer Science degree. As Arzang prepared for a career in the tech field, he connected on LinkedIn with Har Rai Khalsa, the Chief Executive Officer at MK Decision (MK). Soon after, he started his journey with MK as a Time For Experience “TFE” intern before being hired as a full-stack developer. With experiences across the globe, Arzang welcomed new opportunities. He packed his bags, said his farewells, and moved to San Diego to start his journey with MK.
How do you like San Diego?
I like to think of San Diego as a baby city. It has everything you want out of a big city, but on a miniature scale. There is good weather, a diverse food scene, and a nice balance of nature and city.
What are your favorite cuisines?
I would have to say Taiwanese, Philipino, African, barbeque, Mexican, and pizza.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend a lot of my time with friends. We hang out and play Dungeon & Dragons or video games. In my free time, I enjoy well-designed video games that are strategic and creative. I also like reading and recently purchased an iPad for drawing.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
To be honest it’s MK’s morning meetings. I am a big routine guy. Having a set plan keeps me motivated.
How did you get into software engineering?
In high school, I was interested in game development. After spending a considerable amount of my youth playing video games, I became interested in the technology used to build them. After speaking with one of my friends, they lent me a book about coding in Python. A father and son had written it, which made it straight to the point and simple for children to understand. I worked to self-study Python and created a few games in high school for fun. I found it satisfying and rewarding to make something interactive.
When did you realize this was what you wanted to do professionally?
I really liked building software when I was younger. Software engineering provided a career path to do an activity I enjoyed, with good pay, and a wide variety of job opportunities.
When did you start with MK?
I started with MK in July of 2019 as a Time For Experience “TFE” intern and came on as a full-time engineer in September.
What is your current role at MK Decision?
I work with our Engineering team as a backend engineer focused on integrations. Recently I have been working on MK's IdentityConnect.
How would you describe your job to a child?
Many different companies offer useful tools for other companies to use. As an engineer, I create connections between their company and MK so we can use those tools.
What are some of your responsibilities as a backend engineer?
At MK, we are developing digital account opening and loan origination products to serve our customers digitally. I contribute to our company by building our code, taking care of any bugs, and performing tests to determine where we can improve our product.
What changes have you seen at MK Decision?
Over time, we have steadily become more organized in our business processes and development workflows. We are committed to a culture of continuous improvement. I have seen our Sales team bring on more customers and our Product team define a forward-thinking product roadmap. When I first started at MK, our top seller was our Credit Card Origination System (CCOS). Since then, our team has developed our deposits product to serve our customers on both sides of the balance sheet.
Why did you want to join an innovative FinTech Startup?
It is exciting! It is more than the products. We build technology to help community financial institutions compete with megabanks who may have teams dedicated to creating their digital platforms.
Why did you stay?
MK is heading in a positive direction. Each day we’re actively working towards our mission to support community financial institutions with the use of our innovative technology. We are gaining lots of new customers, and we have hope for the future.
What is your proudest moment at MK Decision?
Thus far, I would have to say my greatest contributions would be the work I did on DecisionTime, our automated decisioning engine. Our rules systems streamlines banker workflows by pulling credit profiles and automatically generating imperative financial ratios.
After calculating ratios, like debt-to-income and other risk factors, the decisioning engine runs a rules report. The report provides the financial institution a check on each rule to indicate if it passed, has a warning, or failed. As a result, the time spent underwriting applications is significantly reduced.
My function was to implement the code used to collect data points. I implemented all of the different data points used in the rules system. I set it up in a way that would allow for anyone to configure rules.
It is a very powerful and useful system that can provide enormous potential for the banker's experience and customer rules configuration.
How did you know MK was the right fit for you?
Ultimately, I like the people on our team. Pre-quarantine, we had a great office environment that provided a creative space to hang out and work in. Our team is collaborative and supportive. I feel our company culture is very friendly.
Describe MK in one word
What is your favorite memory with the team?
Last holiday season, we had our end of the year party where we shared the evening over dinner and ice skating. Since transitioning remote, I miss hanging out with my team in our breakroom having lunch. We have had some fun remote events playing video games and cooking along with MK’s Next Top Chef. I truly enjoy all of the time spent with my teammates.