Ready to chase his dreams, Amir Anjomshoaa left Iran and moved to the United States to pursue his Bachelors in Computer Science at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Inspired by his love for technology, Amir explored new avenues in software engineering, first as a student, then as a teacher, and now as a service engineer at MK Decision (MK). Amir started his journey with MK in hopes of solving real-world problems. He recognized the impact MK’s digital account opening and loan origination platform had on local economies and wanted to apply his skills to support community financial institutions.
Where did you grow up?
For the first eighteen years of my life, I lived in Iran. Right before my 18th birthday, I moved to the United States to pursue my education. All of my siblings started moving to the US to attend college, so I moved to Davis, California to live with my family. Soon after, I started my college experience in Sacramento at Los Rios Community College and then transferred to SFSU to finish my degree.
How was the transition moving from Iran to the United States?
There was an immense difference in culture moving to the US. It changed the way I approached day-to-day interactions with people regarding culture and language barriers. One of the main things I noticed was the emotions used in Persian conversations compared to English. There are four ways to say "hi" to a friend, depending on your relationship with that person. In Farsi, verbs are emotionally charged, while English is direct and less emotion is involved in your sentences.
Where is your main hub?
I have lived in a couple of different places, Davis and San Francisco. My best experience living in the US was going to SFSU. Living in the Bay Area allowed me to connect with lots of different people, learn new mindsets, and explore new cultures. I look at life differently, from a positive perspective. A lot of my favorite memories were teaching my students at SFSU and living in the Bay Area.
How do you like living in the US?
I enjoy living in the United States. My goal is to live here with my family and grow a lasting legacy. I feel I have opportunities just being in the land of opportunities. Whatever pathway you want to pursue, there are opportunities to achieve them. It allowed me to see a bright future for myself. I am growing and have more responsibilities here.
What are your hobbies?
Depending on the season, I enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the winter. I love going solo and getting into the zone. In the summertime, I like bungee jumping, skydiving, and trying anything that is a high adrenaline sport.
What do you like to do on the weekends?
On Saturdays, I like cleaning, organizing, and making my house feel comfortable. Most weekends, I spend time cooking for myself and making Persian foods, burritos, but my specialty is kabobs.
How would you describe your job to a child?
I ask for information about you. Then I organize that information in a way that is easy to understand so your dad can make decisions for you based on your past life decisions.
How were you introduced to software engineering?
When I was living in Iran, there was no modern technology. In fact, when I was introduced to computers, people were still using dial-up internet. In fourth grade, my brother and I started a daily blog to provide news and information to people in our community. After that experience, I became interested in how websites were configured and created a web interface using HTML. The information available to study was limited, but I read as much as I could.
How did you realize this was a career path you wanted to pursue?
Years later, I took my first semester pursuing a civil engineer degree. I was not that optimistic about the degree and failed some classes. For me, I did not see a future in the field. My friend was studying computer science and encouraged me to explore the major. I changed majors the next semester, and after the first class, I realized I wanted to become a software engineer.
Why did you want to join an innovative FinTech Startup?
I was very enthusiastic about the future of the FinTech industry. When applying for financial products, I observed that banking applications were often difficult processes and configured on a clunky system. There are some legacy providers in the marketplace, but I was captivated by the potential of the FinTech industry. I saw the innovation of Square, Shopify, and Paypal. Their companies inspired me to pursue a career in FinTech. When I learned about MK, I saw they were becoming a CRM for banking and was excited by their technology. Starting my career, I wanted to join a startup and felt promise in MK’s market opportunity. MK is going to change the face of the industry and impact our economy at large. Plus, it fits in line with my interest and love for building code.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
To be honest, it is my teammates and our morning standup meeting. I love my day-to-day work. I enjoy the tasks I complete, and my accomplishments make me feel good about myself. The people I work with make every day exciting and inspire me to produce great work.
How did you know MK was the right fit for you?
I met Guru Dharam Khalsa in my recruitment process, and he made me feel inspired by the company's mission and vision. I got the vibe from Guru Dharam and Har Rai's energy that they were invested in the future and ready to build a team to achieve it. Instantly, I wanted to work and collaborate with them. Our team is friendly, the management is supportive, and I enjoy the company culture.
What is your current role at MK Decision?
I work as a service engineer where I focus on providing features and integrations for MK's system. The main focus of my job is to build an easy way for data to be stored and shared with banks for a seamless Decisioning process. I have been involved in planning and communicating with third-party integration providers to set up our system and become a reseller for them.
Has your role changed since starting at MK?
Since starting at MK in July of 2020, I was extremely focused on creating integrations. I saw a lot of opportunities with MK’s systems. My role has evolved as I took on more responsibilities by training new employees and planning future products for our system. My knowledge base expanded when I became a full-stack engineer. I am very interested in taking on more leadership and eventually want to become a master of system architecture.
What are your key accomplishments at MK?
I take the most pride in the integrations I built with Plaid’s bank account authentication and Equifax. I created the integration to leverage data points from Plaid to MK’s systems. This process allows seamless account funding for users, makes banking more secure, and protects against fraud. Another integration I am proud of is my work on CreditConnect to pull important applicant data from Equifax's credit bureau.
Has anything surprised you while working here? Whether it be about yourself, MK Decision, the people you work with, or all 3.
I am surprised I can sit in a chair for eight hours straight. I am kidding! In all seriousness, I never thought I would enjoy collaborating with team members as much as I do at MK. The culture and team members make MK feel like a family and help me take my work to the next level.
Describe MK in one word
What are your proudest contributions at MK?
I am proud of leading and managing integrations with third-party vendors, with ChexSystems Qualifile and Plaid.
What is the most important thing you have learned here at MK?
Be patient, try your best to learn. Success will not come right away.