After spending her youth residing in a small town nestled within the Cuyamaca Mountains of San Diego County, Samantha De La Torre packed her bags for college and headed to the coast. Samantha challenged herself by enrolling in a data-based major that had never been offered, balancing an additional minor, and joining a sorority to fulfill her college experience. After graduation, Samantha knew exactly what she wanted. She expected her future employer to be driven by its mission and exercise its core values with its employees and customers alike. Insert, MK Decision, an Alkami Solution Team. Samantha is one of MK’s Business Analysts. Her admirable work ethic, powerful internal support, and commitment to providing our customers with exceptional service are just a few of the reasons why our team is extremely lucky to have her on board.

Where did you grow up?

“I was born and raised in Alpine, CA which is in East County, San Diego.”

What keeps you in San Diego?

“The weather and the people are incredible. I enjoy the relaxing essence of environments throughout the area and have never desired to move somewhere else. After visiting New York and experiencing the city life, I know I am accustomed to the country lifestyle in East County.”

Growing up, who had the most influence on you?

“My mom has an amazing influence on my morals and how I carry myself. She is my go-to and my best friend. I can say anything to my mom or ask her any question and receive a straightforward response.”

Where did you go to school?

“I studied at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), where I earned a major in Data Science and a minor in Mathematics. I am a numbers gal. I consider myself very logical and analytical. The Data Science program was brand new to UCSD when I enrolled, and I was a part of the first graduating cohort.”

Why did you choose to pursue a career as a Business Analyst?

“After enrolling in a business analytics course in college, I wanted to gain professional experience working on a team with solidified values. In my research of MK, I quickly learned our company emphasizes the importance of team relationships.”

“The Business Analyst role was advertised as one that did not require prior experience because MK would teach me. I love learning, so I wanted a job that would keep me on my toes and constantly pose challenges. With no prior experience in FinTech, I was ready to dive in.”

What are some of your responsibilities as a Business Analyst?

“I have the opportunity to sit in on customer meetings, interact with our customers, and gather requirements to deliver their desired results. I communicate the functionality of our products when customers have logical questions on what proper outcomes should look like.”

“Some weeks, I document what our environments will produce and provide customers with references to interpret what they will see from the platform. I also test our products to ensure the systems are working properly and communicate those results with my team.”

What are some challenges you face in your current position, and how do you overcome them?

“My biggest challenge until this point has been learning the vernacular of the FinTech industry. It has taken lots of self-study to understand when to use different vocabulary to effectively communicate with decision-makers from banks, credit unions, and other partners. However, my biggest resource is my coworkers. I am not afraid to ask questions because they are always there to support me and never make me feel incompetent.”

What attracted you to the FinTech industry?

“I was interested in MK because of our commitment to serving community banks and credit unions. Operating in this expansive market where our platform will forever be useful to overlooked community financial institutions feels rewarding. Technology is quickly becoming a necessity in financial services, and the growth is exponential.”

What is your proudest moment at MK Decision?

“Rather than pinpointing one experience, my proudest moments are attending customer meetings and listening to company praises straight from the source. Their satisfaction holds a lot of weight. Enlightening our customers when clarifying questions are asked is fulfilling too. It feels good to demonstrate my expertise using the knowledge I have accumulated over the last few months. Overall, helping our customers reach a competitive level brings a lot of fulfillment to the company as a whole.”

Describe MK in one word.

“Inclusive.”

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

“Knowing I have people who rely on me personally and professionally is what gets me out of bed in the morning. Being there for others brings me joy, so my success in being a valuable resource manifests lots of happiness.”

What do you like to do on the weekends?

“I believe it is important to train yourself to be independent, so I have learned to love spending time with myself. On the weekends, I focus on my mental health and realign myself with my personal goals. I enjoy indulging in a good book or finishing a puzzle. I do enjoy spending time with friends too, but I prioritize giving that energy back to myself.”