Celebrating compassion, empathy, and eight years of better lending | Blend

Celebrating compassion, empathy, and eight years of better lending

My role in employee experience offers me the delightful opportunity to constantly connect with fellow employees. I treasure these interactions — I work to help employees feel welcome, valued, and heard, all while having a great time and laughing together. Collectively, these interactions impact Blend (for the better, I like to think).

But as I was reflecting recently on the state of the world and the role that work plays in it, it became very clear that Blend also impacts us. It’s my job, quite literally, to ensure that the impact that Blend has on my fellow coworkers is as inspiring, motivating, and positive as possible while respecting that it’s OK to struggle during challenging times.

We recently celebrated eight years of being a team dedicated to making lending better for all. As part of that celebration, we collected stories of how Blend has improved each of our lives.

But celebrating in times like these can quite honestly feel tough.

As we reflected on the stories, however, it felt right to champion these individual voices, each of whom has provided so much for our team, our lender partners, and the many thousands of people who have benefitted from a more inclusive lending process.

Our employees are the driving force behind our mission, and they ultimately power the daily effort we put into supporting our mission. Over the last eight years Blend has built a strong community where employees feel welcome and respected, and right now that feels like something worth celebrating. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into what makes the people behind Blend so great.

Amanda D. — Employee experience

In 2017, I was looking to head back to California after living in New York, but I really wasn’t planning on applying to any jobs in San Francisco. A former Blend employee passed along the employee experience role to my good friend who (thankfully) then passed it along to me. When I realized it was my dream job, I had to apply.

Blend has impacted my life because it’s given me lifelong friendships and the freedom to be creative every day, all while continuing to do my dream job. Now I love San Francisco, and I’m so grateful that Blend brought me here.

Pasquale C. — Security analyst

When I first interviewed for a role on the Client Support team, I had no idea what Blend was, but I had a hunch it might be what I needed to get my career going in the direction I wanted. After a few interviews with the Support team, I took the job offer and moved across the country.

After moving, all that I had out here was Blend. Blend’s mission, contributions to the financial industry, and my new Blend family kept me busy, passionate, and hungry for more during the crazy months of getting adjusted to my new life.

This company has helped push me to grow my career and evolve as a worker more than I ever thought was possible, which is only sweetened by knowing that we’re shaping the future of lending.

Steve K. —  Sales engineering lead

After years of working for a large corporate firm, I was looking for a fresh start and joined Blend just over a year ago. Now, I wake up every day excited to help provide a better solution to the world, especially during these trying times.

I am thankful to be somewhere where I’m feeling passionate and driven to do my best work. I am even more thankful for the great people I get to work with and the seamless transition to shelter-in-place Blend has given me.

Desirea C. — Product marketer

Blend’s vision for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging was the main attraction that drew me in. A company that leads with ethics and a focus on their people first has been what I’ve wanted my entire career.

Since 2002, I’ve been continually disappointed by companies’ inability to focus on the human element — until now. Call it luck or call it fate, I’m so grateful that I landed at Blend just 7 months before a global pandemic. Not just because our business at Blend is secure during such a crisis, but more noteworthy, the leadership at Blend has created an environment so compassionate and caring for their people.

As a single mother with a 4-year-old, this crisis would be exponentially worse for me personally if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to be a part of the Blend family. Thank you for caring for each person’s individual situation and providing what each one needs to succeed. Thank you, Blend, for leading with compassion.

Daniel M. — Digital marketer

Last year, when I joined the Brand Marketing team, we published content about the benefits of a cash-out refinance. I decided I’d pursue the idea so I could reinvest in a vacation rental.

Once I kicked off the process, my lender’s underwriter decided it was a good idea to call Nima directly, days before Thanksgiving, to verify my employment and not tell me they planned to do so. You can imagine what it’s like getting a Slack notification from your CEO asking what was happening and “is this loan guy real??” I think I died just a little right then, but it’s cool now.

The weird thing is, I never gave anyone Nima’s phone number and to this day still can’t figure out how my lender found it to get in touch with him. In the moment, I cringed, saying “uuuuggghhh mortgage loans, why?!” But later, it became clear why Blend’s purpose is so important.

As if the refinance experience wasn’t traumatizing enough, call me brave because I needed to go through it again for my mortgage loan. But, instead, I went through First Republic Bank, which uses Blend. If nothing, I learn my lessons quickly.

The process was seamless. It was incredibly simple. I went through my loan during Blend’s new hire onboarding seminar, where our Head of Sales had drawn a Jackson Pollock of the mortgage process. The experience was so meta.

I finished the loan app in a jif and went on to continue doing great work for a great company I’m proud to be part of.

Van V. — Enterprise account executive

Blend helped me learn to be persistent and to persevere with a strategy. When I first connected with Blend, I struggled to find the right role. After initially applying to two different jobs (and not getting them), my recruiter thoughtfully encouraged me to apply for a third. I accepted the role knowing I could make an immediate impact and grow within the company. With some planning, hard work, and a supportive internal network, I’ve been able to develop my career and take on the exact role I wanted.

My time at Blend has also helped me become a more effective and empathetic communicator. What looks like a simple software solution to users often requires a complex restructuring of the way our customers think about their businesses. It’s not easy to step into a room and tell a CEO or room full of executives who have been originating financial products successfully for 20+ years that they should try an almost entirely new approach. Learning various ways to convey this concept carefully but effectively has required me to adopt a level of empathy that has ultimately helped me in all areas of my life.

Andrew B. — Recruiter

Upon joining Blend, I was very eager to broaden the scope of my work. I had become a subject matter expert on a fairly specific topic, and I was ready to step outside that comfort zone. What I expected was for Blend to offer me the chance to iterate on the work I’d already done in slightly different ways.

What I got has been completely different … and way better.

From the start, Blend has placed the trust in me to manage relationships with executive-level individuals and challenge them on the way they conduct recruiting. This was a level of access/influence that I never expected, which has challenged me to be on top of my game and uplevel my own skills. I’ve had to dig deeper for insights and work harder to add strategic value to stakeholders who are clearly at the top of their field.

Through this, I’ve also learned an incredible amount about how different organizations within a tech startup operate. I’m now much more adaptable in facing different sides of the organization and bring a much deeper level of business acumen into the way I manage relationships and bring on new talent.

Celebrating eight years of compassion, purpose, and success

Blend is a purpose-driven organization made up of passionate individuals. We strive to make this a place where people can come to make an incredible impact. In support of this, the entire Blend team works in concert to make each others’ personal and professional lives better each and every day.

Celebrating our birthday this year was bittersweet: finding joy during such a challenging time can be difficult. The stories our friends have shared with us — some listed above, many others captured only in our memories — have reinforced the importance of reflecting on the positive. Over the past few months, the importance of compassion, empathy, celebrating, and bringing joy into our work has only grown stronger.

If that sounds like something you want to be part of, please reach out.