A Day in the Life of a Product Designer: Marta Rouse

Join us in this blog series where we are shining a light on one of our Upstarters. Come take a closer look at the people inside the company that are tirelessly working to provide access to affordable credit. #TeamUpstart

Upstart’s mission is to enable effortless credit based on true risk. Our Product team is passionate about expanding access to credit by building a seamless experience for hundreds of thousands of borrowers. The Product team works closely with our engineers to guide products from conception to launch. They lead the charge in designing and developing technologies to increase our market exposure, improve the accuracy and speed of our underwriting, and reduce the cost of the capital we lend. 

Marta Rouse is a Product Designer on the Product team in our Columbus office. Here at Upstart, Marta focuses on understanding our borrowers, soliciting and analyzing feedback in order to enhance the user experience. She is passionate about improving the financial lives of real people through thoughtful design and market research. Marta is also a proud mom of two kids, a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old. Follow along below for a glimpse in a day of Marta as a parent and a product designer at Upstart.

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Silence the alarm as fast as possible. Tiptoe to the espresso machine. 

What is something new that your child has taught you?

The correct way to say “Pachyrhinosaurus”

Both my kids are mini dino enthusiasts and I’ve learned about many of the newer paleontology discoveries—some of the dinosaurs of my childhood aren’t even dinosaurs even more! RIP, Brontosaurus.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you spend it?

Outside — walking the neighborhood.

What has been your favorite family trip recently?

Over the holidays, we went to Miami, and rented a house with a pool.  We had a blast, and there were tons of wild iguanas in the yard, so you know—miniature dinosaurs!

When was the last time your child made you laugh?

My daughter, Sienna (5) said for her career, she wanted to be “a ballerina mermaid.”  I tried to talk through some of the logistical issues with this, but she assured me it could be done.  

How did you get into this role?

I started out as a Visual Graphic Designer, and began doing more and more user experience design with each career move. Product Design is a great combination of both—centered around the user’s ability to be successful, and it still involves the element of making a beautiful experience.

What gets you excited about coming to work?

My co-workers, for one—we have some amazing people here at Upstart.  Also, I’m continually learning, and getting to make a large impact on some of our most important projects for 2020. 

From your own perspective, what makes Upstart a great place to work as a parent?

Upstart embraces a culture that allows for flexibility.  As a parent, I appreciate being able to call into a meeting when needed, or leave early so I can attend a kids’ event.  No one second-guesses why I’m doing so, and I never feel I need to explain why those things are important — people get it.

What has been the most valuable lesson of your professional career?

Push through discomfort and adapt!  My husband, Alex (also an Upstarter!) and I have moved several times for career opportunities over the years. Generally this meant moving homes, jobs, and friends.  Looking back, each one of these jumps was a bit painful, and required a lot of adaptation, but allowed me to learn skills I would have never gotten in my own comfort zone.

Join us!

If you’re interested in making a big impact as a member of the Product team, we are hiring! Explore our open roles at our careers page and work with Marta.

* When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus.