Our mission here at The Muse is simple: to help you find your dream job. So, there’s nothing we love more than hearing about it when you do!
Today, we chatted with Marcela Argüello, an associate on Earnest Research’s business development team. With the strong desire for an entrepreneurial opportunity, Marcela was able to land a job that leverages her financial services experience while utilizing her strengths and passions in a whole new way—helping clients use alternative data to make smart business decisions.
Tell us about yourself!
I was born and raised in Tampico, Mexico, a city in Northeast Mexico on the Gulf. I came to the US to study at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where I majored in finance, management, and operations. At Penn, I played soccer at a competitive level and discovered a passion for travel (and have visited 20 countries since!).
I began my career working in finance, but after two years, I realized that traditional financial services opportunities didn’t interest me. However, in my role I learned about and started exploring the emerging field of “alternative” data, a better fitted blend of financial services, technology, and entrepreneurship.
What were you doing before you landed your new job?
Upon graduation, I joined BlackRock’s Alternative Investments Division, focusing primarily on hedge funds. The position allowed me to apply my finance studies from Wharton, while learning more about investments and product strategy.
What were you looking for in a job?
After working at a large and established financial services firm, I was very interested in joining an innovative, small, fast-growing company. Specifically, I pursued a role that would allow me to expand my skill set by working more closely with product teams, directly impacting the top line, and having regular exposure to senior management.
Is there anything from The Muse that helped you out in your job hunt?
I applied to Earnest via The Muse! In my process, I used The Muse’s lists of “amazing” and “innovative” companies hiring right now to identify and compare opportunities. In addition, I thought the company profile interviews helped me to better understand the Earnest culture.
Is there anything in particular you did during your application process that you think helped you stand out and land the job?
The only business development role available at Earnest was a director-level role requiring 10+ years of experience, and even though I fit every other requirement I technically didn’t meet their first!
To make up for this, I demonstrated my research, knowledge, and passion for their market as well as ways I could contribute. I was well prepared for their case study and persistent with my follow up.
And just my luck, Earnest called me back!
While I (obviously) didn’t take the director-level role for which I originally applied, Earnest opened up a role for me given my interest level, relevant experience, and their emphasis on hiring top talent.
What does your day to day look like on the business development team?
I work on a mix of product and client-related projects, ranging from answering clients’ questions regarding our transaction data to working with the engineering team to enhance our processes and product offerings.
What’s something most people would find surprising about working at Earnest?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the variety of projects and initiatives I’m already involved in. One hour I’m on the phone helping one of our largest and most sophisticated clients better understand how to use our data in their process, and the next I’m in a meeting with our president and engineering team devising a plan to improve our data delivery methodology. Additionally, we learn ways to work more efficiently together every day and the challenges are dynamic.
What’s your favorite part so far about working at Earnest?
The culture—the team is incredibly motivated and capable, while also fun. Since I’ve started, individuals across functions have been helpful and taken the time to make sure my interests and goals are aligned. Also, since we’re still a small company, there’s plenty of opportunity to wear multiple hats and be proactive to enact change, which is something I’ve really enjoyed doing.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on so far?
It has been really cool to help clients answer complex questions with data and see them put those insights into action. Whether it’s an investment analyst at a hedge fund testing an investment thesis or corporate strategy analyst modifying a company initiative, it’s fun to see our clients capitalize on Earnest’s real-time data and the information we can provide on a company and its competitors.
What advice would you have for someone who wants a job like yours?
Be open to conversations and opportunities—you never know what you might find! Jobs can come from sources and contacts you least expect.
I also can’t stress enough the importance of being genuinely interested in the company and field you’re trying to enter. It’s not only important that you’re a good fit for the company, but also that they’re a good fit for you.
So, be sure to do your research and ask questions so that the role, company, and field allow you to meet your professional development goals, which will happen much quicker if you’re passionate and excited about the opportunity.
Here at The Muse, we partner with a lot of great companies to bring you insider looks at their offices and awesome job listings. These employers pay us to be featured on the site, but rest assured that we don't just work with anyone. And when it comes to articles like this, these Muse-worthy brands are featured not because they want to be included, but because their culture, policies, and employee feedback showed us that they deserve to be. Here's to finding the company of your dreams!