FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Head of Data Science and Risk, Christine Hurtubise
This interdisciplinary data enthusiast believes in the power of data fueling the future of financial services. Christine Hurtubise is excited about enterprise tooling becoming a larger focus for enabling FinTech growth as the industry enters a new era of innovation wherein only a few companies can solve common pain points at scale. At Orum, Christine and her team utilize insightful data to offer better enterprise solutions to their consumers. With exemplary experience in FinTech, Christine is focused on team building, overcoming challenges, and leveraging her financial and machine learning skills to create an impact in the industry.
Full name: Christine Hurtubise
Current job title: Head of Data Science and Risk
Current company: Orum
Current location: Westchester, NY
“My key focus right now is building my team. I love growing relationships and skills in the team so that ultimately, my team can operate well without me.”
Having studied Mathematics and French, Christine Hurtubise has always gravitated to interdisciplinary thinking, and she enjoys that Data Science is a great mix of both communication and quantitative work. Having worked in FinTech for 10 years, she began at the software company SunGard, where her team worked on developing and implementing banking risk models. In 2011, Data Science was blossoming as a field, and Christine moved to OnDeck as a Data Scientist in the Risk Department. “It was an opportunity to leverage my financial modeling skills while better understanding machine learning and a start-up business.” She then went on to become a VP of Data Science at Stash Financial, scaling the data science team from two to fifteen people before finally transitioning to her current role at Orum.
“I feel like I have the opportunity to use all of my experiences in Risk Management and Data Science to work with an amazing founder and vision of how money moves in the US.”
Orum is powering the future of financial services by enabling immediate, frictionless money movement. Orum's API-based products give enterprise customers unique funds availability modeling, empowering them with the information required to shift to real-time payments, and then grants access to real-time payment rails without necessitating a bank integration.
“We’ve seen a tremendous influx of consumer data become available over the past few years, and at Orum, we’re excited to be at the forefront of leveraging it into insights which benefit the consumer.” Christine’s key focus right now is building her team. “I love growing relationships and skills in the team so that ultimately, my team can operate well without me.”
Christine has also recently taken on another role as a mother as she welcomed a son 15 months ago. “Joining an early-stage start-up and having an infant all during Covid has really pushed me and forced me to mature. I thought I was good at prioritization and delivery before, but the conflation of these incredible new demands has forced me to become ultra-clear on what I value and what I am willing to trade-off on.”
Orum’s CEO and many women on the executive team are mothers who have helped Christine tremendously in transitioning to this new phase of her life. “We have been working together since my son was 5 months old, so they’ve been able to offer not only career advice but perspectives on raising small children.”
More on Christine
Favorite hobby: Soccer (hopefully this will be a possibility again soon!)
Favorite part of your day: Early, early morning before anyone is up
Productivity hack: Know what you need to do each day for you to feel your best and work with others (your family + your colleagues) so you all can align on these items being important/sacred.
5:00 am: Wake up and make coffee. I only drink espresso, and my husband bought me a Nespresso machine when Covid hit so I wouldn’t have to go to Starbucks as often. I make him a cup too and set it aside for him, so he has it when he wakes up. This part of the day is when I can do my clearest thinking, so I review recent performance data on our products and see what needs to be prioritized by the team for the day.
6:30 am: I do a 30-minute yoga class. I try to work out every day to get endorphins and mental clarity.
7:15 am: My son and husband are up, so I help get my son ready for daycare. This is a great time of the day as there are lots of cuddles and giggles.
8:30 am: I am back at my desk and ready to start my day of meetings.
I have one-on-ones with my team and large product syncs. Since I also run risk at Orum (early-stage = many hats), I also spend time with Finance to align on strategic initiatives.
2:30 pm: I am on a potential partnership call and must represent our core machine learning IP.
5:00 pm: I get on a client call to see how they are enjoying our latest upgrade of their product, and it's amazing to see the progress we’ve been making as a company.
6:00 pm: I get offline and have dinner and quality time with my family.
My son is asleep by 7:30 pm, which then leaves some time for me to prep for the next day!
8:30 am: Happy Friday! My day starts by dropping my son off at daycare and picking up a Venti Cold Brew No Ice™ from my town’s Starbucks. Solving multi-trillion-dollar financial infrastructure problems requires a lot of caffeine.
9:15 am: I kick off my workday by reviewing code that my team has written in what is called a “pull-request”. This ensures the code is written accurately and cleanly. Once the review is finished, I submit my approval in our source code control tool, GitHub.
The rest of my morning is often spent on and off of zoom calls, meeting with various leaders and teams throughout the organization. We are a remote first company so we try and keep our meetings short and efficient, with a pre-set agenda to drive focus.
12:00 pm: Every Friday, our CEO gives us an all-company update, discussing metrics and wins from the week as well as sharing inspiring notes and announcements. At this stage of the business, hearing the vision for the future of our lightspeed startup allows us all to take a step back from the daily priorities and feel re-invigorated by the mission we are all working towards!
In the afternoon, a small group of us focus on building out customer success tools for our money-movement API-based products. We discuss how to serve model scores more efficiently to our customers through webhooks, which will publish the success message automatically.
I also work on a product requirements document for models which will serve our real-time money-movement product, momentum.
3:00 pm: Since it's Friday, I pick my son up early pick-up from daycare and drop him off with his grandparents for the evening.