Hands On Podcast: Keeping a strong vision while you scale + How to leap to a startup

by Index Ventures


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Keeping a strong vision while you scale + How to leap to a startup

Clare McClintock is the Director of Operations Strategy at Brex, an innovative FinTech company offering a full suite of financial services for a wide range of growing businesses. In this episode of Hands On, Clare talks about her professional journey from Goldman Sachs to Brex as well as the challenges she encountered as the company rapidly scaled over the past few years. Tune in and discover everything about Brex brand culture and the growth mindset that’s enabled them to become a highly successful startup at such an accelerated pace.

Listen to Hands On on Spotify. Also available on Apple Podcast & Simplecast.

Jump straight into:

(01:09) - Introduction to Clare and her fast-paced career. “She started her career at Goldman Sachs, but she spent the last three years helping to build and scale both operations and risk at Brex in San Francisco.”

(08:01) - Either/Or, Clare’s words to live by (or not) and Childhood Heroes. “It's very different what they do than what I do, but I've looked up to them as well as just women who've gone after what they've wanted.”

(10:33) How Brex differs from American Express and what Clare is doing to help the company grow. “Sometimes any of us who use AmEx can have the concierge do something, and that feels nice for a second, but there isn't really a way to manage your expenses on the fly.”

(11:38) - From Goldman to Brex: Clare’s first steps into tech. “I ended up going to Brex because one of my VPs at Goldman actually referred me to Brex and the company was super-small at the time.”

(13:45) - Coordination and communication: How Brex has changed since Clare arrived. “I remember the day when I realized I didn't know everyone at Brex anymore – that was a big shift.”

(21:05) - Fast-growing culture: How recruiting and hiring work at Brex, and what makes its fast-growing culture so special. “Brex will be around in a year and many, many more years after that. There's a little risk off the table, but there's a lot of growth still available.”

(23:07) - Lessons that Clare took from her experience at Goldman Sachs and brought to Brex. “I was so used to talking with banks, understanding what they're looking for, what's important to them and how we wanted to work with them. And that experience was directly applicable right away.”

(27:59) - Adventure Enthusiast: Clare’s love of the outdoors and enthusiasm for National Parks. “I think outdoor activities, especially if you're stressed with work, can provide a level of relaxation that I can't find anywhere else.”

(32:05) - Words of wisdom: Clare’s advice for newcomers in tech and people trying to make their next professional move. “Thinking about what makes sense for you for the long term and what you're interested in – and what is what you're doing now building towards.”

Published — June 1, 2022