We’re a fully remote team of about 20 people spread across 3 countries, all working together to build Cake and improve the financial well-being of every consumer. Meet the people behind Cake in this blog series. Today, it’s up to Emilie.
Name: Emilie Caenen Age: 26 Role: Product Designer Making Cake since: February 2019 Location: Rekem, Belgium
Tell us about your workspace picture
I am currently living with my parents in an attempt to save as much money as possible. And thanks to the Cake app I’m able to track my savings effortlessly. 💪
Usually I work at the desk in my bedroom which is just 2 meters away from my bed. This is both a blessing and a nightmare since it’s very tempting to go lay down for a minute which can then easily turn into a one hour power nap. But don’t tell my coworkers about it! 🤫
However it’s always great to change the scenery a bit. So it also happens that I work from the living room, guest bedroom or the kitchen. These days my family is working and studying from home as well which makes it sometimes harder to concentrate. Luckily in those cases I can always retreat to my bedroom where it’s silent and I am able to fully focus on my job.
Before the COVID-19 crisis I also used to work at the Corda Campus in Hasselt several days a week. I even worked abroad for a couple of weeks while visiting my grandma in Paris. Sadly corona has restricted my remote working space to my house but it definitely beats getting up early in the morning and enduring the horrendous Belgian traffic.
My day starts around 9 in the morning. Most days I enjoy my breakfast at my desk while checking my to-do list for the day. During the break at noon I usually go for a walk in the forest with my dog, Winston. From where I live, it’s only a 2 minute drive to Hoge Kempen National Park. Back home I have my lunch and get back to work. I end my day by making my to-do list for the next day.
What do you do at Cake?
I am a Product Designer. This means I work on certain features or flows in the app. I brainstorm about how they would fit in the app and how they should work. Every week I get to join the design meetings where we discuss topics such as the designs and the flows of new features.
It is a very diverse job with a lot of learning opportunities since I get to work close with our developers Eliot and Benoit, and Peter, our Head of Product. They have a lot of experience they are more than happy to share with me.
I also take care of the content in the app and in our support channels.
And every day I join the helpdesk to answer questions from users. This helps to better understand what kind of issues or questions Cake users encounter. Tracking their questions and feedback is crucial for us to keep improving the app. The non biased view they have on the app which is very valuable. That’s also one of the reasons we published our roadmap online. This way users are more involved and can submit or vote on ideas they would like to see in the Cake app.
Why Cake and not another company?
When I was getting my masters degree at university, I got the chance to do my internship at Cake. Jessica was my mentor at the time and I got to work with her for 3 months on the basics of the financial health model. I was hooked from the first day onwards.
I have always been interested in startups. For my master thesis, I even chose to research the parameters that influence the startup ecosystem. Being able to do my internship at a startup made it so much more interesting and insightful!
At the end of my internship, I was hoping they would offer me a full time gig at the company. You can only imagine how over the moon I was when Peter asked me if I was interested in staying as an employee. I was already applying for other jobs and already received an offer from another company, but I made the decision pretty quickly. It was a no-brainer really.
To start my first job at a startup within a great team, for a product I truly believe in, having a lot of freedom and responsibility, all while working remotely, made it a pretty easy decision.
What’s your most memorable Cake moment?
During my internship I was invited to one of the team events. It was my first opportunity to get to know the whole team. We went karting and in the evening we ate together in a restaurant in Genk. That evening was definitely one to frame. About half of the team gave a speech and every half hour we changed seats. This way we always had other people to talk to. I really got to know the team that night. To finish off, a few of us went to Davy’s place where we played some games and drank wine.
What’s your favorite cake?
I definitely am a sweet tooth, so this is not an easy question. But if I really have to choose a favourite cake, I would go for a Misérable.
This delicious pastry was created in Brussels to honour the French writer Victor Hugo. A patissier then took the original recipe to his hometown Oud-Rekem (which is now Rekem, my hometown). At least, that’s what our bakery in Rekem claims. 😅
Any topping on the Cake?
I’m very proud to be working on a product I truly stand for. And I feel lucky to have landed my first job in a talented and very helpful team that gives me the opportunity to really explore, make mistakes and most importantly helps me grow.
And last but not least, I’m truly thankful for all the feedback from our users. This is really helpful so keep it coming!