Meet Cake: this is Thomas

By Davy Kestens

We’re a fully remote team of over 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, we go to Germany where Thomas lives.

Name: Thomas Stegen
Age: 22
Role: Data Scientist
Making Cake since: October 2019
Location: Düsseldorf, Germany

Tell us about your workspace picture

I only just moved to Dusseldorf with my girlfriend (who is neither Belgian or German, but Brazilian), as she will be interning here at Henkel. That means we are now both working remotely from our apartment. This picture is 100% staged and I never dress up this nice when I am actually working, let alone I wear a hat. My girlfriend decided that the flowers would be a great addition to the overall framing of the picture.
The traffic sign is a souvenir from Denmark, where I was studying. It says that pedestrians need to cross the street.

What do you do at Cake?

I work as a Data Scientist within the Cake data team. I’m continuously thinking about how we can improve our enrichment, making sure that AVA is AVA and that your Takeout order is not categorised as Sport activity.😉 If you’re interested in learning more about the work the data team is doing you should definitely check out this blogpost.

Next to that, I also take a more data-analytical role together with our commercial partners. Together with Tom, I follow up with our partners to take in feedback and discuss new improvements for our business insights and our Cake for business platform. This way, exactly as we do for the user app, everybody gets involved in what we do, and we communicate openly about what’s next in our open roadmap.

Between these 2 main tasks, I try to find flaws in the app in all possible ways whenever a new release is ready to be tested and I try to always help out my colleagues whenever I can!

I try to work all-round, forming a lower level triangle between product, data and business.

Why Cake and not another company?

I started at Cake freshly graduated from university. When I was close to graduation, I had no idea what kind of job I wanted to do.

I already did some brief student job work for Cake. But I didn’t consider it to be a full-time job for me as the thought of working at home, still living with my parents at the time, did not seem very appealing to me. In all honesty, I almost signed for a job at another company,
What convinced me was having 1 single lunch with Peter (Head of Product at Cake) in Leuven. We talked about how my future job at Cake would look like. What made me take this job is that Cake was prepared to give a 21-year-old graduate all the freedom he wanted, to do what he thinks is necessary.

And this became a reality. What Cake offers me is something that I believe no other company can match. The flexibility of working from everywhere in the world was already a huge plus, but the real power of Cake is the flexibility of the work itself. I never expected to be given this amount of freedom to explore whatever I see fit for Cake, to ask whatever I need to make my work even better. I think that’s the power of Cake.

What’s your most memorable Cake moment?

For me, there are 2 special moments since I’m working at Cake that I always will remember.

The first was my first meeting ever with the big boss Davy Kestens. I only just decided to join Cake and wanted to meet Davy to get to know him. Being the young, new guy, I had no idea what to expect. Despite drinking some gin and tonics in Davy’s apartment, I was still nervous. It was the one and only Davy Kestens sitting there with me. Very soon after starting to work, I realised that he is just an amazing chill person like anyone at Cake, but my naive young mind had such a distorted view on everything. Probably my worst first impression ever.😁

The other thing I won’t forget was the first company event I attended. We started the evening with a bowling game, then we went to a restaurant and what followed … well, that was memorable. I had no idea what to expect but simply put, it was amazing. The details we’ll keep to ourselves, but this was the moment I really got to know most of my colleagues and it helped me a lot in my personal connection with them, which is sometimes challenging when working remotely.

What’s your favourite cake?

Petit beurre cake for sure! I actually haven’t eaten it in years, maybe I’ll make some next week.

Any topping on the Cake?

This is the absolute best and worst first job I could ever have. It’s the best because of all of the amazingly talented people we work with and the super efficient and flexible working structure. Sadly, that makes it also the worst, because if I ever have to find another company, I’m convinced nothing will live up to these standards!

Enjoy your Cake people.

Wondering what happened to Thomas a year after this interview?

He now lives in Brazil! Check out this interview.