Isaac Wyse – the lone EMU graduate among YipItData’s employees – feels special joy when he visits his company’s website.
One webpage of the New York City-based financial technology company is dotted with university logos, most of them elite alma maters of the analysts and engineers whose intellects had helped YipItData gain clients among the top global funds and asset management companies.
“Among multiple profiles of Ivy League alums, there is one that refers to EMU,” he said with a smile, seated on a couch in a comfortable seventh-floor conference room of the company’s Flatiron District headquarters.
Wyse leads revenue operations at the company, a position he’s held – and enjoyed – since the summer of 2016. The fast-paced interdisciplinary environment demands a wide variety of skills: strategizing and optimizing tactics, processes, resources and technology to enhance production. It’s a rare combination of sales, accounting, finance, organizational leadership and process design that “couldn’t be more perfect, because it fits with all my strengths and interests,” Wyse said. “Very few roles would have met that.”
He has to keep sharp, which is why if you see him walking down a New York City street with earbuds in, he’s likely speed-listening to an audiobook, tapping into the acumen of organizational experts and business leaders.
But the challenging work culture is just one reason Wyse finds himself in New York City. The other reason is his wife Rachel, an EMU alumna and 2016 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s prestigious Brandcenter.
“We pretty much knew we were coming to New York City at some point, because if you’re in advertising, that’s where the jobs are,” he said.
Rachel is an art director with the Grey Group, an advertising company with a 100-year history that serves one-fifth of the Fortune 500 companies and has headquarters in 96 countries.
Wyse feels a blend of awe and practical acceptance at their life in Chelsea.
“Every day, I can’t believe I’m actually here,” He says. “I can’t believe this is our life right now. We feel very fortunate.”
But his job is a natural place on a career progression in a booming industry at the nexus of innovation, finance and technology. YipItData analyzes and aggregates data about publicly traded companies such as Expedia, Groupon, Netflix and eBay, among others.
“Essentially we look for insights and information that will help hedge funds predict or forecast the company’s performance,” Wyse said. When he first started, the company had around 60 employees. Recently, the workspace expanded to handle double that number. Wyse says the revenue team he’s been working as senior leader to “scale and improve” has grown an astonishing 600 percent.
He came to New York from SNL Financial (now S&P Global Market Intelligence) in Charlottesville. One motivation for his move was the opportunity to help build a company “from the ground up” under two founders who encourage their employees to invest themselves in “ownership, mastery and purpose.”
“That philosophy is what really drew me in,” Wyse says.
As he grows in his position, he has appreciated both being part of this rapid change, yet still supporting what he views as a positive and inspiring work culture. With most of his colleagues cleared out for a Thursday “Lunch Game” (a regular but randomized mix-it-up outing), Wyse tours through various attractive work spaces, a kitchen stocked with snacks and drinks, the library and an airy, open gathering space for meals and “all hands” meetings.
This office space, with its hanging plants, creaky wood floor and floor-to-ceiling windows creating a certain warmth among the large-screen monitors, is a long way from Wyse’s first business classes in EMU’s campus center and his internship back at Tenneco Manufacturing.
But this choice is the right fit – “definitely a comfortable space,” he says with a smile. And he means it more than just one way.
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2018 Crossroads. Read more articles here.