In the driving seat with Vinny Catricala CA
Andrea Murad talks to Vinny Catricala CA, Driver Operations and Logistics Manager at Uber, about life as an American in London and his journey from consulting to start-ups.
Vinny attended the London School of Economics and Political Sciences in his junior year, and classes ended after US internships started. He decided to stay in London to intern with EY in the transaction advisory team, and was subsequently offered a job and CA training contract the following year.
What do you do at Uber?
“I’ve been at Uber for 16 months and have already had four different roles. Working at a start-up, you quickly become a versatile contributor and have to be flexible.
“One minute you’re delivering 30,000 roses to drivers for a Valentine’s Day event and the next day you’re on the phone cold calling drivers about an upcoming product change.
“Now, my job is to figure out how to get the drivers who apply to Uber to take their first trip. I work on incentive structures and different solutions that we can provide to someone who doesn’t have a vehicle to get them on the road.
“I also make sure we have enough existing drivers on the road to quickly and reliably get riders to their destinations.”
Why did you want to work at Uber?
“At the time, I was promoted to manager in EY and started to reflect on where I wanted to take my career and whether to pursue consulting or try something completely different while I was still young.
“With consulting, you recommend what companies should and shouldn’t do without always seeing the full impact on a company. I was looking to join a company that not only interested me, but where I could also see the impact of my actions.
When Uber came to town, they disrupted the market and made getting around affordable — this impacted my life.
“When I first moved to London, black taxis were super expensive and the tube stopped running at midnight so you were stuck either taking multiple buses or an expensive cab.
“When Uber came to town, they disrupted the market and made getting around affordable — this impacted my life. I was fascinated at how quickly Uber scaled across the globe and how it was successful in cities like NYC where there are a million yellow cabs at your disposal.
Studying for the CA helped prepare me for this process, especially the time-pressured exams.
“I started applying to jobs, including one at Uber in London, but Uber rejected me right away because they weren’t sponsoring visas. A few months later, someone at Uber saw my LinkedIn profile and thought I’d be perfect for that same role in NYC - it seemed like fate.
“I applied and interviewed via Skype from my home in London. I had six rounds of interviews that included two different HR people, operations managers and an online analytics exam.
“In my last round, I went to their London office for four hours of round-robin interviews and an in-person case study exam. Studying for the CA helped prepare me for this process, especially the time-pressured exams.”