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The Real Pete + Pari – Heather Simpson

People & Culture, Social Responsibility Me_at_my_desk

When we created the characters of Pete + Pari for “A Giant Story,” we grabbed inspiration from those closest to us – Intuit employees and our customers. Here is a real life story behind the inspiration for Pari.

Meet Heather. She’s a data scientist at Intuit who’s been with the company for a little more than a year. This is her prosperity story.


Intuit: Tell us about your role at Intuit.

Heather: As a data scientist, my biggest focus is adding new features and improving existing features to our products through machine learning and AI, giving our customers a better overall experience. I am constantly analyzing the data we have and figuring out how can we use this data to make our customers’ lives easier and our products better.


Intuit: How did you end up at Intuit?

Heather: I got my PhD in linguistics from UC Santa Barbara in 2016. I then participated in the Insight Data Science Program, transferring my PhD into a data science role. During the program, we worked on a project which we presented to top tech companies at the end of the term. I presented my project to Intuit and was offered a job! Intuit was my top choice; I liked the culture and the idea of helping everyday people through my work.


Intuit: What about your role gets you most excited to come into work each day?

Heather: Not only is the work interesting, but you can also make an impact on people’s lives. My mom and stepdad are both self-employed artists. I remember helping my mom with her accounting on Quickbooks. She would always complain about how stressful it is being self-employed, so knowing I’m helping develop products for people like her makes my job that more meaningful.  


Intuit cares about its employees. At Intuit, you feel a strong sense of support – making sure you are happy within your role. Your career trajectory and what skills you want to develop are always made a priority. Intuit is known for having a kind culture; we work hard, but we have a work/life balance. Working at a company that is actually helping people in the world is why I Iove working at Intuit.


Intuit: What did you think of the film

Heather: I thought it was great, really touching! It was so inspirational to see the Intuit Giant backing up small businesses when big companies are out there that have advantages. I hope it will make people think of Intuit as one company versus the individual products.


Intuit: What aspect of Pari’s character do you identify most with?

Heather: As a data scientist, my job is to build features into the products that our customers already love and use. We are creating those little extra pieces, like that drone Pari created for Pete to cut and water the flowers. We’re adding pieces to the Intuit Giant. For example in the SBSE group, the data scientists are focused on the Quickbooks product, adding features to it that are improving the customers experience – like automating categorization of transactions.


Intuit: What’s your real-life ‘Giant’ invention?

Heather: A project I took pride in working on was anti-fraud protection for TurboTax customers. I worked on product features to keep our customers’ data safe. Protecting customers from the “bad guys” is an important part of what we do. It’s an important part of building customers’ trust.


Intuit: How does Intuit help you power prosperity in your day-to-day role?

Heather: To me, powering prosperity means helping people to improve their own lives financially and making their businesses stronger by assisting them with the tasks that are difficult and time-consuming. Freeing up some time for a self-employed person is an amazing thing to do. Having our products available across the world drives home that mission for even more individuals as well. Thinking about how can make the products better is how I power prosperity at Intuit.

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