Why I Work at Metromile: Behind the Scenes with Bella Li

Three years ago, Bella Li was one of Metromile’s first customer success engineers. She learned the ins and outs of the industry by developing improvements to Metromile’s products based on customer feedback that wasn’t included in the product roadmap.

“I gradually learned all the systems step-by-step. Insurance is a big product, more complicated than it looks from a customer standpoint,” Bella said. “I was a firefighter — resolving issues and working on corner cases. Later on, I got more into the product, and I got interested in writing more code, so now I’m a backend engineer.”

Bella had aspirations of working in the tech industry before she joined Metromile. The combination of a traditional product like insurance and the “techie” culture and product delivery made Metromile stand out.

“All the engineers are super friendly and willing to share. They helped me to ramp up and understand the product. I understood insurance, I have car insurance, but I didn’t know anything about insurance products,” she said. “So, learning all that was very interesting. And there’s the tech side of it, too, like the Metromile Pulse device that counts your mileage and can even help you find your car if it’s lost or stolen! Our product is smarter than traditional insurance offerings. Every insurance should have that.”

By design, the culture at Metromile encourages Metromilers to speak up, share ideas, and offer suggestions. It’s that culture that helped Bella go from customer success to backend engineer.

“As I’m getting more familiar with the products, I’ll give feedback to our project manager about things we can do differently or better, like how we’re expanding into new states. We have taken a lot of experience from the past forward,” Bella said. “They take that feedback and build it in as we’re expanding. It pushes me too; there are always new ways to look at things. I get bored if I’m doing the same thing all the time, so getting to learn new things and grow is really great.”  

A sense of ownership of projects and a tangible stake in company outcomes is key to employee satisfaction; Bella knows this first hand. Her previous roles at much larger companies were more “boundary-defined” without much room to go outside those boundaries.

“You feel like you’re just working on these small sections; you never get to see the larger picture. When you work on something, it’s not yours. You’re working on a very small part of a big team project,” she said. “At Metromile, it’s different. You have tasks, yes, but the boundaries aren’t so rigid; you can [reach] out in different places to solve the problem. I feel a real sense of ownership over the things I’m working on.”

While Bella has become a backend engineer, she continues the Metromile tradition of knowledge sharing and support.

“I still hear from people doing the customer success tickets; if they get stuck, they’ll come to me. I’m very happy to share and help them,” she said. “I feel like I can be a translator to the other engineers now, too. There are lots of codes and acronyms, so customer success can sometimes sound like another language. Sharing that knowledge is my favorite part of the job. I often realize that I know more than I thought.”

We’re building a community of drivers who come to Metromile for the savings and stay for the experience. Our diverse team combines the best of Silicon Valley technologists with veterans from Fortune 500 insurers and financial services giants focused on using technology to reinvent insurance as a tool for financial resiliency.

Check out open positions at Metromile or give our pay-per-mile auto insurance a try by taking a free Ride Along™ trial from the Metromile app.