This post is part of a weekly series in which we get to know Sifties.

Samir Rao, Sr. Financial Analyst at Sift Science, enjoys tacos and Hi-Chews but not necessarily together. Prior to joining the team, he was an investment banker for JPMorgan in New York.

Who do you admire the most?

Aziz Ansari. He’s a hilarious comedian and he’s risen up the ranks without going totally insane or becoming an alcoholic. But I also think he’s multitalented – he’s created shows, starred in those shows (most notably Master of None and Human Giants), he cooks really well, and he’s also written a book.

What was your first job?

Before becoming the resident finance ninja at Sift, I was doing investment banking in New York, which gave me the benefits of free food (because I never left the office), health benefits (no sunburn because I never saw the sun), and strong work/life balance (because when work = life you always have 100% of both). In all seriousness, it was a great training ground that gave me a lot of technical and industry knowledge. I wouldn’t be here if not for banking, so I appreciate it.

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be and who would play you?

I feel like my life is some weird combination of Silicon Valley, Master of None, and Office Space – so the genre would be comedy. I think the best person to play me would either be Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar or Kumail Nanjiani from Silicon Valley.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I hate wearing jeans so much, and I haven’t worn them for 15 years. I don’t get denim – it’s heavy, don’t like the material, I could never get used to it. I just got these new things called “hybrid trousers” which I really like. My friend and I got into a debate about whether or not they’re jeans. They are described in one review as “great jean alternatives” and in another as “a great towel,” so I don’t know what I’m wearing currently but I like them.

What’s the best vacation you ever had?

My mom is huge on traveling – we go to a new country every year – so I’ve been really lucky to travel a lot. We went as a family to South Africa over the holiday break. We went to Johannesburg, which is amazing. I really enjoyed experiencing the history there, like visiting the Apartheid Museum. We went to Kruger for a safari, as well as Cape Town, which is is a beautiful city by the beach with great food.




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