The People Behind Our Brands: Adriana Ocañas

Over the years, we’ve added dozens of influential brands to the Red Ventures portfolio, including Healthline, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and more. Together, our brands help people make some of life’s most important decisions — and behind the scenes, our team of creatives, analysts, business leaders and technologists bring those brands to life.

One of those behind-the-scenes RVers is Adriana. She’s an editor on our CreditCards.com team and the social media lead for CreditCards.com, Bankrate Credit Cards, and To Her Credit — a blog she started to help women navigate their financial journeys. Writing has been a key part of her life since she was young, and she one day hopes to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a best-selling author.

Young Adriana, thinking about all the books she wants to write.

Q: Hey Adriana! You said you wanted to be a best-selling author as a child. Who was your inspiration?

A: Hello! I’ve always loved writing. While other kids in my class wanted to be ballerinas or astronauts, I wanted to be a writer. I won awards for my writing in elementary school, I joined spelling bees, and I even took ninth-grade English in middle school. I don’t ever remember not loving the written word. So, my teachers were a big influence. They nurtured my love of writing and made sure I had every opportunity to read. I participated in the Accelerated Reader (AR) points program all throughout elementary school. Essentially, the more you read (and proved via tests that you’d actually soaked up the material), the more points you would receive. I got trophies every year for the number of points I accumulated. Having that love for reading only fueled my desire to write. Both have been such a part of me for so long, it’s hard to imagine my life without them.

Ariana with her family.

Q: Writing was a big part of your education in high school and even college. Tell us about your career leading up to RV.

A: Before coming to RV, I was an English teacher for three years. I taught eighth through twelfth grade during those three years. It was more of a way to help my family financially than something I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. I used teaching as a safety net to move to Austin from my hometown. I looked for other work while teaching but only haphazardly. When it came time to renew my contract, I decided not to continue teaching. I had the summer to find a job or I’d have to move back home – it was the fire I needed. Otherwise, I was afraid I’d find myself in a teaching job 15 years later. Two weeks before my rent was due, with nothing in my bank account, an RV recruiter told me I’d gotten a job offer. I will forever be grateful to the people who took a chance on me. And now it’s all I can do to show them they made the right choice.

Adriana and Poe (and a one way sign).

Q: You’ve been at RV just over two years — how did you get to where you are now?

A: A lot of it had to do with refusing to self-reject. I applied to join the CreditCards.com team on a whim – I didn’t think I was qualified to work at a website whose focus was financial services. But I was in-between jobs and quickly running out of savings. I had applied to over 200 jobs when I got the call from the RV recruiter. If I had rejected my own worth and chose not to apply, I wouldn’t be here – encouraging other women to embrace their worth. 

Q: To Her Credit was born because you saw an opportunity area and chose to find a solution. What was the biggest motivator for you, and what compelled you to start the project?

A: When I first started, I just devoured information on our website. I wanted to know everything I could so I could feel comfortable in my role (Imposter Syndrome, am I right?). In doing so, I noticed a content gap – a lot of our content read a certain way and was directed to a specific type of consumer. I then dug around and looked into our site analytics so I could get an idea of who was actually coming to our site. When I saw that 50% of our visitors were women – but none of our content addressed financial hurdles specifically faced by that demographic – I knew we could do something about it.

I brought up my findings to Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, my manager at the time, and he was 100% supportive. He encouraged me to write an article (or series of articles) addressing the issues I had in mind. But the more I researched, the more I realized this wasn’t something we could fix with just a handful of articles. We needed to take multiple experiences into account and ensure women felt comfortable and validated when reading our content. I teamed up with two other coworkers (because the project was just too big for one person at that point) and we came up with the idea of a biweekly column addressing women’s issues in finance. That column soon became what we know today as To Her Credit.

What truly compelled me to do this were my own experiences. I wasn’t taught about finances growing up, my mother wasn’t taught, and my grandmother wasn’t taught. I existed in a generational knowledge gap, and I knew there were others like me. But our content at the time didn’t acknowledge women like me. And if we hoped to truly help consumers, then we needed to take everyone into account – not just those with privilege. In discussing my financial upbringing with my coworkers, we soon learned all our experiences differed. While each of us had a different level of privilege, we each still had something we wanted to learn. We took that to mean that we couldn’t be the only ones and began discussing how we could highlight the experiences of all women. Every woman’s experience with finances is valid – no matter the level of privilege – and we wanted to ensure every woman was seen and supported on every step of her personal finance journey.

To learn more about how To Her Credit is helping millions of women reach their financial goals, check out this video:

Fun fact: Adriana did the voice over for this video!

Discover all of the awesome financial content from To Her Credit by visiting the site here!

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About the Author:

Ruth Russell | Associate Creative Producer

Ruth joined Red Ventures in 2016 as a Sales Professional and quickly transitioned to our nonprofit team, Road to Hire. She spent three years developing her social media and design skills and now works on the Corp Comm team running all of RV's social media platforms. She also has two cats.

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