Starting up in Fintech: 3 take aways from my internship

Just three months ago my deep dive into Fintech started. One constant during this time was a steep learning curve. I went on a journey to learning a new language, which is specific to Fintech startups – like what is an API, what is an UML diagram and all about KYC (stands for know your customer – processes to verify users’ identity). The world of Fintech is complex, and that’s what makes it a place full of opportunities for innovative new products.

I want to share my greatest learnings on product management and startup culture today. Talk about how it is really like to be part of a Fintech startup. If that inspires you, maybe it’s time for you to start your own project or go for that great business idea which you have been telling your friends all about ;-).

 

Learning #1: Build from scratch

One eye opener for me was decision making. This comes back to always challenging the status quo. Therefore, at Xfers we approach a product decision by looking for the best way to reach a goal. Instead of having long conversations about how it is done right now. Try asking a product manager at a startup: How does this feature work right now? In many cases you will get the answer: How do we want it to work in order to reach our vision? It is about continuously improving, it is about the ability to always find a better way in the future.

 

Learning #2: Navigate ambiguity with shared knowledge

A lot of opportunities come with a lot of ambiguity. The good news is there are a lot of skilled people on the team to help you navigate ambiguity. If I couldn’t solve a question by myself, a team full of experts was just one slack message away. The Xfers team creates opportunities to connect with colleagues and share ideas which supports the great team spirit. Often I found a solution to a complex task just over a coffee or a snack at the pantry.

 

Learning #3: Your team is the key to success

I have had the pleasure to work with amazing people across all disciplines from Compliance to Sales, Engineering and Design. Brainstorming sessions with experts from all domains were essential to design excellent products. On every step of the way I could learn from the team, by being open to every idea and striving for the best user experience. A big thanks especially to my Squad who were focused and worked tirelessly to revamp our whole user experience @Sabrina, Bobby, Shuo-Heng, YanYi, Rebekah. A special thank you for @Zack for showing how to ace multiple projects at a time, setting up structures to transform a vague idea into a project plan in minutes if necessary.

 

My final conclusion for everyone wondering about the next step: If you’re up for a roller coaster ride, where no day is same, a startup is the place for you.

 

About the Author:

Tess is doing her internship in Product Management at Xfers.