Career Booster Webinar Write-Up
On the 12th of February, FinTech North hosted a career booster webinar in partnership with the University of Bradford. People in the early stages of a career in FinTech make up a lively and highly engaged group within our community, and with the encouragement of ResFinTech Lead at the University of Bradford, Dr Marizah Minhat, MSc FinTech students and the Society of FinTech Students (SoFTS) form a dedicated group of attendees of our events. So, it came as no surprise that the session received sky-high attendance and audience participation.
Joe Roche, General Manager at FinTech North commenced the session, welcoming attendees and panellists before sharing FinTech North’s story, updates and plans for the coming year. He then welcomed Saheed Salami, President of the University of Bradford’s FinTech Society to the virtual stage. Saheed extended his thanks on behalf of the students at the University, stressing the importance of opening up opportunities in FinTech for students in an increasingly competitive and innovative space.
Likewise, Joe expressed his appreciation for the students’ hard work and high engagement within the community. He then introduced the panel, asking them to set the scene, discuss their experiences within FinTech as well as their entrepreneurial experience.
Samantha Turner, Chief People Officer at Lenvi introduced herself, briefly expanding on her role and the importance of building a successful work culture. With a focus on team dynamics and the importance of fostering an innovative environment, Samantha shed light on Lenvi’s journey in developing loan management software while nurturing a robust team culture.
Next, Sam Goodacre, Director of Product at Lenvi provided a first-hand account of the challenges encountered in product development within the FinTech landscape. With a background in digital and tech solutions, Sam highlighted the constantly-evolving nature of technology and the imperative for continuous innovation to stay ahead in the market.
Dan responded, sharing that his decade of experience in FinTech and entrepreneurial experience have been a “roller coaster of a journey” with brilliant highs and disheartening lows:”it’s not for the faint hearted.” Despite having faced challenges, he underscored the vision of rebuildingsociety.com and how lending can work for a ‘wider social good’, an undoubtably encouraging message for the panellists and audience alike.
Next, Paul Anderson, Partner – Financial Services at Squire Patton Boggs, shared his experience and advice, offering legal insights into the fintech sector, stressing the importance of regulatory compliance and career paths within law firms specialising in fintech. Paul highlighted the fast-paced and dynamic nature of fintech, urging aspiring professionals to consider diverse roles within the sector.
The discussion then further delved into the challenges and opportunities prevalent in the FinTech space. Sam emphasised the need for maintaining an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’, describing it as ‘key’ in organisations nowadays. He expanded on the versatility of skills and roles, and the importance of continuous learning and adaptability to technological advancements.
Similarly, Samantha highlighted the abundance of opportunities within FinTech – particularly in re-skilling and progressing through different areas that sit around tech.
Paul expanded on this, discussing the applicability off FinTech skills into other sectors such as law, using his own experience as an example. He also underscored the importance of balancing risk while navigating regulatory frameworks, emphasising the role of regulators in ensuring positive outcomes within the financial services sector.
In response to audience questions about skills sought after by fintech companies, speakers emphasised the importance of interpersonal skills, commercial thinking and a start-up mindset. They also stressed the significance of staying updated on industry trends and actively engaging with the fintech community to enhance career prospects.
Joe then opened the stage for the audience to share their thoughts and experiences. Reuben Obasi, a former student and the Founding President of the Society of FinTech Students – University of Bradford (SoFTS), who now works as Loans & Product Lead at Bradford District Credit Union, presented his own experience as an inspiring case study. He shared that he found great value in the FinTech community, the support of his peers with shared experiences, and immersing himself in networking opportunities in which he was able to form meaningful connections with individuals who shared their own advice with him. The panel were delighted to hear of the former student’s experience having attended FinTech North’s events and how receiving feedback on how to improve employment prospects had helped him to find his current role.
As the webinar drew to a close, speakers encouraged students to continue remaining passionate, inquisitive, innovative and committed to their work in the FinTech space.