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Crossing Career Borders

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We did an interview with Maria Sahara, our Cross-Border Payments Product Manager, and discovered more about how her career has changed over the years, as well as her experience in undergoing Xendit’s unique recruitment process.

Life before Xendit

Growing up, Maria had always dreamed of becoming a city development engineer. After earning her undergraduate degree in Regional and City Planning from Institut Teknologi Bandung, one of Indonesia’s most sought-after universities, she decided to start her career at The Ministry of Public Works and Housing.


Her willingness to learn didn’t stop there. In her third year of work with the ministry, she decided that she wanted to study the finance side to enhance her understanding of the overall infrastructure planning and pursue a master’s degree. She then received a scholarship from the prestigious Chevening Awards program. Her studies there led her to a part time job opportunity at an international banking company, where she was exposed to projects that are completely different from what she was used to doing back at the ministry office. Here, not only must she understand the regulatory side of things, she also was required to execute the projects. This moment marked the beginning of her newfound passion for the financial sector.

Upon returning to Indonesia, she decided to work a full time job at an international bank as a Product Manager for the Global Liquidity and Cash Management unit. She was embarking on a completely new direction back then, as she had never had any experience related to transaction banking and the tech aspect of financing. This moment was quite a stressful one, especially when she felt the need to learn everything from scratch. But, her eagerness to push through helped her in overcoming the hurdle. A little over a year later, she received an opportunity to dive deeper into the financial technology industry, particularly payment gateway.

She then started working at a local payment gateway company, where she further deepened her understanding in payment products, such as invoice, disbursement, remittance, and escrow. Her expertise in international money transfer landed her an opportunity to grow her career even more with an international ecommerce company, where she was in charge of payment products for a more diverse clientele spread across Southeast Asia

The beginning of discovering her dream job

Prior to joining Xendit, Maria had heard good things about our strong tech infrastructure and culture from speakers at tech events talks and even her previous customers. This is what led her to explore more about growing her career with us. She then underwent our recruitment process and was very impressed that we also gave her a technical assessment test. “This particular stage reassured me that the guys at Xendit really knew what kind of person they were looking for”, said Maria. 

After passing said test and a series of interviews, it was time for her trial day. At this point in time she was still in Singapore, so we flew her to Jakarta and had her stay at one of our XenHouses, a Xendit style Airbnb, where some of our Xenpeeps stay and occasionally throw parties. Candidates can spend the night here too for their trial, so they get to experience Xendit Life outside the office even more. Plus, it’s a great place to get to know and hang out with Xenpeeps.

“Everything was done very professionally. I had a trial buddy who was really friendly and supportive. He really made sure that I was able to understand and deliver what was expected of my trial. Not to mention, the delicious meals that I had throughout my trial period, cooked straight from the XenKitchen!”

The trial itself was a memorable experience for Maria, as she got the taste of what it’s like to work at Xendit.

Life at Xendit

Ever since, Maria has been with us as a Product Manager for our cross-border payment products. She is responsible to build remittance, escrow, and foreign exchange products for our customers. This involves translating customers’ needs into technical requirements and coordinating with different teams, such as Account Managers, Customer Success, and Software Engineers, to give what our customers want.

“Every day, you get to learn something new here. You are also given the trust and opportunity to experiment with your ideas”

What she loves most about growing her career with us, is how she is always empowered and given freedom to formulate business strategies and execute them. “Every day, you get to learn something new here. You are also given the trust and opportunity to experiment with your ideas”, said Maria. Another thing that she loves about being a part of Xendit is the fact that she also contributes in enabling businesses to transfer their money across international channels. 

In the future, Maria along with the rest of our XenFamily members will unlock even more opportunities to ensure seamless transactions worldwide. If you’re keen on joining the mission, take your part by clicking here!

Learn more about payments in Indonesia

Understanding the opportunities and challenges of the local market is key to staging an effective entrance.

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