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Surfing the Internet, Riding the Career Wave

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When I was in around fourth grade, my mom introduced me to this amazing technology called “the internet” and I instantly fell in love with the idea that you can talk to anyone anytime on Yahoo! Messenger and also the fact that you can do and learn anything you want with no limit (well, I guess the only limit is your internet quota!). I then decided that I want to be a software engineer just like my mom, and I want to create lots of cool apps and websites on the internet.

Long story short, I got accepted into the faculty of electrical engineering and computer science in ITB and took the first coding class which I honestly didn’t do too well. I no longer felt the excitement and I thought that environment was limiting my creativity. I knew that I wanted to do something that involved the internet so the closest thing I could think of was instead of doing the upper layers why not do the lower layers and studied electrical telecommunications engineering instead.

Where it all started

In my last year of college, I told myself that I wanted to do something non-engineering related simply because I couldn’t see myself doing it for years. I stumbled upon Xendit’s booth in my campus career  days and the only thing I remember about Xendit was that I loved the logo and the color scheme. Fast forward to a couple of weeks, I saw that Xendit opened a growth internship just at the right time when I was waiting for my graduation. I applied, got interviewed and somehow got accepted.

My first few weeks as an intern was not so fun – not gonna lie. I mostly did cold emailings and didn’t really interact with anyone in the office. I think the first time things got excited for me was when I decided to join weekly Futsal night when Moses realized that an intern named Bianca existed. I told him that I had lots of extra capacity and he offered me to join him on client pitches and learn how to make decks and projections the Moses way. I generally had no issues with decks and projections and I felt comfortable with numbers and written documents but client meetings were not easy for me. I was not a confident person in general and I really didn’t know how to start a conversation let alone pitch or sell things. The first few pitches were mostly me taking notes and writing follow up emails and I was far from my comfort zone. After a while and a lot of pitching practices in my bathroom mirrors at night and just putting myself out there, I finally began to understand the rules.

Nomad

After months of mostly doing sales pitches, I somehow got roped in to product management. It started off as me helping write product requirements, go through design, and conduct UAT with the developers. Working on product management made me realize that I’m in the sweet spot between “things I like doing” and “value I can bring”. I can proudly say that nothing beats the sense of fulfillment you get from seeing the product that you develop help people solve their problems. 

 

A couple of months later, I got roped in again to my first experiment project working with Tessa directly. This experiment project started as a side project that I needed to work on my extra hours outside my product role, but the project kicked off and it became my main role in the following months. My new role involved M&As, setting up businesses, and government relationships – which were things that I had no idea about before. I was lucky enough to get the trust, the guidance, and the opportunity to learn as I go. The learning curve in this new role was crazy high. I got to learn a lot more about finance, which  is something that I had no prior knowledge or experience before. I got to see Xendit from a whole new perspective, not just the sales and product view but also from operations – not just ground view but also helicopter view.

Rerouting

If you think that I‘ve finished moving roles by now, well you’re mistaken because in my third year in Xendit I moved to corporate finance where I mostly did things in the background and spoke with people outside of Xendit. Despite the team having grown 10x, the process to move to new roles in my case was pretty simple since in most cases I moved to a new role that never really existed or defined before. Reflecting back on the roles and projects that I got assigned, I think I realize that I bring the most value when I had to build structure on uncertain conditions, create or start something new, and fix broken processes. I don’t really care about position or titles because to me it means nothing more than optics, but I do care a lot about room to grow and trust from the team. I think my main approach on moving from different roles to a new role is as long as it has enough room for me to grow and I can bring value to the company on this new role then I’d take it. Another important thing that people sometimes don’t realize is the importance of having good mentors who care about your growth and who can give you insights.

I could have never imagined that my career would turn out the way it did. Things are never the same here at Xendit and you always get exposed to new learning opportunities that are rare to be found elsewhere. I’m entering my fifth year now and very excited to see what’s next, especially that we are scaling rapidly locally and globally.


If you’re interested in being exposed to many different learning opportunities and perhaps challenging yourself to understanding things you’ve never learned before, let’s grow together and click here as a first step!

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