When I started looking for the next step of my career in December 2019, I thought that I understood the process—and challenges—that would lie ahead.
My last interview was junior year of college. I approached it with the typical Georgetown University business student’s attitude, where the only concern was landing a position with a large financial institution or consulting company. Sure enough, two years later I found myself going through the motions as a disgruntled bank analyst looking for a way out. I couldn’t help but feel like several of my older friends and colleagues were whispering, “I told you so.”
Maybe they were right—it was time for my next move.
As a finance and marketing major, joining a financial institution seemed like a logical next step for me. Twenty-two percent of Georgetown's 2019 graduating class entered into banking-related activities, myself included. Now, this isn’t a knock on anyone who chooses this path; joining one of the biggest corporations in the world gives you insight into how the most successful companies operate efficiently. Everyone in the company has a defined role, you're expected to move and function at a very high level within your own expertise, and analysts get the job done because the client necessitates it.
For a little over a year I learned and absorbed the banking culture. Little by little, though, I began to realize a simple truth: It wasn’t for me. I enjoyed many aspects of the finance industry, so I knew that I didn’t want a complete career U-turn. With that, the question became:
How can I marry the finance industry with a nimbler company that has greater work autonomy?
As I started my search in late 2019, I looked far and wide for the ever-elusive “right fit.” Investment management, big technology, sports business, FinTech, corporate strategy, and venture capital crossed my mind, just to name a few. Starting big allowed me to ultimately narrow down a more niche set of positions and companies as I interviewed and researched.
After about 2-3 months of interviewing for a variety of roles, it became clear that FinTech was the best path forward for multiple reasons:
- Join a flexible company with a start-up mindset
- Colleagues with similar work backgrounds to my own
- Autonomous roles with ability to grow from within and help the company develop from day one
- Utilize my financial background at the ground level
- Capacity to apply a large company mindset to help a smaller company grow
Cut to March 2020 . . . I finally figured out where I wanted to be by early March, and . . . boom . . . COVID-19. Thankfully, I had interviewed with several Chicago-area FinTechs prior to the global pandemic, but as soon as things started to shut down, I received a very similar message across the board: “We need to wait and see,” “we are on a hiring freeze for the time being,” or “we are no longer hiring for this position.” I was frustrated, but I understood. Everyone was adjusting to the new norm just when I was hitting my stride. I didn’t let it deter me.
Enter Amount: a digital banking infrastructure meant to help banks solve the very problems I saw consistently across one of the biggest financial institutions in the world. Amount presented a solution that I could relate to, and a place where I felt that I could offer a perspective looking from the inside out. Amount fit my desired destination: agile, battle-tested, start-up culture, great people, and a team-oriented work environment.
Despite the hiring process occurring in the midst of a global pandemic, Amount communicated with me every step of the way. I heard from the hiring manager, the head of recruiting, fellow team members, and other employees on a daily basis. It put me at ease knowing that they were engaged in the process and made me feel truly valued as a potential new hire.
As many of you may have guessed, I have now been a part of the team here at Amount for a little over four months. So, what have I encountered along the way?