FinTech Female Fridays: Elle Carter, Director of Partner Success, Jetty
Can you talk about your career path and what led you to become Director of Partner Success at Jetty?
I moved to FinTech 4 years ago, after I had spent many years in the airline industry. I realized that I needed to move to a smaller company to learn at a faster pace, as I am extremely transparent about my desire to be a founder one day. The jump from a big to a small firm has been vital to acquire new skills and learn how to build a company from the ground up.
I spent 3 wonderful years at another FinTech startup focused on financial products for small businesses and started at Jetty over a year ago. Jetty approached me to join them as a Director of Partner Success and the role made me feel confident and terrified at the same time. I was once told that when deciding on a new job, if it scares you, you should take it, so I took the leap! I said goodbye to operations and hello sales and partnerships!
What drew you to FinTech and what about this industry is motivating you to stay?
I once saw a headline that reads: 'Money is more stressful than work or relationships'. In fact, Jetty recently published our Renter Sentiment Report, that confirms “paying rent causes more stress than jobs, student loans, credit card bills, and political issues.” Money, and by extension finance, touches everything in our daily life and it generally causes a lot of stress to a large portion of the population. The field has plenty of room for innovation and simultaneously the challenge is immense. I was drawn to solving complex problems around something that has such an impact on peoples' lives.
Also, I love being a part of an industry where new companies are emerging to solve problems I did not even know existed. The industry is pushing for more transparency and I am motivated by the mission behind products aimed at providing 'everyday people' with more information and access to capital.
Who is one of the most influential person in your career and why?
I cannot pick just one! I have been very lucky to work with many wonderful people. My last manager, Cody, taught me so much about productivity and execution. It was instrumental to learn early on the value of being trusted to just get things done - it opens a lot of opportunities to take on new things.
Meredith Wood, my mentor, gave me invaluable piece of wisdom around managing a team: "Great managers care. It's that simple."
My current manager, Kevin Murphy, is an inspirational people-leader and I feel lucky to get to work for him. Having a manager who is deeply invested in my professional development and happiness has made Jetty the place I will look back on as the inflection point for my career.
What advice do you have for women who are looking to enter the FinTech space?
There is a Harvard Business Review article around how women will wait until they are 100% qualified to apply for a new role, whereas men will apply when they are only 60% qualified, so go for it!
For tactical advice, here are a few have found to be effective:
1. When asked your salary expectations, reverse the question by asking what is budgeted for the role, that way you avoid undervaluing yourself.
2. Always ask for more money. It's not awkward, it is expected.
3. Reference check your new manager. Ask them for references of prior direct reports and reach out to those people. You will learn more in those conversations than you ever could from the interview process - in my opinion your manager is the single most important factor to your happiness at work and the person who is going to help you launch your career.
What is a book or a podcast that you are reading/listening to that you find to be helpful in your career?
This is not a book or a podcast, but Molly Graham wrote a genius article about scaling startups called 'Give Away Your Legos' that I have re-read at least 100 times and still find it very insightful.
Reach out to Elle on LinkedIn.