What is your professional background and what led you to become a Product Manager?
I began my career in product as a software consultant for start-ups in need of go-to-market plans. After about four years my firm was acquired by a larger agency and it was there, I got my first experience working with financial products. We designed and developed mobile banking apps, investor dashboards, and ran customer insights panels to understand what people generally think of banks’ service offerings, pricing, products and used that data to create introduce products that addressed the key opportunities we discovered.
Why did you choose to work at Transferwise and how did you end up there?
I took a tangent into the world of P&C insurance products for a time. With the trend among VCs in 2015-16 interested in insurance and insur-tech companies, I joined a startup in the renters' insurance space. It was here I first that was exposed to the compliance and risk management side of product development. TransferWise, attracted me because my interest is in creating products that have a positive impact on people's lives, turns that out financial management is an underserved pain point for many.
I’m helping grow our North American remittance, cross-border transfers, product. TransferWise has what we call a Mission Zero, we aim to achieve "Money without borders” making transfers instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free. My time is spent making sure customer insights drive the decisions we make as a team to further that goal.
What is a moment in your career that you are most proud of?
One of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make was to convince a team that one idea was no longer worth holding on to. This particular product was one built for a big client; a special case that helped close a large deal. Years later it was causing far more harm as it was costly to maintain, fraught with tech debt, and distracting from our core goals. Rallying the team to understand the cost-benefit of dropping this product to focus our attention on things more worthwhile was a large ask but, we eventually did sunset and, we found ourselves much better off in the not-so-long run.
What is the best piece of professional advice you have received?
I would have to credit one of my first managers who always tried to push me beyond my comfort zone early on in my career. I struggled with speaking up and finding my voice among a crowd, this mentor encouraged me to have confidence with my ideas and to not wait for permission to express my opinions. Always encouraging me not to wait for permission or an invitation to stand out, but to step up when I felt confident.
What is your advice for women looking to enter the FinTech space?
Building confidence and conviction is the best way to grow both personally and professionally. Arm yourself with data, know your product, your customers, and the business inside and out and don’t wait to be given a chance to step up and take a leading role. With strong conviction, those around you will be more supportive than you think.
Reach out to Jenny on LinkedIn.