Breaking Into Fintech: What You Need to Know

Dhanum Nursigadoo
5min read

Moving into a new field, from study or another sector, is always a daunting task. Especially when it’s something as new and undefined as fintech can be. Luckily, we did a show at the Cass Finance Conference dedicated to breaking into fintech.

Examining the dos and don’ts of entering the field are: Jeff Tijssen, 11:FS Head of Consulting, Sophie Winwood, Head of Partnerships at Innovate Finance, and Valentina Kristensen Head of PR and Marketing at Oak North. Our three veterans of the field speak with Fintech Insider host Ross Gallagher. Covering the skills you need to make it in the fintech world.

You can download the podcast here or click play below. Alternatively, read on for a summary and highlights. Read on anyway, it’s interesting stuff.

Passion is Everything

I fell in love with fintech companies and their whole ethos of how they were different from normal financial services - Sophie Winwood
One common theme across all fintech companies is excitement. Every office in the industry has a palpable feeling of doing something different, thinking outside the box and breaking into the sector in their own unique way. Without the ability to get excited for the space and if you’re not aiming to make an impact then fintech isn’t for you. That passion is a driving force in why so many people are attracted to the fintech sector. So long as you can get excited about an aspect of it you’ll be able to showcase why you want to be in the fintech space. Finding an ethos, a culture, a tech idea, or anything else you can geek out about is vital.

Challenge Challenge Challenge

It’s about being ballsy & having challenging conversations - Valentina Kristensen
Secondments are a popular method of breaking into the fintech sector. They give you hands-on experience with the realities of the field and let you get to grips with challenging the norm. Most importantly, due to the size of most fintech startups, you can get meaningful face time with high level employees and have challenging conversations where you can map out your ideas with them. Once you have that it's a short skip and jump to landing a position at the fintech firm of your dreams.

Anarchy in the UK! (and everywhere else)

I’m an anarchist at heart, I love disruption - Ross Gallagher
Fintech is, at its core, about disruption. When people think of fintech they think of disruption. It’s not a vendetta against the financial services market and it’s not disruption for disruption’s sake. It’s about helping banks navigate the rapidly emerging technologies and providing solutions that matter. The value of a solution is contained entirely in the problem it solves, so if you can figure out a way to solve a big problem you're guaranteed to have a highly valuable solution.

Breaking the Bank

Banks need to change - Jeff Tjissen
Part of the problem with so many emerging technologies is people want to use them. But they want them to be safe secure and stable. Banks are great at providing that, but generating swift changes has never been their strongest point. That's where fintechs shine. They provide agile solutions because they're agile entities.