During my MBA program, I made a career shift from marketing and ecommerce into payments. I didn’t really know the payments industry at the time so I decided to do a special project the last semester of business school to learn more and to prep for interviews.
My project was focused on digital wallets and whether or not this new technology was relevant for customers. I selected my topic based on my interest and current innovations. However, after being in the industry for a year, I may have selected a different topic because I realized digital wallets was not a core topic for the industry.
Here are a few things I wish I had asked alumni in the industry when I was selecting my project topic.
- What are the main challenges, or advances, in the industry?
- What do you think about the most in your role?
- What will the industry look like in ten years?
These questions would have led me down a very different journey that would have identified things such as country specific local payments, changing regulations (eg. EMV shift in the US), or payment optimizations.
In the end, my initial thoughts helped me land a role at Adyen, a global ecommerce, mobile, and POS payment service provider. However, I would have been better prepared for this role if my research project had a slight spin.
Thilmin Gee (@thilmin) is a Senior Manager at Adyen. Thilmin was VP of Partnerships for InSITE New York while earning her MBA from NYU Stern.
As I enter my MBA, this is great insight. I think it is so easy to get caught up in the first job, the pay, the hours/travel, etc., and not enough about the big picture.