This month on our Employee Spotlight series, we’re featuring Justin Eng, who started as a Business Analyst Co-Op on the Strategic Partnerships team at FISPAN and will be transitioning into the full-time role of Strategic Partnerships Manager in May! Justin helps our bank clients with their unique requests pertaining to training materials, product information, and analysis and research. He also works closely with FISPAN’s Head of Partnerships (Kamal Hassin, our first Employee Spotlight feature!) to develop new partner opportunities that will expand FISPAN’s level of integrations across various ERPs and end users.
Justin recently completed his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Operations Management, and is set to officially graduate this June. Congratulations on both accomplishments, Justin!
Let’s get to know a bit more about Justin, what he enjoys most about working at a start-up, and how his undergraduate experiences have helped translate into successes at FISPAN.
What has surprised you about working at FISPAN and what continues to excite you about the company?
I remember when I first applied to FISPAN, there was a specific line in the job description that said: “there will be a million other things for you to do as we are a start-up.” Despite knowing this, it was still a pleasant surprise to find that there really are a million things to do here at FISPAN.
One of the most exciting things about working here has been the amount of flexibility and variability within my position, as I have had the opportunity and privilege to dabble in a lot of different areas within the company that do not necessarily fall under my area of expertise. Something that I continue to enjoy is waking up everyday knowing that my upcoming work day is going to be mightily different from the one before.
What was the most challenging aspect of transitioning from school to work?
For me, the most challenging part was being able to develop some sort of normalcy and routine in my sleep schedule. Throughout post-secondary, I found my most productive hours to be in the evenings; when everything is quiet and there are much fewer distractions. Compounded over many, many years, transitioning from school into the workplace has forced me to return to a healthier sleep schedule and re-develop discipline throughout my work day to avoid the many distractions that come with both daylight and working alongside other people!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding aspect has to come from the work and projects that I accomplish, since I am able to see the direct impact that my work has on FISPAN’s business — whether it’s developing a better understanding of our competitive landscape and advantages, creating usable and insightful projection models, or working directly with our bank clients to better the experience of their end users.
What has been your favourite project at FISPAN so far?
One of my favourite projects was helping initiate a new partnerships strategy by creating an action plan, stakeholder identification, and outreach procedure for FISPAN so that we could begin to further develop our partner program with more ERPs and third-party solutions. This project has allowed FISPAN to explore new growth opportunities on the ERP and vendor side of our business model in order to help keep pace with the rapid growth we’ve been experiencing on the bank, partner, and end user side of the company.
If you were to give any piece of advice to anyone applying to FISPAN, what would it be?
I would say that a lot of our success as a start-up comes from the shared passion, adaptability, and drive from everyone within our organization who all work together in synergy towards our company goals and objectives. If you’re thinking about applying, be sure to showcase why you’re interested in FISPAN and the FinTech industry as a whole and why you would be a good fit in such a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
Quite frankly, I came into FISPAN knowing very little about financial services or FinTech, but I leveraged my eagerness to learn so that I could absorb as much knowledge as I could to help me perform in my role today.
When Justin isn't working, you can catch him looking for new trails to explore, chasing waterfalls, or on the slopes in Whistler (when COVID restrictions allow, of course).
What are your future career aspirations?
Although it probably changes every six months or so, my future career aspirations involve being in a position of leadership that would allow me to help shape the strategy of an important aspect of an organization, or even its overall strategy in general.
Throughout my undergrad, I competed in a variety of case competitions, and something that I have really grown to enjoy is deep diving into an analysis of a current issue and identifying a comprehensive solution to help alleviate or resolve that problem. Having the opportunity to problem solve on a much grander scale and seeing the positive impacts it would have not only on the organization, but on clients, customers, and all other stakeholders, would be both extremely challenging and rewarding at the same time.
What is one professional skill you are currently working on?
One of my goals is to develop a fundamental, and eventually a practical, understanding of computer programming and languages. Computer science and coding are two things that I have always found interesting outside of what I was studying in university. I took a couple of beginner-level courses to learn the basics of syntax and languages, and ever since, I hoped to become proficient in understanding what I see when I look at lines of code.
What is one of your favourite memories over the past year?
Early last year, I took a road trip through the Canadian Rockies, starting in Vancouver and ending in Banff. Despite having done this same trip before, it was especially enjoyable this time around as it offered a relaxing break from the pandemic and served as a mini-vacation despite international travelling restrictions. From driving over 2,000 kilometres through mountains to hiking over 2,000 metres in elevation gain around glaciers and lakes, this was definitely a much needed escape from the trials and tribulations COVID brought over the past year.
What is your favourite quote?
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali
We invite you to get to know Justin further by checking out his LinkedIn, and by exploring the many career opportunities we have here at FISPAN for students and recent graduates.