In this Employee Spotlight, we’re getting to know Santiago Henao, our Product Consultant at FISPAN. As part of the Service Operations team, Santiago provides demos to our partnered banks and their clients, showcasing how our plugin improves a company’s accounting processes.
Santiago graduated from UBC with a degree in Economics, where he learned econometrics, coding and statistics but most importantly, why we can’t “just print more money”. Prior to FISPAN, Santiago held a position at CIBC as a financial advisor, where he assisted all client needs from mortgages to business banking.
Let’s get to know more about Santiago, his interests, and how he navigated life after post-secondary.
What made you decide to come to FISPAN in the first place? What attracted you to the position/company?
I’m fascinated by banks and how impactful they are to economies. I always had the intention of working for a bank, and my degree pushed me in that direction. But the grueling hours and work-life balance had me worried about the long run. I had no idea fintech was an option and so when I learned about FISPAN through a friend, I realized that the fintech industry was perfect. The fact that I get to work alongside these reputable banks and provide a product they want and need, and get to do that from home or from our rad office downtown is what sold it for me. It truly is a modern company that emphasizes work-life balance. I love the complimentary meals once a week and happy hour at the office and the kitchen always stocked up with snacks…love snacks. It’s the little things that make it exciting to come in.
Santiago at FISPAN’s 7th anniversary event.
How has your journey at FISPAN been so far?
These first few months have gone by quickly, getting to know how each team fits in the machine and receiving thorough training with frequent check-ins to make sure I'm not overwhelmed. Everyone is extremely approachable and proactive in helping each other. What I appreciate most about working here is that it feels like I truly have a voice. So if I spot an issue or a more efficient way of going about our work processes, I can easily reach someone to discuss it immediately and take action on it right away which creates a safe space to collaborate and come up with innovative ideas.
What was the most challenging aspect of transitioning from post-secondary to work?
Finding jobs was hard right from the get go. That was a difficult hurdle… coming out of university and hoping to see hundreds of openings and there being what felt like none. But the most challenging part was finding a job I could actually enjoy and not let my degree go to waste. I applied to very few jobs and the summer went by and I was worried that I’d have to “sell my soul” to just start working. I’m glad I stayed patient and held out until I found a great job here. Keep searching until you find the right job and you’ll be so much better off.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Pretty often I’ll have serious accountants on calls who will just start laughing in the middle of the meeting out of relief. It’s the best seeing how excited an accounting team gets over a plugin that completely simplifies their accounting process. I can see first hand how our product is helping every single company using it.
What are your main passions and interests outside of work?
I love acting and watching movies or plays. I try to participate in local Vancouver film projects with friends or local play productions. I also love to surf whenever I can make it out to Tofino.
Santiago enjoying his time surfing at Tofino.
What is your favourite quote?
There’s too many great and iconic ones out there. One that stuck with me was from the movie “Gold” starring Mr. Mcconaughey himself. His character said “The last card you turn over is the only one that matters”.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone applying to FISPAN?
I would say really get to know the company through the website. I read everything there was about FISPAN. I watched the demo videos they have, I read their Linkedin posts and I even reached out to employees and asked them what their experience was like. That’s how I figured out I really would love working here, and that also helped me in my interview. By the time I had my interview, it felt like I already worked for FISPAN with the amount of information I learned about the company. So definitely reach out to people here,everyone is really approachable so don’t be afraid.