Is an International Internship Still Worth It?
Hosts: Julia Hurtado, Vinay Vimalan, Lucie Morris
Guest: Bruce Pannaman, co-founder of StorkCard
The concept of “falling forward” comes up throughout this episode, which is all about the hot Financial Tech (or “FinTech”) sector. Bruce Pannaman, an entrepreneur who co-founded StorkCard, shares with the hosts how his financial planning app for parents has become one of the fastest-growing FinTech startups in London. Stretching the bounds of traditional banking and other financial institutions, StorkCard offers a range of fun, accessible ways for families to budget, invest and make purchases from birth through college and beyond. It’s a space that has burgeoned, thanks to cloud computing and the easing of industry regulations that previously constrained online financial tools.
Bruce on his career Journey
Bruce came out of university with strong engineering skills, but (after a short break to pursue a few years of fun as a snowboard competitor and coach) he came to realize that making an impact was his passion. He used a series of consulting jobs to acquire new skills and wear various hats until, ultimately, finding in StorkCard the perfect blend for an entrepreneur seeking to combine his technological expertise and desire to bring empowering products to people. Launched in 2019 with Andres Korin, whose idea formed the basis for the company, StorkCard functions as a debit card using artificial intelligence to help parents navigate the short-, medium- and long-term finances associated with raising a family.
The hosts invite Bruce to share the story of his journey from student to start-up innovator, including tips for those who aspire to enter the FinTech space. He explains the industry’s evolution and what students should to keep in mind as they chart their course post-graduation – what skills to cultivate, networks to build, challenges to anticipate and how to impress a founder like himself. Hint: Failing is actually a good thing!
FinTech is reshaping the financial services industry. Enjoy this insider’s look and all the career/entrepreneurial resources Bruce and the hosts have to share.
To hear additional episodes of The Career Growth Podcast, visit: TheCareerGrowthPodcast
- 04:50 – What is FinTech generally and StorkCard in particular?
- 06:30 –The evolution of Bruce’s career, including progression from engineering to impact-driven consumer technology.
- 11:50 –The origin story, marketing and purpose of StorkCard.
- 15:15 – FinTech: What is it and how has it developed over the past decade?
- 18:15 – The challenge FinTech is posing to traditional financial instruments and why.
- 20:30 – Why FinTech is classified as a new market and what defines it.
- 21:09 – What strengths and skills make a strong candidate for the FinTech industry – including tips for those newly entering the job market.
- 24:33 – A bit about Bruce’s strategies for working around challenges, enlisting the help of others and staying freshly engaged.
- 27:22 – Honing interview and other skills that foster success in the FinTech industry.
- 30:29 – What does an entry-level role look like in the FinTech space and what do recent graduates need to bring to the table when seeking employment? Do your research!
- 33:15 – Books, Meetups and other tools for those interested in the FinTech industry, including the benefits of stepping up to become a presenter.
- 38:28 – Lessons learned through the process of co-founding StorkCard.
- 40:10 – How Bruce stays sharp and keeps evolving as an entrepreneur and business developer.
- 42:20 – Biggest challenges breaking into the industry (which for Bruce included design and content marketing).
- 44:06 – Most important piece of advice for students entering the market: Networking!
- 46.23 – Career Dilemma Question: Should I consider starting a business right out of university or go out and acquire some experience first?
- 51:39 – A little about Entrepreneur First, a startup “boot camp,” and how it works.
- 53:28 – Last thoughts and wrapping up with some final advice.
“What I was looking to do is get into something where I could make an impact; something where you can really see that what you are doing is making a difference to people. And I thought tech was a great way to go.”
“The best thing about start-ups is you get so much more exposure and so much more experience. In a start-up of 10 or 15 people, titles really don’t mean much.”
“Through all this innovation, the basic financial products have been the same for years and years … You give them your money and they’ll look after it and let you spend it easier.”
“It’s all about making it more user-friendly, easier and more fun for people to do because when you come down to it, finance is really, really boring. Fintech is about making it exciting.”
“It’s a competition to move people away from the older, bigger banks that have really old legacy systems and can’t really change that quickly.”
“If you’ve got an idea for a game, for an app, for a website – go and build it!”
“The quicker you fall and the quicker you pick yourself back up, the quicker you get to have another go at it and do it better the next time.”
“Once you know what people want, you just have to go out and build it … Really the first
three or four years of your business is working that out.”
“You can lose your job, or your position, but your network is your network and as long as you’re really nice to people as they go up and support the people in your network, they will help and support you as well. The earlier you build that, the better you’ll do.”
“Iteration is key. The faster you can do something, see what happens, learn from the mistakes and make it better, the quicker it will be one of the biggest and best companies in the world.”
“Believe in yourself and go try it out. You never know until you do. You can’t live with regrets that you didn’t try.”
“I think if you’re a founder, you’ve got to be pretty comfortable with failing and I think that’s something that a lot of students are taught not to do in university.”
“You’ve got to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not doing something properly.”
- CrapTalk Meetup for FinTech: https://www.meetup.com/CRAP-Talks-CRO-Analytics-Product-London/
- Reed Hoffman podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/masters-of-scale-with-reid-hoffman/id1227971746
- The Art of Innovation: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40958.The_Art_of_Innovation
- The Mom Test: http://momtestbook.com
- Entrepreneur First: https://www.joinef.com
- Lunchclub: https://lunchclub.ai
Follow Bruce Pannaman
- Lucie Morris: Originally from Birmingham, Lucie pursued her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Human Resources from the Leeds Becketts University. With experience in advertising, public relations and marketing, Lucie is now the Employer Partnership Associate for London-based International Internship Provider, Capital Placement. Lucie uses her experience working with 500+ companies to provide clients with insight into career growth and what employers are seeking in an ideal candidate for their companies.
- Vinay Vimalan: As Co-founder and CEO of Capital Placement, Vinay offers a decade’s worth of experience and knowledge into career development and recruitment. He has extensive experience with finding and placing students and graduates in internships around the world with companies ranging from startups to multinational corporations. As CEO of Capital Placement, Vinay not only offers insight into what employers are searching for in their own company but also provides actionable tips for those with career aspirations. LinkedIn.
- Julia Hurtado: Originally from Austin, Texas, Julia received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Global Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation, she decided to take a jump across the pond to work as a Business Development and Marketing Intern at Capital Placement in London that eventally became a full-time associate’s position. Julia helps university students and graduates with their career choices and provides advice on professional development.