Intern Stories: Embrace Change
Most interns spend anywhere between 12-16 weeks at WePay. Unfortunately, I was only able to immerse myself in the company for 9 weeks due to my school schedule. Before starting my summer internship at WePay, I felt nervous that I would have to leave just as I started to understand the business, that I wouldn’t be able to gain as much experience as I had hoped, or that as a naturally shy person, two months wasn’t enough time to build relationships with coworkers. Fortunately, I have learned more about the payments industry, how a growing company operates, and my personal career goals in my 9 weeks at WePay than I ever thought possible.
So here are just some of the things I learned during my summer at WePay:
The nature of payments is very complex. Very few companies fully understand payments, but most need it to operate their businesses. To put it simply, WePay offers payment processing to platforms. But to break it down, WePay allows platforms to seamlessly integrate payments into their businesses, along with a customized end to end user experience, while still handling overhead such as risk and customer support.
While at WePay, I worked directly with the Partner Success team which focuses on strengthening customer relationships by decreasing time to launch and accelerating delivery of our year one revenue target.
One of my main projects was documenting and categorizing our partner’s current merchant onboarding flows. After going through a few of these onboarding processes, I quickly learned the value of a strong user experience. A difficult user experience can lead to fewer customers, and more importantly, decreased customer retention. For example, a recent WePay case study illustrates how Eventzilla, an online ticketing platform, experienced only a 40% sign-up rate for the payment processing function of their platform when customers were required to use third party payment accounts. With WePay’s partnership and a makeover of the user experience, Eventzilla was able to increase payment adoption by 200%. From my work documenting WePay’s partner’s user experience flows I determined friction points within the user experience, and provided recommendations using best practices for improvement, in order to reduce support and increase revenue. Additionally, I was given the project of creating a customer journey map to determine the pain points that partners face during integration. Before being assigned this task, I had no idea what a customer journey map was. After researching various maps, getting insight from stakeholders cross-functionally, and even listening in on a live webinar, I came up with a first draft customer journey map for WePay. Ultimately, the final map looked nothing like that first draft. But throughout that project, I learned that regardless of how much planning and research you put into something, it doesn’t always turn out the way you had planned. It is important to be able to adapt to change and be open to new ideas from other team members.
As dynamic as the payments industry is, I learned just as much about myself in these 9 weeks. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about going into a sales role as a marketing major with little practical experience in marketing, let alone sales. On my first day at WePay, I took a good look at the core values strategically posted all over the office, and one in particular stood out to me: “embrace change”. I was nervous about this new position, but the culture and energy at WePay made me feel that an unfamiliar job was just another opportunity to grow and adapt to our always changing environment. I quickly decided to jump head first into any opportunity and learning experience that WePay had to offer. Throughout my internship, I have learned how much marketing and sales go hand-in-hand and how crucial it is to understand one in order to succeed in the other. This was a huge learning experience for me to realize not to limit my opportunities solely to the major I had chosen three years ago as an 18-year-old college freshman.
An internship at WePay isn’t a summer of mindless tasks and busy work. I have learned and built skills that not only helped me succeed while working here, but will help me professionally throughout my career. Within my first week here, my assigned buddy, Amanda, sat with me and walked me through how to build a more impressive LinkedIn profile, showcasing the importance of self-marketing. Additionally, Neal, Director of Talent Acquisition, spent his lunch one Friday talking to all the interns about how to look for, apply, and interview for jobs later in our careers. While to some these may seem like trivial aspects of an internship, as a 21-year-old with less than a year before the “real-world” hits, these were extremely helpful acts that went above and beyond what I thought my coworkers would teach me. Acts like these show that the people at WePay care just as much about their interns’ success during our internship as our success afterwards.
I am extremely lucky and appreciative of the time I was able to spend here. WePay packs learning, growth, and fun all into just 9 short weeks!