My Summer with WePay as a Product Management Intern

September 17, 2019 Trends & Ideas
Nimalen Sivapalan
By Nimalen Sivapalan, Associate Product Management Intern
Nimalen Sivapalan
By Nimalen Sivapalan, Associate Product Management Intern

This past summer, I had the opportunity to work for 12 weeks on two of my passions, product management, and fintech as an Associate Product Manager (APM) Intern on WePay’s Risk Operations & Compliance (ROC) team.

WePay’s internships are designed as a two-way street – to gain meaningful experience in your chosen area and to contribute in an impactful way as well. There are plenty of opportunities for an intern to learn, contribute, and grow, personally and professionally. I worked with my manager, Eswari; my intern buddy, Josh; and the rest of the ROC team on two key projects: Issue Type Mapping and Doc Upload for Merchants. These projects gave me the breadth and depth of experience I was looking for in a PM internship.

One of the projects I worked on this summer, Issue Type Mapping, was intended to improve our internal risk engine that is used in everyday risk assessment by WePay’s risk analysts. The impact of this feature was to improve the long-term scalability of our risk engine. By meeting with individual risk analysts and using the tools myself, I was able to better understand inefficiencies in the current process and the impact of what we were building. Throughout the internship, I worked with another intern, Lixuan Hong, who worked from the engineering side and made sure we kept performance, maintainability, and scalability in mind. What I had initially thought was a small feature turned out to be quite complex as we worked through all the different use cases to integrate it into the current experience.

I also worked on a second feature, Doc Upload for Merchants, which was intended to streamline the entire experience of requesting, receiving, and reviewing documents. This feature was going to be quite impactful as it would be used by all partners using our Merchant Center. As a result, it had to go through many stages of review and iteration to make sure we had built the ideal experience for our merchants. As I learned, when it comes to user experience, WePay truly does drive excellence and ultimately delight customers. I didn’t get to see this project through to the end goal of shipping the feature, but I was able to strategize the short-term/long-term vision, flesh out a product requirements doc, and lay out most of the groundwork.

After 12 weeks, I can safely say that I learned much more than I first anticipated.

For example, I learned: cultivating delightful experiences for users, obtaining clarity in tying product strategy to business goals, a deeper understanding of how payments are facilitated, collaborating efficiently and effectively across teams, seeing the forest through the trees and thinking more long-term, and keeping in mind core values while designing product experiences. I still have a lot to learn in the fintech space and about what makes a great PM, but this was an incredibly valuable experience.

One thing that I can take away from this summer internship is the experience of taking something from concept to reality in just 12 weeks. To build something from the ground up in a “real-world” startup environment requires strategizing, being relentless and cutting down fluff, making sure all your pieces are in the right place before you begin, and understanding how it all fits into the big picture.

Looking at everything together, this summer has been one of the most fun and rewarding summers I’ve had from a personal and professional standpoint. Thank you WePay and the ROC team for helping me make the most out of it! 

[Nimalen’s manager, Eswari Sure had this to say about Nimalen’s time at WePay, “At WePay, we love to provide opportunities for our interns to solve real world problems and make a difference. I am glad Nimalen found his experience valuable”]

If you are interested in WePay’s internship programs or a career with WePay take a look at our Careers and About WePay pages.

About the author

Nimalen Sivapalan

Nimalen Sivapalan, Associate Product Management Intern

Nimalen Sivapalan was an Associate Product Manager (APM) Intern on WePay’s Risk Operations & Compliance (ROC) team

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