Transitioning to Tech: From Modern Languages to SaaS Management

As a recent Modern Languages and Business Studies graduate, I embarked on a new journey into Fintech, and it's only been up from here.
Transitioning to Tech: From Modern Languages to SaaS Management

In all honesty, it’s quite comical that I find myself working for a tech start-up.

The news loves to report on us Gen-Z as forward-thinking techwizzes but I really couldn’t be anything further away from that. For context (and much to my friends' frustration!) I don’t even have TikTok, I didn’t have PayPal until 2 months ago and finally, I’m not just at any old startup. Cledara is a B2B SaaS Fintech startup in hypergrowth, a collection of words that would have been Greek to me a few months ago. 

As you can imagine, at first glance and particularly in a first interview, a situation like this can be daunting. Yet, it turns out that Cledara aligns quite well with what I was looking for after university. 

The Start-Up Journey

At Cledara I am an SDR - a Sales Development Representative. My colleagues and I are responsible for reaching out to potential customers of Cledara based on their work profile, communicating our value proposition and nurturing them into the Sales pipeline. All of which requires a lot of research to make sure that we are only contacting people that we believe will find value in our service. 

Beyond the day-to-day, I’ve been lucky to have already attended two company quarterly review meetings and without a doubt, these have been my best days. They are simply phenomenal. 

Why? Besides all of us coming together in one place, I find myself in a room surrounded by talented and experienced professionals in their field. The process of reflecting on key learnings, followed by their vision and roadmap of how they see the upcoming quarter is super helpful. Not only is this extremely invaluable for anyone at the beginning of their career, but it is also incredibly exciting to understand the business, the vision of the founders and where the company is going. 

In some respects, every quarter is like being in a new company. Whether it’s the new faces, product launches or entire new departments, the pace of growth is amazing.  This fast-paced environment keeps me both stimulated and more importantly, very proud to be a part of.

A Challenge

That being said, at times this can feel a bit overwhelming. As with anything rapidly-changing, as one project draws to completion, there is always something new and challenging to explore just around the corner.

This creates collaboration where new ideas and feedback is encouraged. As such, entering the Fintech and B2B SaaS space with little experience, on an individual level it facilitates honing in on key skills such versatility of thought and resilience, all the while being outside of your comfort zone. That’s when personal growth happens!

This also makes every little success sweeter. Even if you may not have been directly involved in a project, you are learning nonetheless. These learnings get folded in your day-to-day as you learn more about our customers, and how we help them be more successful in their role.

A Valued Team

As a result, regardless of role or seniority and even though the team is separated across three continents, there is this special dynamic whereby each member is welcomed and valued. We are all learning, regardless of seniority because the space Cledara is in is quite new and constantly changing, making for a dynamic environment for everyone. 

In this way, Cledara is just as invested in us as we are invested in Cledara. Since joining, there have been several post-work socials to celebrate milestones, a 3-day offsite to Barcelona for a Christmas party and team offsite. I have even had the privilege to work both in the London & Barcelona offices, all of which I never expected from a job but am extremely grateful for.

A year ago I couldn't have imagined being where I am now. Not just at a company where I found all of these qualities in one place, but also on the front lines of a disruptive SaaS Fintech. At the beginning, there was so much that I didn’t know about the industry which made me hesitant and unsure of the value I could bring. Fast forward to today, I am part of a team whereby all the areas of the business (marketing, sales, customer support and success etc.) work in concert to create a space where curiosity, possibility and life-long learning become the norm. 

Our Co-Founder and COO shared this tweet with the team the other day, which to me, puts it all in context:

"Andreessen's Law: Every technology becomes technically perfect at the precise moment when it becomes irrelevant."

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Jenny Liu
Head of Finance @ Marshmallow