Today’s Notable Young Professional is Angela Biener, whose work with Vancouver-based nTrust offers streamlined banking solutions where people need it the most. We caught up with her to find out what inspired her career and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
No day at nTrust is ever the same. Working for a growing technology company, there is always a new task, challenge, or opportunity – the key is lots of coffee! In general, I oversee the day-to-day operations in our offices in Vancouver, Philippines, and London. This includes customer service, compliance, sales, business development, and human resources.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
It was the mission that started this company that really drew me in – to bring basic banking solutions to where people needed it the most. I was primarily inspired by the idea of working with a team that was – and still is – passionate about this mission, and was able to leverage technological innovations to accomplish this.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
When I was in school, my Operations teacher opened the first class by saying, “If you are not the type of person that can come in every day to something different, if you need routine, then I am sorry to say that you should pack up and pick a different path.”
I wake up every morning eager to get into the office, to start a new day of driving the business forward, chasing more opportunities, and pushing the boundaries.
The challenge is that no day is ever the same, and with all the moving pieces you have to still find a way to remain laser focused on the corporate objectives and disciplined in prioritizing.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
Besides the twitch in my left eye… it’s when I start forgetting things here and there. That is usually a sign that I need to slow down.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
With how fast the payments industry is changing, it will be hard to predict where I’ll be in five years. The one constant is my strong commitment to continuing to grow nTrust globally, and adapting our systems and business to new technologies that support people’s basic needs and connectivity.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Being a young female professional in a male-dominated industry, one of my greatest challenges is maintaining the right balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough – just the right amount to be taken seriously. I’ve learned it’s best to listen and find out as much information as I can, and then to be very clear and concise when communicating my expectations.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success does not equate to a large bank account or material things for me. Achieving success comes from setting goals and accomplishing them. Just like we create strategic plans or milestones within our company, it’s important to do this in your personal life as well. Life can get too busy or pass by too quickly at times, and reverting back to a plan and your goals can help you realize how much you have accomplished. By taking time out to reflect on where you’ve been and what you’ve done, both personally and professionally, you realize you have a lot to be happy about and thankful for.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
A recent interviewed I did with the Globe and Mail for a media article.
It was the most prominent news source I have interviewed with to date – I was fearful, but once it was over I realized there was really nothing to be scared of (it helped that the journalist was very friendly).
But more importantly, it was memorable because the topic of the article focused on how we have grown the nTrust team over the years and maintained our culture. It was one of those moments when I was reminded of how much we as a team have accomplished and the experience I have gained personally. That experience is now shared across the country via this article, and can be valuable to other startups that are on a similar path as nTrust.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
1. Starting a venture is hard work and you will hear the word “no” a lot – accept this and don’t give up.
2. Be the first one to arrive and the last one to leave.
3. It’s good to ask questions, but better to be resourceful and find the answers first.
4. Be courageous.
5. Be resilient.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
My favourite spot for wining and dining in Vancouver right now is Blacktail Restaurant & Lounge. The dishes are delicious and beautifully plated. I think I snap a photo of my food and post it on social media every time I go. The fact that they grown their own greens beside your table – you can’t get fresher than that!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
Curled up in bed watching Netflix.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Any place where it is about 30+ degrees, it’s acceptable to be horizontal for a good portion of the day, and your device cannot get a connection.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
“Keep on Swinging” by Rival Sons.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I would have an organic hobby farm and sell produce to locals.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I believe it is very importable for all community members to support their local charities, especially those within the community in which you are most active. I am very fortunate to work for a company that shares this value. This has led us to create the Be Good initiative, where we have partnered with major charitable organizations within Vancouver to automatically donate a portion of each payment an nTrust member makes to our merchants.
What to you is notable?
Notable is someone who has found success and has the passion to share that with others.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone. But… I would go back to the Razor flip phone if I had the option and if I could figure out how to text on it again!