Coming out of my third year at the University of Western Ontario I was nervous (as many students are) as I began my hunt for summer employment. Rusty from my last stint in the workforce eight months prior as an editorial intern at an emerging tech company, I wasn’t sure exactly what career path I wanted to pursue. Would I continue with journalism, or would I venture towards something with more of a focus on technology? My options seemed surprisingly broad.
It seemed like I’d hit the jackpot when I came across a posting for a summer internship at Financeit. For the uninitiated, Financeit is a Toronto-based startup aiming to provide businesses with a way to offer financing to consumers. After completing a fairly extensive interview process consisting of three separate interviews with different members of the team, I was offered a job and I spent very little time mulling it over. My previous work experience sparked an interest in the startup environment and perhaps that’s why I jumped at the opportunity to work here. The fact that I would be able to work on the marketing, operations, and business development teams was another element contributing to my lack of hesitation to accept the position. For me, there’s something exhilarating about being attached to a company that’s in its early stages; and not just standing around and watching it grow, but actually being able to contribute to that growth.
And grow it has. On my first day, I was one of five new employees. At this point in time, I am one of four interns/co-op students working at Financeit (though this number seems to be growing rapidly, a direct reflection of the company’s success). A short time ago Shreya Chaudhury, a recent graduate of Wilfrid Laurier’s Communications Studies program and a former Financeit intern, was offered the position of Customer Service Representative. Of the internship, Chaudhury said, “Right after interviewing I knew I wanted the job. I wanted the chance to work across operations, marketing, and business development to get a good feel about what I enjoy most.” While many of her freshly-graduated peers struggle to get a foot in the door anywhere, Chaudhury has managed to turn her internship into a full-time position. She states:
I was extremely excited about the position because I already loved the work environment here. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful.
Part of what contributes to this unmistakably positive atmosphere among the Financeit team is the sense of transparency and openness. Each week, the entire office assembles so that each member of the executive team can share what is going on within their individual departments. Of this, former intern and student at the Richard Ivey School of Business Kevin Himel said, “It’s really great to be included in meetings like this as an intern. You really get a sense of what’s going on at all levels of the company.”
Our tasks as interns have not been that of the typical coffee-fetching-errand-running variety (though scanning documents has been part of the job following the company’s recent decision to go paperless). Instead, we get the chance to really influence both the day-to-day operations within the company and contribute to its growth on a larger scale. Myself and fellow intern Roy Fan, a student at York University’s Schulich School of Business, are currently focused on building out the company’s social media presence and augment the website’s blog content to appeal to readers across all four of our primary verticals (recreational vehicle, retail, and home improvement). Beyond this, we are helping out the operations team as they process the countless loans that come in each day. Chris Sandison and Jon Suero, two co-op students from the University of Toronto have also been given the opportunity to make a major impact at the company as members of the tech team. Their current projects include building Financeit’s iPad app for its impending release and making adjustments to the site to improve functionality.
Though I am just starting my 9th week (out of 16) as an intern here at Financeit, I have already elevated my knowledge of the company while gaining invaluable work experience and I am looking forward to seeing how my contributions affect the company as it continues to grow.
Interested in working for Financeit? Check out the Careers page for open positions.