My Co-op Experience Working at a Fintech Startup
- By -
- April 26, 2023
Stepping into the world of crypto with a job at a fintech startup was an exciting and unique opportunity. As a co-op student, the experience was priceless. I was fortunate enough to land my first placement in Localcoin's Product team, working remotely. And although I was initially nervous, as I started to get into the work, my nerves quickly disappeared.
From day one, I was impressed with Localcoin's workplace culture, which was not what I had expected when I first joined. The People Team and Upper Management established such a rich company culture, that even while working remotely, I never felt isolated. I was welcomed with open arms by the team and assigned an onboarding buddy to address any questions. During my first week, I met with some Localcoiners from various departments and learned about their roles and how they kept Localcoin running. I even received some cute LC swag in a welcome package, which I'll definitely flaunt on campus when I return to school!
Daily communication was through Slack, which was a surprise to me. I almost always struggle with sending emails, so being able to send a brief message to my manager allowed me to be more efficient with my time, rather than worrying about the nuances of grammar. Everyone at LC was friendly and fascinating, and we had different Slack channels for different interests. I enjoyed mingling in the #foodies and #anime channels, which helped me connect with fellow Localcoiners through our shared hobbies. We scheduled online meetings and could set our working hours, so we would be immediately notified if we were trying to schedule a meeting outside someone else's active time. I found that small details like these helped to maintain a good balance, making it easy to disconnect after work.
One of the most satisfying aspects of my Localcoin experience was the amount of trust and support I received from the Product Manager. I was given a lot of independence to work on my own without being micromanaged, yet I knew that help was always available if I needed it. While working at Localcoin, I quickly discovered that no one was hesitant to embrace new technologies, and I was even encouraged to experiment with them. The projects assigned to me suited my working style, which included a great deal of problem-solving.
Additionally, since we are always working on a variety of new products and services at Localcoin, I had the option of choosing which direction I wanted to work in. During my term, I had a hand in some fascinating projects, such as testing our upcoming app and services and gaining an in-depth understanding of our ATMs, which included opening them up and performing a few test transactions and interactions. I assisted in managing and updating our ATM listings and had the opportunity to make significant production changes.
Along with new venture market research, I spent a lot of time wireframing and prototyping any new ideas or processes I wanted to model. Looking back, I was consistently involved in exciting and challenging initiatives, which are at the heart of a worthwhile co-op term. As a whole, it was an excellent experience because I could focus on what I was most interested in while also learning how some business processes correlated with what I was learning in my university courses. I learned a lot from my colleagues, who were experts in their respective fields, making my co-op experience even more worthwhile.
Overall, my time at Localcoin was a fantastic learning experience and an excellent start to my co-op journey. I had the opportunity to work with a fantastic team and tackle some fascinating projects using new and emerging technologies. I am grateful for the opportunity and would definitely recommend Localcoin to anyone who wants to see their ideas go into production and create real business impact. My advice is to not be afraid of not knowing much about cryptocurrency and fintech, as I also did not when I began. I’m fortunate to have been a part of such an innovative and supportive team and look forward to using the skills and knowledge I gained from this experience in my future endeavours. At the end of it all, I hope to return to Localcoin and continue to be a part of its growth and success.
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