Q&A with Hailey, Operations Specialist

Team member in a meeting room

People profile

Here you don’t really have a go-to person to say yes or no to your questions. You have to look for the right people and make lots of decisions on your own. As teams can choose what they should prioritise, there’s no one person to make a final call on things. We need to test and research to justify our views and make decisions together based on data. It can be challenging but also rewarding as you get lots of responsibility.

Why did you join Wise?

I previously worked as an admin assistant in a company where I didn’t have a chance to progress in my career. I was trying everything to get off reception and work on more impactful projects, but it was clear I couldn’t progress. I had a few friends working at Wise and heard about the culture and flexibility you can have in your job here. So I was desperate to join too, to be in a more laid back environment while getting more opportunities for progression.

In a nutshell, what do you do at Wise?

I work in the North America team as an Operations Specialist. The Operations team sees incoming funds to our bank accounts and matches them with corresponding payment accounts. So we link the money needed to complete customers’ payments. I do project management for our team. I help prioritise items we need from other offices to do payment processing. About 20% of my time goes to actually ‘linking’ the money and the rest of my time goes to project management and coordination between our Customer Support team, customers and beneficiary banks.

Have you done any other roles at Wise?

I worked in the Business Customer Support team before. The role enabled me to work with many other teams. I was working on some cases on batch payments, and that allowed me to work with related product teams and become their champion. Being a champion meant I was involved in the work for improving our batch payments products. I loved helping our business customers, but I realised I wasn’t doing as much as I could. So I started looking for an opportunity within Wise to solve problems on a bigger scale, and that’s how I ended up in Operations.

What did you learn changing role?

When moving from Customer Support into Operations, I had to unlearn some behaviours. In Customer Support, it’s important to go out of your way to help a customer, but in Operations, I realised I need to remove myself from dealing with customers directly and let the Support team handle the cases. Doing this was challenging as I really care about our customers. But in this job, I can learn so much more technically about what happens in the process of moving money.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

I’m currently working on fixing customer education flow issues with online USD payments. I find it very interesting. But outside of work-related projects, last year I put together a haunted house for our office Halloween party. Halloween is my big passion. It’s like my second full-time job. So I absolutely loved it. We did greyscale design makeup, so everyone looked like they’re in a black and white movie. We decorated a part of the office building and made it into a haunted cigar factory. I was so excited to get to do something like this at work as it’s a huge passion of mine.

What’s the most interesting place you’ve used your Wise debit Mastercard?

Oslo in Norway.

What does working with freedom and autonomy mean to you?

It means the ability to reach out to anyone in the company. Here nobody’s above another person’s status. Whenever my team sees that something doesn’t work for us, we discuss and make decisions together. We can make our own procedures, which makes you feel the company really trusts you.

What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever done?

I worked in a cigar retail store in marketing and retail. So now I’m super knowledgeable in high-quality tobacco. The smell of the humidor to keep them in perfect condition smells amazing.

What’s your side hustle?

I work in a ghost tour company, where I take people around the area and talk through the history of Ybor City. It’s very fact-based, and I’ve read so many books about the area and its history. Some of the connections are really surprising. It’s believed there’s a connection between Tampa and the JFK assassination. I love spooky stuff and the history of Tampa.

I also do special effects makeup on myself. I use any opportunity I can have to dress up. One year during Gasparilla (a huge annual Mardi Gras type of carnival in Tampa) I was a pirate with my eye slashed open. I teach myself through youtube videos to do the craziest spooky makeup.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done at Wise?

Karaoke at Summer Days was crazy fun.

Favourite slack group?

#daily-fact – where someone from our team gives a daily fact about something random and interesting.