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People

May 29, 2024

7 mins read

How I transitioned to product management within Moniepoint from a background in customer support

by Priscilla Onyeachonam

Hi, I’m Priscilla, but I prefer to go by Amaka, mostly because it reminds me of my background as an Igbo girl in Nigeria. 

I’m currently a product manager at Moniepoint, but I started out as a customer support officer.

I’ll be sharing a bit of my background and how it’s helped to shape what I do today. Care to join me on this journey?

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Let’s go!

First, I’m one of those people in a career that has nothing to do with what they studied. I’m a first-class graduate of Microbiology from Covenant University. Still, in my second year, I had the opportunity to intern at a laboratory, and that was when I started doubting that I wanted to pursue microbiology as a career. It felt a bit too monotonous for me.  

After my final exams, I wanted to understand the ‘labour market’, so I started applying for different jobs—particularly those that sounded fun. That’s how I found myself at an interview for a Customer Support role. I guess I did a good job selling myself and landed an internship as a Customer Support Officer for our market loans product. 

Initially, I accepted the offer just to test the labour market, but the longer I worked and interacted with the customers, the more I fell in love with the Fintech space and what we were doing at Moniepoint. I started to realise that I am very empathetic. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that small and medium-scale informal business owners could easily access loans via Moniepoint. So what started as a test became a passion, and I knew I wanted to remain in the Fintech space. 

When my internship was over, I wasn’t just retained but was also promoted to lead a small team that combined operations and customer success. This was when I knew for sure that Fintech was here to stay for me. I enjoyed the nitty-gritty of how each thing worked. Thankfully, my then-line manager, Tobi, spoke with me about my career trajectory and interests. After explaining the parts I loved the most about my job, he advised me to look into product management, and that day, it dawned on me - I love being the middleman. So, I started taking courses on product management. 

Point A to Point G

If you’re wondering, point A stands for ‘admired the role’, and point G stands for ‘got the role’. So this is between when I realised I wanted to do Product Management and when I actually started. Shortly after the conversation with Tobi, we slowed down the Market Loans project. The goal was to return to the drawing board and see how to accommodate more businesses. Hence, I was moved to the onboarding team within Monnify. This meant that most of my work was more customer-facing, just like in the beginning. I would work during my shift hours and use my spare time to take online courses. 

As I trained to become a Product Manager, I hoped that I’d get the opportunity to apply my new skills here at Moniepoint. Then, I read Temitope’s story and was encouraged to keep the dreams alive. 

By my second year working here, I had moved from being an intern to leading the market loans operations team and then leading an integrations and onboarding support team in Monnify. At the same time, I kept my eyes on the ball. At this point, Damilare was my team lead, and I had a conversation where I explained what my next career trajectory was like. While he encouraged me, he explained that the company was only hiring Technical Product Managers at that point. Obviously, I had no core technical background, so I started looking for other opportunities or ways to apply what I was learning and grow in my career.

I must say, this wasn’t the best period in my career journey because it felt like I suddenly realised what I wanted to do, but as I tried to achieve my dreams, they couldn’t be farther from my reality. However, if you’re well accustomed to DreamMakers, then you know grit is one of our core values, and I wasn’t going back on my dream at all.

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What it feels like to get your dream job

In one word - unbelievable. Shortly after I started searching for external opportunities, a role for a Business Product Manager within Moniepoint opened up. It was perfect timing, and I had the skills needed. With my fingers crossed, I applied for the role, gave the interviews my best shot, and here I am today, a Business Product Manager with the Monnify Team. 

How I apply what I learnt as a customer support officer in my role as a Business Product Manager

As a product manager, my role is the middleman with enough authority to make decisions that would favour both the supplier and the receiver of the goods. In fact, most of the time, the receiver is the priority when I have to make decisions. Argh, let’s cut to the chase.

I have enjoyed working as a product manager, and when I reminisce, I see how much my customer success background has impacted my decision-making process.  Yes, I had taken courses on product management, and I was very much aware that the bedrock of building a product should depend on the customers' actual needs, but it is real to me now.

Products are made for people, so every time we’re trying to improve on a product or create a new one, I’m always seeing things clearly from the customer’s point of view. It’s like I have a superpower where I can read between the lines of what my customers are saying and what they aren’t saying. With my background, I’d boldly say that I am leading my team to build/improve on the right product, at the right time, and in the right way for our customers. 

The impact of our well-informed products

I don’t think it’d be nice to wrap up my story without sharing some of my most impactful projects. Firstly, as a product manager, it’s quite difficult to pick one feature and peg it as your most preferred. Still, I’ll just focus on what I consider one of my most impactful projects since becoming a Business Product Manager, and that’s the Bulk Transfer UI feature we recently launched.

The feature allows Monnify merchants to automate transfers to third-party beneficiaries without using an API. Before now, customers who made transfers from their dashboard could only transfer to their account details linked to the Monnify account we managed. But we built a simpler, faster system that’s equally security-tight.

We still have more projects in the pipeline that I can’t share until we’ve launched. Beyond my time as a BPM, I’d say that Monnify’s most impactful product still has to be the virtual wallets. I consider it the most impactful because we were the first to create that solution for a very huge problem that Nigerians and the Fintech industry were experiencing at the time it was launched. 

What the future holds

Honestly, I don’t see myself leaving product management any time soon. This feels like the most certain I have been since my university days. I know what I want to do for the next five years (surprised, yeah?), and I’m ready to give all it takes to get there. For a place like Moniepoint, as long I grow deeper technically, build products that reflect customer empathy and continue to apply grit to push projects, I know I’m covered.

Let me end this with an open invitation to you. You could be like me, who started out a bit unsure of what exactly she wants but has now grown and is pursuing her dreams. I want you to know that dreams can be powered at any stage, and whatever stage you’ve found yourself, I bet there’s a role waiting for you. Visit our careers page, and let’s get this dream together.  

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