Been at the same job for 7 years. Here’s why I don’t plan on leaving any time soon.
My journey at TeamApt started at the age of 19. Over the past 7 years, I’ve encountered ups and downs. Much of my adult life has been spent at TeamApt. Here’s how it all started and how it’s going.
We’ll Start Next Week
My life as a programmer started when I was 14. I started with simple programs mainly in Visual Basic and Python. I quickly fell in love with the process of coding. A process that involves applying logic and creativity while solving practical problems. Programming at its core is logic-based creativity. It went well with my personality and interests. As a student, I already excelled in math, physics, and engineering-related subjects.
Around my final year at UNILAG, when I was about 19, I had already developed a fair amount of proficiency as a coder. I got a call from my friend, Tomi Alagbe. Tomi said someone was interested in talking to me. The someone in question was Tosin Eniolorunda.
Omo that was how I went from the UNILAG campus in Yaba to Tosin’s apartment in 1004 V.I. We basically just gisted, to be honest. It was not a strict interview. Tosin asked a few questions, we had a conversation, and then he looked at me and asked, “When are you ready to start?”
I told Tosin I was ready to start immediately. And that was how I got my first professional job, working with TeamApt. Before then I had basically freelanced.
Picture this, you’re a 19-year-old who just resumed your first professional job ever. And on your very first day, your boss says you are joining a meeting with top bank executives!
We get to Fidelity Bank and we meet Deji Olowe and his team. Bruh, the entire thing was completely out of my league. Till today, I have no idea what was said in that meeting. All I heard were the last words before the conversation ended, and it was Tosin telling Deji, “No problem, we’ll start next week.”
Ah. Oga, start what, please? What are we starting next week? These were the questions running through my mind. But I just locked up and went with the flow.
Thankfully though, Tosin and Tomi explained what was going on. Olympos was a merchant-acquiring solution, aka the thing we were starting next week. The solution was to help Fidelity Bank manage its entire POS merchant process.
All caught up now, I dived head first into Olympos. And let me tell you, I saw fire. The project really stretched me. I was a teenager who up until then had only tinkered with small projects here and there. So I suffered! The only thing that saved me was my ability to learn really quickly and keep at things until I succeed.
This is the first lesson TeamApt taught me. How to have grit.
Lesson One: Grit. Meaning - To have courage and resolve; strength of character.
After weeks of very hard work, we shipped Olympos. Fidelity Bank loved it. And other banks wanted us to build for them as well.
Next, we built a version of Olympos for First Bank which was bigger, and more complex. When this was shipped successfully, everyone was happy. Everyone except me.
Taking First Bank’s version of Olympos live was grueling. I had to rewrite a lot of modules. The whole process was unrelenting and intense. So while everyone was celebrating the achievement, I was auditing my life. Wondering if I would remain at TeamApt. While I loved the impact of the work we did, I did not like the toll it was taking on me as a person.
I went to Tosin with my concerns. I ultimately decided to stay at TeamApt, but take a break from writing code.
Multiple Careers, Same Company
For a while, I worked in Quality Assurance, reviewing and testing code. Then I got interested in Product Management. It was here that I really hit my stride again.
My first product as a manager was Monnify’s Virtual Accounts. We were the very first fintech to ship this product. The product allowed customers to pay businesses with bank transfers. Building Virtual Accounts with Providus bank gave me my second TeamApt lesson. The importance of teamwork.
Lesson Two: Teamwork. Meaning - Having the patience to collaborate and efficiently communicate with members of your team.
So yeah, we successfully built the product and it went live.
Virtual accounts were a massive hit! Everyone in the industry wanted it. From Piggyvest to Risevest, to anything vest, lol. Everybody. This singular product is responsible for the growth of a number of fintech offerings in Nigeria.
And just like that, I had gone from a programmer on Olympos, to a Product Manager with a successful, game-changing product.
The bulk of TeamApt’s staff have deep but also cross-discipline expertise. This allows team members to operate with the sort of nuanced thinking needed to solve hard problems in the real world. It is why we execute so well.
Before I get into telling you about the product I currently manage, I’d like to speak a bit about a question I get asked all the time. “You’ve worked at the same place for 7 years?! How?”
Why Are You Still at TeamApt?
Because I like it here. If I didn’t genuinely enjoy the work I do and the people I get to work with, I would have left a long time ago. Like most of my colleagues, I’ve gotten some very interesting offers. I’ve rejected offers from Binance, Microsoft, and many others in favor of TeamApt.
I am very well taken care of here. The company gives a shit about me, not just as an employee but also as me, Dumebi, a human being. I’ve grown exponentially during my time here and continue to be given opportunities for even more growth. So that’s why I have stayed and will most likely keep put. I like TeamApt.
Across my different roles here, I’ve had to take ownership and lead teams. This is a huge departure from who I was when I first started working here and is perhaps the most important lesson TeamApt has taught me.
Lesson Three: Leader. Meaning - A person who influences a group, through decision-making, information processing, and interpersonal management, towards the achievement of a goal.
In my current role as Product Manager for Business Loans, outside of the more technical aspect, I continuously apply the leadership lessons garnered over the years, to lead honestly and authentically while also holding myself and my team accountable.
TeamApt and I have grown together. As the company’s offerings have expanded, so have my skills. As we near a billion-dollar valuation, it’s nice to say my wallet isn’t doing too badly as well. The work continues to challenge me which keeps things fun.
All of these people have taught me how to have fun while working.
Lesson Four: Chop Life. Meaning - This life na once. Work hard but also be sure to enjoy yourself.
So, that’s it, folks. That’s my story of growing up at TeamApt. To lightly tweak the words of Styl Plus, 7 years don waka, we still dey carry go. Nobody waka, nobody go soloooooo.
If you want to do hard things, win big, and grow; consider joining us. Check out open roles here. And hopefully, I’ll see you at our next retreat.