Q&A With Our Newest Recruit – Ria Walia!

We wanted to introduce our newest recruit and thought a Q&A would be the perfect opportunity to find out a bit more about Ria, our new Social Media Intern. 

Tell us a bit about your background and studies. 

I am an undergraduate studying BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Management and Finance, beginning my final year in September. I have completed over 15 internships spanning across seven industries. I have dabbled in Banking, Sales, Marketing and a role as a stylist for a music video! I ran my own start-up for five years, XTRA.art and then Headed Sales and Marketing at a VR Tech Start-up, Memento. Whether it’s Intrapreneurship (manifesting an entrepreneurial mindset within a company) or Entrepreneurship, I love innovating and coming up with creative solutions.

How long will you be with us at SimplyPayMe? 

I began my internship in July and will be finishing it in October 2020. Nevertheless, I hope to stay on at the company to continue growing SPM’s social media presence so watch this space!

What parts of the internship are you most looking forward to? 

I am looking forward to orchestrating collaborations between industry leaders for the various campaigns I work on for our content. This is only possible because of the vast network SPM have access to, along with the in-house industry knowledge available to me. I feel grateful to be working in a company where I am encouraged to have conversations with the CEO and other senior stakeholders. This gives me the creative freedom to execute campaigns and content I truly believe in! 

What do you hope to learn? 

I hope to learn more about the payments industry and how to scale a successful start-up! The transparent environment at the company enables me to do so. Acclimatising to the ‘work-from-home’ norm means great communication skills, a self-starter attitude and integrity. All values and skills I find here in the company culture. I hope to further develop these skills so I am an asset to any company, albeit remote or not! 

About you, what interests do you have outside of work?

In my spare time I run my own YouTube Channel and Instagram Page, whereby I share my experiences in hope to help and support other students with careers and entrepreneurship. I have also, recently launched my own blog, sharing my tips, tricks and resources that have helped me navigate through all the different internships in the various industries as well as the pitches, accelerators and other entrepreneurial competitions. 

Otherwise, I love making dresses and skirts! Although, I find I don’t ever have enough time to get round to doing any stitching. I am obsessed with binging TV shows, I am currently watching Desperate Housewives! 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In a time like this, even thinking about a year from now seems inappropriate. A few months ago, if you had asked me the same question I would’ve given you my 15 year plan but now I think the best thing is to stay present and make the most of today and the opportunities that come your way! 

Nevertheless, I want to keep growing and developing whether that be learning from working under global leaders at large firms and building a network from working in a multinational corporation or wearing several hats in an exciting and fast paced start-up! 

My short answer: You’ll have to stick around to find out!

Advice on working as a virtual intern?

It is extremely important to set expectations very early on in your internship. That could be the method of communication – email or Whatsapp – and the frequency – a catch-up call every afternoon or every Monday morning. What I found worked was setting a clear agenda on what I wanted to discuss and the context of the discussions before I had every virtual interaction/meeting with professionals of the firm. This way, the conversations were meaningful and productive.

Nevertheless, give a virtual internship a go! You can only gain experience from it because more hiring processes will become virtual so it’s best to get in as much practise of your virtual professional self as possible.

Why did you apply to work with SimplyPayMe? 

I applied so I could work and learn under industry changemakers. I am intrigued by the company’s innovation in the payments space and am excited for the future of this company. – I want to be a part of this revolutionary journey!

We can’t wait for you to be part of the SPM journey too, welcome to the team Ria!


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