As a young tech enthusiast, my dream at the beginning of college has always been to intern with a tech company during summer, however, with little experience in this field, I applied for more consultancy related internships as the majority of my coursework at the time were project based hence I had a pretty well-established consultancy portfolio. What drew me to Paga however, was the idea of being a “Product Manager.”
I got to know about Paga through the regular radio advert #Justpagait which was quite popular a while ago. However, I never saw myself interning in the tech giant. It was at one of the numerous networking sessions I attended in search of an internship, that I came across a product manager at Paga. He explained to me what it meant to be a product manager, a field in tech I had never really heard of before this encounter. This opportunity was it for me! Finally, an area in tech where I did not have to be a proficient programmer or some other geeky stuff.
After my encounter, I went home and googled the functions of a product manager, and I concluded within myself that it was the right opportunity for me, so I decided to send follow up emails, expressing my interest to intern in the product management department at Paga. At first, I received nothing back which I was already used to at the time anyways but after a while, the same manager, reached out with an open spot within the team and I jumped on it without any hesitation!
This internship was my first attempt at working in the corporate world, so honestly, I was not sure of what to expect. At the time I resumed, I was the only intern in the company (Others joined about two weeks later), so I felt pretty alone. After my first week of onboarding, one thing that stood out about Paga for me was the number of moving parts within the organisation even within my team that helped to make the whole engine function. I saw how busy everyone was and I knew I had to set my expectations if not, I’d be blown in any direction the wind chose. So, I came up with a professional development plan (PDP) and shared with my manager. Based on my orientation on the existing processes and nature of jobs in the PM team, I was able to identify the areas I needed to grow in so I highlighted those areas.
In the product innovation department, most of my deliverables were centred around process documentation and functional user interface design prototypes. The essential skills necessary to succeed in the product innovation world were teamwork, collecting feedback and research as designs needed to be made from a user’s perspective hence you would deal with a lot of input from stakeholders when designing a product. Also, being able to carry everyone along and work as a team was necessary as the design world is very dynamic. One day the design is perfect, the next day, someone else has a better idea to implement hence everyone needs to be a part of the process. The research comes in when it’s time for process documentation. You have to make sure you are putting down the best practice, as the aim of documenting a process is to ensure that others can follow in that process regardless of the situation. This means that it must be flexible and scalable. These were the three significant skills I was able to build during my internship; However, in the long term, I was able to build resilience and grit. Work was very fast-paced, and I needed to learn while on the job with little time for self-doubt. Beyond Paga, I would surely apply these skills in my everyday life, be it at school or in another office.
My three months at Paga were the most delightful part of my summer as I built a family there. What I loved the most about Paga though, was the numerous opportunities for career advancement. In my short time there, I was engaged in discussions regarding a possible transition from the product management team to the engineering/software development team. This was a pivotal discussion for me because, in the real sense of things, such advancement would help me discover what career path would be more suitable for me in the nearest future.
At the end of my internship, I was offered an opportunity to come back in another summer as well as a thousand dollar grant ($1000) to help mitigate my college expenses! I honestly could not have asked for anything more as Paga had offered me everything I had hoped to get out of my internship; experience, support and a more extensive network of industry professionals! Through Paga, I learned a bit of what it takes to succeed as an African entrepreneur.
Hopefully, I will get to come back to Paga to explore the software development world and gain more insights into the entrepreneurial world. As an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, Paga was definitely the right place for me.
— Oluwarotimi Adesina, Product Management Intern
Making Life Possible is our ethos at paga, and it is what keeps us committed to our mission of providing inclusive financial services for all Nigerians. With over 17,000 agent outlets and 9 million+ customers, we are inspired by the stories of the community we are building and the people we are empowering by making life possible every single day.