At Starling, we hire for aptitude and attitude rather than specific experience or qualifications. We encourage our people to try new things and experiment, creating a culture of innovation which differentiates us from others. The work we do here is shaping the future.
“We look for people who share our values of transparency, inclusiveness and exceptional customer service. Career development is all about learning new skills, but the most important thing is that you share the beliefs of the company you work for,” says Marc Douch, Recruitment Manager at Starling.
Here, we find out more about launching a career or beginning a new career chapter as part of Team Starling. Everyone we spoke to found their way into fintech from a degree, job or set of experiences that weren’t directly connected to finance or technology. Yet they all believed in Starling’s mission: making money management better for customers.
“Very few people actually have a career that’s written and traced from when they were 16,” says Prita Das, a Project Manager at Starling. “It’s normal. I fell into tech and I loved it. I found it fascinating.”
Between her third and fourth year of studying French and Classics, Prita spent a year in Paris as an intern at Apple. After graduating, she moved to London and began working in Communications and Marketing. “It really wasn’t for me,” she says. “I wanted to be on the product side of things and I didn’t feel challenged. It takes guts to fess up and say that it’s not for you. But if your circumstances allow it, resigning from a job could give you the time and space you need to find out what else is out there.”
After handing in her notice, she began to apply for roles in France. While job hunting, she fell back on the savings she’d built up, cut back on spending and was able to live with her parents. She also spent time volunteering for The Prince’s Trust. Nine months later, she found what she’d been looking for: fintech. “When you do an arts degree that’s not intrinsically linked to a career, it can be daunting at first and it’s easy to be pushed into doing a law conversion, or to go into banking or consulting. But it’s important not to write off technology,” she says. “If you’re curious and interested in learning, you could definitely have a career in tech.”
Working on a product in-house vs working with clients is also an important factor. “What I like about being in-house is being at the crux of the subject. You’re not airlifted out of a project before seeing how things are implemented, you’re able to see the bigger picture.” Prita, 28, joined Starling in August 2019 and has since worked on the launch of the online banking portal, among many other projects. Previously, she worked for the French payment app Lydia. Between jobs, she spent seven months travelling in the US and South America. Few people leave jobs without knowing what they’re going to do next but for Prita, it enabled her to build up more skills while being able to job hunt productively.