I started at Braintree in December of 2013, which was quite possibly the most chaotic (yet exciting) time in our history. As I was meeting new people, opening up my computer for the first time, and learning how a credit card works, my colleagues were attending big-picture meetings to learn about the future of PayPal and Braintree. While excited by the partnership, I had very little context as to what it meant or what it would mean for my tenure at Braintree. For me, the circle of life through the payments space was just beginning.
Anyone on the Account Management team at Braintree will introduce me as the baby of our family; I started at Braintree right after graduating at Northwestern (Go ‘Cats), and had very little relative payment experience. As an environmental science, pre-med student I took exactly zero economics classes; my only experience with credit cards was using them (and to be fair, I only owned a debit card when I first started). Luckily for me, Braintree is a company that embraces a circular momentum. We hire, we teach, we learn from them, we grow, and it all happens again and again.
Across the board of teams here, we hire passionate people. That being said, everyone here is also smart, driven, enthusiastic, and has an uncanny thirst for knowledge. The payments industry changes with the season, and if you’re from Chicago, you know that if you don’t show up with a winter coat and flip-flops in your backpack, you’re going to fall behind. We want the type of people who jump (or crawl) out of bed in the morning with a desire to figure out how the world works, and then change it.
There’s a reason why the first two weeks of life at Braintree are spent in Braintree University. Fundamentally, we believe that people need to learn our culture, our history, our industry, and our products. To be the best version of yourself here, you have to understand why we’re all here in the first place. And the teaching doesn’t end after the first two weeks -- it extends to the specific teams you join and the products you work on. We all join Braintree as students, and become teachers as our time here grows.
There are so many talented, intelligent people at Braintree that it would be difficult to say who has taught me the most. We believe in asking questions, questions, and more questions. In my almost two years here, I’ve asked at least one question every day (and, on most days, many more). I am constantly learning from my co-workers, my leaders, my mentors, and myself. Life would be boring if we ever stopped learning and the great thing about working at Braintree is that you never have to.
This is perhaps the most important stage in the circle -- we grow. In 2013, we were at the peak of growth -- joining our products and culture with another set of products and culture, and growing together to form a payments empire. But we didn’t stop there; we’ve grown, multiplied, and changed so many times in my span here that I can hardly keep track. We grow internally as a company, and we grow externally through our merchants and partners. I’ve grown in my own life from working here. If you ask any of my friends or family, they’ll tell you that the science nerd of years past has grown into a fully-formed payments nerd today.
The circle of life here at Braintree is what makes us so special. We refuse to comply with normality, and love changing the status quo to improve the payments experience for our merchants. I love coming to work every day because I can’t wait to see what’s next.