Employee Airtime: How Account Manager Yvia Magan-Parker made the leap from fashion to fintech
Get to know Account Manager Yvia Magan-Parker, employee number two in the Australian sales team at Airwallex.
Describe yourself in one word?
Personable. I enjoy meeting new people and I get along with most people. This is a trait that has helped me be effective and successful in sales.
You’re originally from New Zealand. Why did you move to Australia and what were your early observations of Australia?
I first moved to Australia in 2012. At that time, I had a career in fashion and was attracted to Australia’s burgeoning fashion industry.
The first thing I noticed about Australians was that they pronounce certain words differently from us in New Zealand (such as neck-lace), but I quickly adjusted to it!
While I miss my family in New Zealand, I’ve settled into Melbourne and am very happy to call it home.
You’ve been at Airwallex for over 2 years. What’s the most rewarding thing about working at Airwallex?
More than two years in, I am amazed at how I get to learn something new every single day. My prior experience was in fashion and knew nothing about the financial world when I first started at Airwallex over two years ago. I wasn’t sure if I would succeed here.
I was fortunate to have bosses who took a chance on me and carved out time in their busy schedules to show the ropes. Colleagues from China even flew down to Australia to conduct specialised training. They taught me how to sell our platform, pushed me to practice my demo skills and even create my own demo flow, which is still the basis of our demo training today. It’s very rewarding to look back at that and see how much I have picked up in such a short span of time.
As the second hire in the Australia sales team, it’s incredible to see the team expand to over 30 people today. I love that we get to work closely with product teams around the world, including the UK, Singapore, San Francisco and Hong Kong. Working with an amazing group of talented and clever people from different backgrounds pushes me to be my best self at work. We challenge each other by sharing ideas on how to get cut through with potential clients and how to engage in genuine conversations to help them in the best way we can.
What’s the biggest misconception about your job?
Most people think that account management is only about providing customer support. I see it as so much more than that, as it also requires ongoing relationship building to foster trust and rapport with customers.
I build trust by doing what I say I am going to do. While it sounds simple, it works. By proving that I am reliable, for example, getting customers on alpha programs for new products or going back to them with an answer to a specific question, they know that I genuinely want to help. This means when they want to do something new or need support, Airwallex is already top of mind.
What’s the most interesting conversation or memorable moment you’ve ever had with a customer?
A new client called me one day to ask how he could use his Airwallex account to buy helicopters for a new tour business. I work with a wide range of customers from all walks of life and in different industries, but having someone call me about helicopters was definitely a first for me!
I helped him set up his Airwallex account, and easily send large payments to his suppliers. The rest is history. (see customer story here).
A memorable moment was getting to meet with the designer of a brand that I have long admired, as the brand became an Airwallex customer. I was fan-girling throughout the conversation! It was a lovely way to connect my history in the fashion industry with my new fintech life.
What is your favourite way of connecting with your colleagues remotely?
Something I started doing in 2020 when Melbourne first went into lockdown: I hold a 3pm ‘stretchy time’ every day, which is a 15-min Zoom session with whoever wants to get out of their seat for a quick stretch or some star jumps!
What are customers most surprised about when you show them the Airwallex platform?
The one thing that my customers marvel over the most about Airwallex is the ability to open international bank accounts and in their own business names – all in seconds. While this sounds simple, the traditional process can involve months of paperwork and being there in person. One client almost cried - of happiness! - because of how quick and easy it was.
They also love how they can save huge amounts of money when paying suppliers and international contractors in their home currencies.
For people considering a job with Airwallex, what are 3 things they can expect?
Personal and professional growth. In just 6 months, you will have learnt so much about so many things - the product, the business and yourself. You will honestly surprise yourself with what you can do.
Empowerment. You are encouraged to be a self-starter and problem solve autonomously, and then share learnings with your team. Everyone who works here has come from such diverse backgrounds which means we contribute in different ways; there is no one best way!
Support from your team. My teammates at Airwallex are some of the best people I have ever worked with. Help is always offered when it is needed. No question asked is ever a stupid question, everyone here is learning and growing together!
Looking to take the next step in your career? Check out our careers page for open roles.
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