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Mentoring at Zip - Q&A with Tim and Josh

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Multiple contributors

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January 25, 2024

Mentoring at Zip - Q&A with Tim and Josh

Meet our mentor/mentee pair Tim Danusa and Josh Wilson, who as part of a quick-fire Q&A shared their experiences, learnings and future career aspirations at the half way point of our inaugural ANZ Mentoring Program.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how long you’ve been with Zip and a little bit about your background and previous career

Tim: My name is Tim and I’ve been at Zip for 18 months in the role of Senior Manager - Risk Analytics & Controls. My role has quite a broad remit, but ultimately it is ensuring all of Zip’s business processes are operating as per expectations using data and analytics. The majority of my 11-year career has been within risk and analytics at banks, although in quite varied and diverse areas across mortgages, credit cards, personal lending and most recently internal audit.

Josh: I’m Joshua Wilson, and I am an associate Data Analyst at Zip. I started at Zip in January 2020 as a CX agent, and was here for two and a half years, before leaving and spending six months working as a Data Analyst at Atlassian. I then returned twelve months ago to work in our Data Analytics Office, specialising in CX and Operations data.

What were the drivers behind applying for a place on Zip’s mentoring program?

Josh: The main driver for applying for the mentorship program was the opportunity to lean on the experience of our senior leadership team here at Zip to support my aspirations. There are some fantastic resources available at Zip, and I was having questions myself around how to make the most of the career progression and pathway opportunities, as well as how to best frame my mindset around work and growth. This program seemed like the perfect way to be able to leverage these resources for my personal growth and goals.

Tim: I was fortunate to have deeply influential mentors early on in my career, who had a profound and positive influence on how I thought about both my personal and professional lives. Having never been a mentor in a professional corporate capacity, I applied for a place on Zip’s mentoring program to have an opportunity to pay it forward and provide that perspective that I once received.

How have you benefited from the program to date? What’s been one key learning or takeaway?

Tim: Despite wanting to become a mentor, I’ve found it to be a challenge in how to go about seeking a suitable and willing mentee. The program offers the formality and benefit of matching the mentor with a mentee - based on experience, interests, career goals and what each person is hoping to get out of the program. Given both the mentor and mentee need to apply for a place on the program, this sets the intention right from the beginning which is an added benefit.

One key takeaway for me is the immense value of what a formal mentoring program can offer. Before the first 1-on-1 session, mentors are provided with the necessary tools and preparation from experienced facilitators on how to drive effective conversations with their mentee - and ultimately how to be a successful mentor. As a new mentor, I found this material to be invaluable and have helped me personally in my discussions with my mentee.

Josh: The biggest takeaway from this experience so far has been reframing my mindset around my focus, and where to allocate my time and energy. In a fast paced company likeZip there can be a lot of change in a short space of time, with focus areas and priorities shifting across the business. I found myself getting caught up in the pace of Zip, always wanting to be involved in the most urgent or important tasks.

As part of my development actions, I have been working on really focusing on the targets and actions in front of me, before turning my attention to what else needs to get done. In companies like ours where there are many different teams working together, it is easy to get caught up in parallel initiatives, and that can detract from the priority tasks at hand.

Focusing on delivering outcomes of an extremely high standard in my domain has been the goal since starting the program. It has given me a renewed clarity to my work tasks, while helping me manage feeling overwhelmed.

Tim, as a Senior Manager, how is this program supporting your development specific to your FY24 Commits and your leadership aspirations?

As part of my FY24 commits and development plan, one of my goals is to grow my leadership skills and capabilities to be the best leader I can be. Being a mentor on the program has allowed me to further hone these skills by connecting with, guiding and supporting a Zipster outside of my direct team. It’s also broadened my view and provided insights into other parts of the business, which has helped to add further perspective in my day-to-day role in Risk.

Josh, how is this program supporting your development specific to your FY24 Commits and the direction you want to take your career?

The program has helped me to shape my Commits and career direction. A major goal of the Mentor Program was to help gain clarity into my future career progression, including what options may exist within the data analytics space. Tim has been a great mentor, having shared experiences from his own career that have helped me to make decisions over the types of roles I am hoping to work towards in my future.

As a result I have then been able to work with my manager to design action items in my Commits, focusing on the technical skills I want to progress in order to realise these goals. This quarter, that includes requesting to work on specific projects that will allow me to flex these muscles and take on more challenging tasks.

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