Employee Spotlight: Cristóbal Lagos
Which is more valuable – sharpening your mind through academic study or expanding your horizons through real-life experience? I pondered this after completing my economics degree back home in Chile.
Answering this question, jump-started my four-year career with Thunes.
I grew up in a home of changemakers. My mum founded an NGO dedicated to tackling educational inequality, and my dad is a management consultant. Through them, I learned that making changes in the world requires persistence, practice and, at times, taking calculated risks.
In 2019, armed with a university degree from FEN (School of Business and Economics at the University of Chile), I was at a crossroads. One path beckoned towards enrolling in a master’s program. While this seemed logical, it didn’t feel right. I yearned to step out of my comfort zone and embrace new experiences.
Crossing the oceans
Being an economics major, I was keen to work in a location with an advanced financial service hub. I wanted to participate in the fintech revolution and also do something that helped people, fulfilling a greater good.
I ended up choosing a place opposite the planet – Singapore! I knew its stellar reputation as the “Silicon Valley of Asia,” and its melting pot of cultures. I began my job search, seeking a tech-focused employer that valued diversity, collaboration and an entrepreneurial drive. I landed an internship with Thunes that ticked all the boxes for me. The company’s focus on fostering financial inclusivity in emerging markets resonated deeply with me. It was a great experience, and soon I made new friends, and Singapore felt like a home away from home in no time.
Making a difference
At Thunes, I applied my data analysis skills to help lower costs and improve the success rate of payment transactions. This work has helped the company enhance its services so that people, especially in emerging markets, can get paid, send money, and be part of the digital economy. I’m proud to play a small part in that endeavour.
Working during COVID-19
In 2020, COVID-19 struck. It was a difficult time. I had to leave Singapore and moved back to Chile to be with my family. The company supported me, and the internship turned into a full-time Business Operations Analyst role. My team remained in Singapore, a 12-hour time difference. In the end, we organised our working hours to cover each other in shifts. It worked perfectly with periodic meetings, and I was able to manage my project at my own pace.
To Barcelona and beyond
This year, I moved again with Thunes. This time to a Commercial Strategy Senior Analyst position in Barcelona, a fintech hub in Europe and dynamic location for scale ups. The company invested in me and my development, supporting my Visa application process. Working here has been transformative, significantly shaping my career expectations.
Looking back to 2019, the decision to enter work and postpone my degree was not taken lightly. However, I think it was right for me. I’ve enjoyed my time at Thunes and appreciate the personal and professional career development opportunities it’s given me in the Fintech space.
To learn more about working at Thunes, visit our careers page.