This month, we recognize the complex world of Tech and Coding, and one Brankas lady who powers through this chaos gracefully. Ria Cataquian grew up wanting to become a medical professional or take up Conservatory of Music. It wasn’t too long until she realized she needed to put that dream to the side, and think of a more sensible path.
Michelle is innately a people person, so it’s no surprise that she landed and thrives in a career that opens great opportunities to deserving individuals. This week, we put the spotlight on Michelle Christine, our young, driven, and feisty People Operations Associate. She talks about her beginnings, her love for people and culture, and where she’s taking the future of Brankas recruitment.
Tell us about yourself, your interests and what you like to do outside of work.
I’m a people person and I love working with both people and machines.
I grew up in a musically-inclined family, and was introduced to the world of musical instruments at a young age. Music has always been a big part of my daily life. Besides music, I travel whenever I have the chance. Seeing different cultures and meeting new people has not only been fun for me but also educational, since I learn a lot during my travels.
My other interests include gaming, tending to my little garden of succulent plants, and watching thriller movies or TV series.
What course did you take up in college and what were you doing before Brankas?
Funny, but I don’t come from a communication or business background. I took Telecommunication Engineering as my major back in college. To be honest, I had no idea what Telecommunication Engineering was back then. Since it was part of Electrical Engineering, and I have always been interested in working with machines, I took the chance and learned something completely new.
When I discovered Brankas, I was in my final year in college and was working on my final undergraduate research project. Brankas was kind enough to let me finish my research, and then I joined the team full-time.
How did you learn about Brankas and what made you decide to join the team?
I discovered Brankas in a career fair at another University in my area. What stood out for me was that Brankas looked like it was the “underdog” among the other large corporations and enterprises who participated in that career fair.
I met a few HuBs and who explained in detail what Brankas is. I haven’t heard of the term Open Banking, I was curious and thought I had nothing to lose anyway, so I submitted my CV and the rest is history haha!😂
How did you go from Telecommunication Engineering to People Management? How did you find the transition?
During my college years, I had always been active in organizations. One of the organizations that I was a part of was IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). I had the chance to become the Head of Human Resource, and I liked it. It was the first time I was introduced to the world of people, it was something new that I fell in love instantly.
I guess that was the main turning point where I discovered my passion to work with people.
What is a People Operations Associate? What is your typical day like?
People operations is the team who focuses on the people instead of the rules, regulations, policies and procedures. Being part of the People Operations team means you strike for the continuous development and well-being of the people.
Since my major scope of work is recruitment, I deal with the full-cycle recruitment process on a day-to-day basis including screening, interviewing, reviewing, and keeping track of the whole process with the hiring managers and hiring team.
Besides recruitment, I also support Indonesia team operations where I get to work with the most unique and awesome peers.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
The one thing that I love about my role is the fact that I get to work and meet people who come from different backgrounds and cultures.
This may sound corny, but being a part of the Recruitment process and reaching out to people who are looking for opportunities is really heart warming.
As a next generation People Operations Associate, what are your goals for Brankas, your current projects, and steps to make Brankas a global go-to organization?
Constant learning and working with the People Operations team of Brankas is one of my priorities to develop myself and my goals.
Outside office hours, I am pursuing my Masters degree in International and Intercultural Communication where I can immerse myself more on the different cultures and how to best communicate with an international team.
I would like people to see that Brankas is one of the best employers/organizations to work for. I want candidates to experience the unique culture of our global team, from recruitment, and even after they move on to their next adventures.
One of our initiatives in the Brankas People team is working on an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that aims to improve the candidates' recruitment experience. This Includes improving our employer branding:
- we’ve tinkered our Careers page (Brankas has a newly revamped website!) - we’re being active on social media - we’re continuously developing our company culture deck.
It is very important that our candidates, future HuBs, know what we have to offer.
What has been the biggest challenge in managing a global team?
The biggest challenge for me so far is how I need to adapt to people coming from different cultures and backgrounds, and how each person has a different way of working with one another. Also, sourcing the best global-wide candidates that meet Brankas' standard.
Being a global team, how do you manage to find job candidates?
We find candidates in numerous ways. Career sites, known job listing platforms, communities, and our own team referrals. Finding candidates for a global team can be challenging but fun. You have to adjust to how each country exhibits their talents, and how you have to match the candidate’s qualifications to what Brankas is looking for.
What are you most proud of about Brankas and how do you impart that with potential candidates?
The inclusivity, diversity and flexibility are a few things that make me proud of our organization, especially the People team.
First impressions are very important every time I talk or approach a candidate. In that very first message, I always try to exude the Brankas culture. I want candidates to feel how excited Brankas is to talk to them, how super lucky we are to have an awesome team who shows inclusivity, diversity, and flexibility. Those are the values I want to send across candidates.
It’s a team effort!
Why is Brankas the best place to work for?
For me, I find that flexibility and space to grow as an individual is super important, and I get those at Brankas. I believe that the best place to work is where you can contribute to the company and learn at the same time. I appreciate the flexibility we have that allows us to balance our professional and personal lives.
The working environment at Brankas is a good mix of professional and fun – that’s our secret. At Brankas, we love to hang out and share experiences even outside office hours. Here, I meet awesome colleagues who turned into awesome friends.
Are you interested in a career in fintech? Join the Brankas team!
Brankas is bringing Open Banking to Southeast Asia. Our vision is to make modern financial services available to everyone.