Introducing Bianca Morandi, a skilled Product Manager specialising in Financial Services, Banking, and On boarding. Based in São Paulo, Brazil, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Read on to learn more about her expertise and insights in the industry.
1: Bianca, tell us about your work as a Product Manager at Nomad, a B2C Fintech company!
I spent almost 2.5 years at Nomad and it was an incredible learning experience. I have worked
with so many highly skilled people and amazing human beings. I had the opportunity to learn the basics of Product Management and data analysis and, being there before launching the product, I got to actively help the company to scale up, which is something that not everyone has the opportunity to work with. I also had a deep dive into financial services and KYC processes, a huge market nowadays, learning so much that I became the person to go to regarding international transfers in my friends' group. I also had the opportunity to perform influential leadership where I led the team towards the same goal and mentored junior product managers.
2: You have experience in user experience and users in different industries - tell us about
this and what can businesses do to generate a better user experience?
I started my career as a product designer in a consulting company that allowed me to work with
users and stakeholders in different industries consolidating the idea that how it’s important to
understand your user. It was always an exercise of “what would the user want/do/think/expect”
in this case and be a really good listener when talking to them. I know that not all businesses can afford a big research project but there are always small things that we can do when trying to understand user needs, pain and motivations. If you have your product on the market already, look for customer feedback that is out there and you will have a great source of what you can do to improve your product. If you don’t, try to get it to the user's hands as soon as possible, even if it’s just a scratch, and start asking questions about the overall experience, what they think about the product, etc - the most important thing is that you try not to bias the answers.
3: What advice do you have for business women looking to improve their problem-solving skills?
The first thing that I do when I’m trying to solve a problem is to do a deep dive into it. I do an
extended research on it with the approach of “Is there something that already solves it? How do
they do it? Does that apply to my context or do I need to customise it?”. The next step is to test
it by getting other people involved being from your team, or someone outside the work, a customer, etc. Always remember that this is an iteration process, meaning that you will not get it correct on the
first attempt and might take a few more to reach the best solution at the time. And that is the
beauty of it.
But sometimes you are just not getting anywhere and here are a few tips that I like to do:
1. Look at it from a different perspective: usually switching my point of view, trying to put
myself in someone else's shoes or getting someone who is not directly involved to give
2. Do something else not related: Do you know the feeling that some of your best ideas
come when you are in the shower? That is because it’s when your brain is resting. When
I’m stuck, I like to go exercise, walk my dog or even take a few minutes to look at the
view from my balcony and not think of anything specific. The answer might not come at
first, but it will definitely give you some fresh eyes.
4: As a trained psychologist, what advice do you have for women working in diverse
working environments and cross-functional teams in order to thrive?
Actively listen to people. The first thing I like to do when I join a new team is talk to everyone
and understand their context and needs and align with the expectations. That is how I start building trust and a safe environment for them to reach out when they need it.
5:What is life like in São Paulo and Brazil in general? What is your lifestyle like? Is Brazil
somewhere female digital nomads or entrepreneurs should consider?
Brazil is such a big country that every part of it is different and that is the beauty of it. I’ve lived in
São Paulo, the capital state, and will always remember a friend saying that “If I want to eat
feijoada, a traditional dish from Brazil, at 2 am, I know I will be able to find an open place for it.”
and that is 100% true when we talk about “the city that never sleeps”. Some people love São
Paulo for it, but I choose to move to a country town nearby to get more life quality and live at a
slower pace than I would before. Brazil is an amazing place for travelling but also for female digital nomads and entrepreneurs. If you don’t speak Portuguese, try to stick to big cities like São Paulo and Recife, business hubs or Rio de Janeiro, a tourist city so you have more chances of finding someone that can talk to you in English, but, if you can, try to learn our language and your experience here will be even more special.
6: As a successful female, what do you do to cultivate a strong work/life balance?
I love sports especially because they have a substantial positive impact on my mental health,
having at least one hour a day for it is non-negotiable for me. I also love to explore new
activities and find new hobbies, so I try to do something new every week, by myself or with my
friends, like a painting class or something that will definitely take my mind off of work.
7:What challenges have you faced as a woman in your career and how did you overcome
The biggest challenge that I faced in my career was impostor syndrome. Because I first migrated from HR to product design, my learning path was extensive. I had to learn a lot on the go while creating products for other companies and that led to lots of mistakes at the beginning of my career, making me question if I was doing a good job and if I had made the right decision. At that time, I started going to therapy and it was a game changer for me which is why I recommend it to everyone who can afford it. My therapist helped me understand what my qualities were and what I brought to the table regarding work and experience and that I was learning which is a process with steps I can’t just jump or ignore. I also started surrounding myself with amazing and competent women that shared their experiences helping me go through it. When I transitioned to product management, I had a much more smooth process and it was because of everything that I learned before. Because of it, know I make my personal goal to help and promote other women whenever I can.
8:Where have you travelled to that you really loved and why?
I have been travelling inside of Brazil recently and (re)discovering the beauties that we have
here and, currently, my favourite places are the countryside, especially in winter. June and July
are my favourite months to book a trip somewhere with a fireplace and a view of the mountain. If
you are looking for tips, 'Serra da Mantiqueira' is my go-to place because I can go by car, take
my dog and just enjoy the weekend.
9: What are your key tips for women looking to progress in their career?
Find other women, create your own community and promote each other. We live in a world that
doesn't treat women equally so if we can stay together and work with each other, more of us can
reach the top and bring others alongside.
10: What would you say are the latest trends in Fin-tech that we as women should look
First of all, digital payments and instant transfers. From my experience, I see that Brazil has
huge players that do it well and we are paying less and less with cash and other types of
physical payments. Secondly, I would pay attention to crypto and how the market is evolving.
There is still a road to be paved, but it might lead us to a new form of using money.
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