Posted: January 27, 2023 By James Huber

A Day in the Life of a Senior Product Manager with James Huber

James Huber, Senior Product Manager at Liberis shares what a 'day in the life' looks like.

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What is your name and what do you do at Liberis and where in the world do you work?

My name is James Huber and I’m a senior product manager for our Funding team. The Funding team makes sure Liberis can get the money to our customers so they can grow, then makes sure that our customers pay us back.

I moved to London recently from the San Francisco Bay Area and started at Liberis in November 2022, so I work from the London HQ.

From the moment you wake up in the morning, what do you look forward to in the day ahead?

A combination of the mission of helping small businesses and working with great people. It’s way easier for big companies or sexy startups to get funding, but it’s surprisingly hard for the mom-and-pop stores that are core to our communities, so I am motivated to help them out.

I’m also motivated by the people I work with. Being forcibly separated from my coworkers during COVID showed me that feeling connected to them is key to me feeling excited about work, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to get together in person again.

Describe a typical day for you in your role.

When I first get in, I’ll review key metrics for our business: how many merchants we’ve financed that day / week and our revenue from that. I’ll also do a little reading on the FinTech industry. Some Slack and email, then hop on a standup meeting with my Funding scrum team. There will usually be a meeting with the scrum team where we’ll be sharing out a Funding-related problem we want to solve for our merchants and digging into how we’ll tackle it.

I love catching up with people by the coffee machine and will grab a group to eat lunch together – we have an open plan kitchen area that’s great for bumping into people.

A big part of my role is understanding the biggest pain points for our team to focus on and the broader strategy, so I also work closely with our Customer Operations, Business Operations, and Partnership Manager team, as well as the other product managers.

A couple highlights recently were when our entire Partnership Manager team did a deep dive share-out on how their accounts were doing – it was a great learning opportunity to hear what’s working for our customers and not working. We also had the CEO for a new partner come in and talk with us about how excited he is to work with us and how it will benefit small businesses. We had drinks after both sessions, which was a fun way to casually debrief and chill afterward. 😊

Hiring and culture are important to me, so I also help with interviews. I also enjoy demoing the awesome work our team has been doing!

(Obviously, I’m not doing all those things daily, but just wanted to give a sense of what I’m up to)

What advice would you give a colleague who has just joined your team?

It’s a small and friendly company, so meet as many people from as many departments as you can. Learn about the financing challenges that small business face and the FinTech industry. Get some small wins early on that matter to the business and make sure you share out those wins!

Are you office based, remote or hybrid? What are the pros and cons, if any?

I’m in the London office Monday – Thursday and work from home on Fridays. A big selling point for me was that Liberis did my final round interview onsite instead of over Zoom / Teams. I thrive in an in-person culture and want to be around my coworkers in-person, so it made a good impression on me seeing such a lively office culture.

Obviously feeling more excited and connected by physically being around your coworkers is a pro, but I’ll also add that because most of the executive and senior leadership team are in-person in the London office, you’ll get lots of opportunities to chat with them and it’s easier for them to see your work. For example, I’ve grabbed lunch with our CEO, CPO, and COO a bunch just by virtue of being in the office.

The cons are that it can be a bit noisy in the office and challenging to make sure we’re providing just as good of an experience for remote contract workers.

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