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Meet Denis - Merchant Engagement Marketer at PayPal

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Tell us a bit about yourself!

I grew up in Portugal and Greece and completed the International Baccalaureate, the equivalent to A-Levels, at age 18. I then moved to the UK to study BBA Management at Lancaster University, where I had the chance to complete an Industrial Placement in my third year. This is when I learnt about the exciting opportunities available at PayPal and had the chance to complete my placement year in their Marketing department.



What stood out to you about PayPal and the Marketing placement?

I’d known for a while that I wanted to work in Fintech, because it’s a fast-paced and up-and-coming industry shifting the financial lives of people all around the world. When I got the chance to apply for an opportunity at PayPal, one of the leading companies in Fintech, I knew I had to pursue it. PayPal lies at the cutting-edge of the Digital Payments Revolution and is constantly transforming how we think about financial transactions in the digital age. This really stood out to me – I knew how exciting it would be to work at a company which is the market leader of such a young and transformative sector.

The Marketing placement appealed to me because it was so hands-on. I had the opportunity to work on live campaigns and felt like an important member of the team from day one. The placement was the perfect chance for me to make an impact and not just feel like a cog in a machine. I also loved being able to work for a dynamic and youthful company which, despite being so established and well-respected, still has an exuberant “start-up” feel about it.

How did you find the application process at PayPal?

The process was straightforward – a video interview, followed by a phone chat, followed by a final in-person interview at PayPal’s Richmond office. I was asked about the Marketing role at PayPal, developments in the sector, as well how I’d respond to certain situations. Whilst the questions weren’t too daunting, they were more detailed than I’d expected and required some preparation. Thankfully, I’d done my research! The team were also exceptionally supportive throughout, making sure I was relaxed and well-prepared for my interviews – they even covered my travel expenses, something I appreciated immensely as a university student.

You were a Growth Marketing intern at PayPal. What would a normal day look like for you in that role?

Although the role itself was incredibly varied, I always tried to pursue more than was required of me – so it really depended on the day, week, even time of year, as to the type of activities I could be involved with. For the most part, though, I was involved in PayPal’s core growth marketing campaigns, liaising with creative agencies and my colleagues to ensure they were ready to go live at the right time, as well as participating in cross-team projects within the wider Growth Marketing department. This helped me understand more about the organisation as a whole, as well as building my professional network.

Throughout my placement I attended lots of meetings with my manager and dedicated mentors about how to get the most value out of my internship and excel in my future career. The team placed a huge emphasis on career progression and personal development, which I found incredibly encouraging and helpful when thinking about where I want to be in a few years from now.

How would you describe the culture at PayPal?

If I had to use one word to describe it, I’d say inclusive. Everyone is valued for their contribution, regardless of race, gender, economic background, or sexual orientation. Throughout my placement at PayPal, and now in my full-time role, I’ve met people from so many different backgrounds – and everyone just feels like one big family. PayPal really puts an emphasis on making the work environment respectful, diverse and inclusive- even during lockdown, they established new wellness initiatives and invested lots of time and effort in our “Culture Champion” group to ensure that everyone felt connected and supported whilst we couldn’t meet in-person.  

You’ve now secured a full-time role as a Merchant Engagement Marketer at PayPal. Congratulations! What’s your new role been like so far?

It’s been great so far! I started on 2nd August 2021, so I’m still a new addition. Nevertheless, I’ve had the chance to meet everyone in my team – London and beyond – and learn more about the projects they’re involved with, which has really helped me feel integrated. There’s already been a significant increase in my responsibilities compared to my placement year, and I’m already managing several marketing campaigns, the first of which should be going live next month. I knew during my placement that I wanted to return to PayPal as a full-time employee, but the role has exceeded my expectations regardless – I’m so impressed by how welcome the team have made me feel, especially considering the fact I’ve been onboarding virtually.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying to PayPal?

My first piece of advice is to know what motivates you and makes you hungry to learn. Second is to listen more than you talk – a piece of advice I’ve taken from our CEO, and something I’ve really seen the importance of since joining as an intern and now in my full-time job. It’s important to approach any experience with curiosity and inquisitiveness and be willing to learn from those more experienced than you. Another thing is to always ask for feedback – everyone is there to help and support you, so always make sure to listen to their advice about how you can improve. My final piece of advice is to go out of your way to bring more value to your role or internship than is expected of you. Whether that’s by volunteering, getting involved with the other teams in your department, or even just expressing interest in the work they’re doing, this will really help to establish you as a valued member of the team and ensure you excel in your future career.