Eva Wong; Toronto; @eva_toronto
Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?
I’m part of the team at Borrowell, and we help Canadians make great choices about credit. We were the first company to give Canadians their credit scores for free with no strings attached, and we also offer personal loans and financial product recommendations.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I studied business at Queen’s and later got a degree in development economics at Harvard.
What was your first paying gig out of school? (In your field, or not.)
I was a management consultant. I was very lucky; it was a great first gig out of school.
What was your BIG break? How did you land it?
Landing my current role as a co-founder and COO. I offered to do some work for free and then never left.
Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?
Moving into our own office was a pretty big milestone.
What would you say has been your biggest failure or shortcoming, career-wise, to date? How did you bounce back?
Getting enough sleep has always been a challenge, and I once got pretty sick because I wasn’t really taking care of myself. This is still hard for me but I’m getting better.
Name one piece of career advice you always give.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s one of the best ways to learn. I don’t think asking questions makes you look stupid—it shows you’re confident enough to admit you don’t know everything and that you’re engaged and committed to learning.
What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?
If I’ve received any bad career advice, I’ve completely forgotten it.
Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?
The startup world, and financial technology (“fintech”) in particular is very male-dominated. But overall I think being a woman has been an advantage. I know that Borrowell has attracted talent from under-represented groups because we’re one of the few fintech startups that has a female co-founder, and we’ve been very public about our goal to build a gender-balanced company.