Luyanda Khuzwayo is the newest addition to the Partnerships team at Electrum. He joined the Electrum Sales Internship Programme and soon after secured a permanent role at the company. In this blog, Luyanda shares the journey that brought him here and some of the lessons he’s learnt so far.
I moved to Cape Town in 2020 to begin my studies at the ‘university on the mountain’ (UCT). After completing a BCom in Economics and Finance, I excitedly searched for opportunities to apply my knowledge and grow my work experience, specifically in financial technology. I am intrigued by this industry, predominantly because of how it solves real-life problems. The stars aligned when I came across Electrum’s booth at the UCT Career Expo in May and learnt about their Sales Internship Programme. The idea of being able to interact with people within the payments industry, focused on financial technology, as part of Electrum’s Partnerships team seemed aligned to my passion.
So, I applied for the role …
Following an engaging interview process, I was lucky enough to be selected as part of the first cohort of sales interns, alongside two other interns - strangers that I soon grew close to. Although it was daunting at first, the Internship was an extensive learning experience that helped me fine-tune my presentation and communication skills, as well as my ability to identify and solve problems.
The shift into the real working world was inspiring, as I got to see how many cogs are necessary to ensure that a business runs like a well-oiled machine.
A stand-out project from the Internship was one where we helped to grow attendance for the Open Payments Conference. By the end of the project, I was able to achieve the desired outcome through intuitive dialogue with people from Electrum’s business community, which gave me a lot of confidence and assurance that this is where I was meant to be!
My favourite experience was undoubtedly the Internship graduation. This is not only because it was a celebration of the four weeks of hard work we put in, but because it was an amazing moment to share in our professional growth by presenting our work to the greater Electrum team.
Following a successful Internship, I was offered a full-time position as an Account Associate in the Electrum Partnerships team. I was hit with a mixture of emotions at that moment: I was proud of myself for earning the opportunity to work at such an amazing company, yet stunned at the realisation that I was now indeed a working adult.
Becoming part of the team
If I could use one word to describe the culture and people at Electrum, it would be ‘supportive’. Truly, every single person I have interacted with, no matter how senior, has been excited to teach and guide me through any issues - whether it's on technical industry terms or how to work the coffee machine. More specifically, the warmth and patience of my team has boosted my professional confidence. Although it was initially a bit scary, being the youngest in the team means I have the most to learn, which excites me as the opportunities for growth are endless!
In my short time at Electrum, I have grown both personally and professionally. In addition to learning about the industry and our solutions, I’ve learnt how to deal with pressure and adversity - making me a lot more resilient.
What makes Electrum a unique working environment is the focus on real projects that will make an impact for the company, while pushing me beyond my boundaries. Electrum fosters an environment that supports each employee doing their best work, in the ways that work best for them. From maintaining a comfortable office space and providing world-class equipment to work on to having flexible working hours, the environment is conducive to creativity and problem-solving.
Relationships are valued at Electrum, and that is demonstrated through daily actions, by everyone in the company.
I’m excited about the future
Working at Electrum offers an invaluable opportunity to grow in a space I love - the fintech industry. The interwoven nature of teams means I’m able to learn from and engage with various facets of the company, from engineering to marketing or customer success, on a daily basis. The level of knowledge sharing I am able to experience as a young professional is, I believe, second to none. I truly look forward to contributing towards lead generation for our sales pipeline, helping Electrum to reach its goals.
Luyanda Khuzwayo is an Account Associate in Electrum's Partnerships team. Born and raised in the warmth of the Durban sun, he is a converted Capetonian, and a lover of football and thought-provoking conversation. Luyanda believes that strangers are just friends we haven’t made yet, and connecting with people is the bedrock of who he is.