Stories from The Fellowship - Nicole Tang, Winter20 Fellow

Sophia Witherington
August 27, 2020
Nicole Tang, Winter20 Fellow

Having concluded our third Fellowship cohort (first women-only cohort) one month ago, we are catching up with the Fellows to share their experience of the program. Hear from Nicole Tang.

With a background in finance, Nicole has worked in two fintechs - Spaceship Financial Services and Xinja Bank,  across risk, project management, business operations and people operations. Her biggest achievements were working on the licence applications for both Spaceship and Xinja, and playing a key role in helping Xinja to achieve its banking licence. Prior to jumping into startups, Nicole worked at APRA (the financial services prudential regulator) where she oversaw the risk profiles and assessed prudential compliance of some of the largest wealth management companies in Australia.

Nicole joined the Fellowship as she was keen to explore business operations roles in startups outside of the fintech space. As a result of the Fellowship Nicole joined Ovira in the role of Special Projects.

What is the Fellowship to you?

The Fellowship was exactly what I needed to help kick me out of my funk. Before taking part in the Fellowship I had been feeling unfulfilled with where I was in my career and was struggling to find the impetus to take action and do anything about making a change. And now looking back on it, I realise I got so much more than I expected from the Fellowship program, such as:

  • Growing my self-confidence - I was reminded how my unique skills and experiences to date make me an attractive talent
  • Clarifying what I wanted to do in my career - the sort of roles and companies I want to work for
  • Learning how to better tell my story, particularly when trying to make a career pivot into a completely different sector, and
  • Getting access to Startmate’s amazing community of people in the startup ecosystem.

Most importantly (and particularly during these COVID times) I loved being surrounded by the amazing and supportive women who went through this journey with me. Despite being a remote program, we were able to connect to each other, and be sounding boards and pillars of support for one another when we needed it most. Knowing that I could put out an ask on pretty much anything and have another Fellow respond immediately to offer their time and advice is priceless.

Would you recommend it to others?

Definitely! I would highly recommend the Fellowship to anyone who is feeling lost or unfulfilled in their current job and is looking for a new challenge in the startup space. There are so many opportunities in innovative startups now, and being a part of the Startmate community opens up so many doors. You just have to put in what you want to get out of it.

What were the biggest outcomes for you from participating in the Fellowship?

I fortunate enough to have had the time to take part in most of what the Fellowship program had to offer, in particular:

  • Dialling into all the AMAs with amazing startup operators and hearing their stories which confirmed my interest in pursuing Chief of Staff / biz ops roles
  • Having 1-1 talent sessions to get personalised career advice and guidance
  • Pitching for and landing internships at Jigspace (as a Chief of Staff/biz ops intern) and at Startmate (as Special Projects)

All of that coming together to give me the courage to quit a job I was unhappy at without anything else lined up and knowing that everything would work out in the end.

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