LendingClub at the Watermark Conference for Women
LendingClub is excited and proud to be a sponsor of the Watermark Conference for Women being held on February 23rd in San Jose, California. As part of the agenda, two of our Client Advisors from the Business Loans team, Mana and Somie, will be leading roundtable discussions with women entrepreneurs on the core elements to consider when exploring small business financing options.
Mana and Somie are veteran advisors on the team and have helped dozens of business owners get a loan through LendingClub. If you’re attending the Watermark Conference, be sure to secure a seat at the Small Business Roundtable or stop by the LendingClub booth to meet Mana and Somie in person!
Here’s a glimpse of what it’s like to be a Business Loans Client Advisor at LendingClub:
When did you join LendingClub?
Mana: I joined LendingClub almost 3 years ago in March 2015 and started in the Business Loans team.
Somie: I joined LendingClub in April 2016 in the Business Loans team.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Mana: I love how the Business Loans department is very cohesive – the Client Advisors, the Underwriters, the Marketers all sit together – and our General Manager sits with us too! It’s nice being able to work so closely with your colleagues.
Somie: Being able to collaborate closely with other departments such as Marketing, Credit, and Product. We have a streamlined team compared to many traditional financial institutions and therefore, we can truly be a customer advocate. Our various teams work together to continually improve our customer experience, which is important to everyone on the Client Advisor team!
What do you like most about working with small businesses?
Mana: My favorite part about working in the Business Loans team is being able to help small businesses gain more capital to keep growing their businesses. I come from a small business background myself; my parents had a bakery when I was younger so I can relate to all our business customers. I can really empathize with them when they tell me about their business and the problems they encounter and how funding through LendingClub can help them get to where they want to be. I also love being able to educate small business owners about the different types of lending options. We have evolved how businesses can access credit and it’s fun to educate business owners on how they can obtain funding through contemporary – and much more efficient – ways.
Somie: The people! Small business owners are passionate about what they do. Learning about their businesses and what inspires them is what I enjoy the most about working with small businesses.
What’s your favorite perk from working at LendingClub?
Mana: I love coming into work knowing that we have the best barista in town, it’s much better than Starbucks! LendingClub has so many other great perks such as an on-site gym, massages, snacks and nap pods – this enables us to work that much harder because we have everything at our disposal. We’re very lucky to be with a company that provides these unlimited onsite perks.
Somie: I like having the opportunity to partner with the underwriting team directly. I had previously worked at a bank and the other departments were located in different states but at LendingClub, we are working with the underwriters side-by-side to help secure the best terms for our customers.
Do you have an interesting customer story you can share?
Mana: I spoke with a woman who was looking into a small business loan; she was stuck in a very expensive daily payment loan that was impacting her cash flow and she was struggling with payroll that was coming up in a few days. When she came to our site for a business loan we were able to get her approved for a term loan and facilitate her funding within just a few days. She was so excited and very surprised that we were able to help her in such a short period of time.
Somie: I recently had a customer who returned to me for a second loan through LendingClub. I helped her with her first loan and she had need of additional funding to replace equipment for her restaurant. After she accepted her final offer, she told me that she’s been in business for over 40 years and she never had the same experience as she did with me. She mentioned that before LendingClub, she only worked with banks that had branches in her area and she never received the same level of service. I told the customer that she really made my day and hearing compliments like that from my customers reminds me how rewarding it is to be able to help small business owners like her.
If you were going to open your own business in the future, what would it be about?
Mana: My family comes from the restaurant/baking industry so I know that I would not want to open up a business in this industry! I’ve been there and done that and I don’t find it fulfilling for me personally. Instead, I would want to get into the real estate market and have my own firm. Running my own real estate firm would be very rewarding because I’d be able to help people find a home that’s right for them. Whether someone is a first-time home owner or just moving into a new place, it’s a major milestone in their life and being part of that process would be very fulfilling.
Somie: Being a dog parent and working in San Francisco, I understand the struggles of having to leave your pup at home. Therefore, If I were to start a business in the future I’d open a dog-friendly restaurant and bar in San Francisco with an option for dog sitting Monday through Fridays. I’d fulfill my ambitions to become a business owner while being surrounded by dogs all day!
What are you most excited about for the Watermark conference?
Mana: I’m very excited about meeting and hearing all the guest speakers talk about their journeys as women in business. I think that this is a very exciting time to be a part of something so big. Women in small business seem to be on the rise and it’s very powerful to see other women encouraging each other to do well and showing their support. I’m very excited to be a part of all this.
Somie: I’m excited about listening to the speakers and hearing their stories about their journeys to becoming a successful woman entrepreneur. I’m also excited about meeting all the passionate and driven women entrepreneurs that are attending!
If you’re a business owner looking for financing and would like to work with your own dedicated client advisor, see how LendingClub can help.