Stephanie Weiland: Change can be impactful at any scale
Stephanie Weiland started her career in the agency world, where she fell in love with technology and innovative business thinking. A career-long marketer on both the agency and in-house side, she’s a strong believer in learning from every situation and the value of building genuine relationships. Now, as Senior Marketing Manager for Brim Financial, she’s working to bring Canada’s only non-bank Mastercard offering to market, helping entrepreneurs and everyday Canadians access a fully digital credit card platform.
As part of the #movethedial: Women You Should Know series, we’re interviewing individuals about their contributions, insights, and how they have grown to express themselves.
Tell me about yourself and how you got into tech
I started my career in the agency world, initially in lifestyle public relations (PR). I moved from there to events and marketing-based PR, working with many different firms. Then I settled at Edelman for a few years on the corporate team. While there, I did everything under the sun: traditional media, corporate communications, branding, creative, digital, crisis PR, and social media.
I had a diverse day-to-day experience, and because Edelman is an agency I got to work with so many clients. That being said, I was always drawn to tech-based clients, whether it was a tech company or a company doing something innovative with tech.
After I left Edelman, I moved onto Architech, a technology consulting firm, working with multiple businesses on their technology as a consultant. I got to learn about how tech and innovation applies to a business, how it disrupts business models, and how tech can improve on different aspects in business.
Then I joined Brim Financial, where I’m currently the Senior Marketing Manager. We’re launching our first credit card offering – the only non-bank in Canada licensed by Mastercard – in Spring 2018.
How have you overcome some of the hurdles in your career so far?
It’s important to take yourself out of the equation in the work you are doing and not take feedback personally.
When you want to improve on something, it’s really easy to fall into a rut thinking all feedback is about you. But you have to look at work holistically. I like to ask myself and others what I can do to improve - if there’s something I’m missing, something I’m afraid of, or something I’m afraid to see. I fundamentally believe that you can learn something from every situation and that you should always be learning.
It’s about pushing for feedback and learning, but not being super aggressive about it. Every situation gives you the opportunity to learn something different, whether it be how to get a better end result or how you can communicate better with someone.
Sometimes it’s the fear of acknowledging a problem because you’ve put so much work into something, and you may be afraid to see the error. It’s a fine line, but you have to acknowledge that fear because it draws human emotions out of you. That way, it’s not just about what I’m afraid to see - it’s the end result and what comes after I move past that fear.
#movethedial is premised on four things: connections, amplification, partnerships, and programming. Which is most important to you and why?
I resonate with both connections and amplification.
You want to put yourself in situations to learn and always keep learning, but you also have to pay it forward. I believe we’re all surrounded by great people in our lives, which means there’s an incredible wealth of knowledge around us. Since people approach things differently, there’s an opportunity to learn.
Is there any advice you'd give to your past self?
I would say that your life and career will not be a straight line - and things will not be as easy as you think. As long as you’re willing to go with the twists and turns, continuing to work hard and learn from challenges, then you’ll be able to adapt, be creative, and continue dreaming.
It’s very easy to give into doubt, especially if you’re outside your comfort zone, but those moments often turn into something unexpected and amazing. Through that journey, you’ll meet incredible people who understand your work ethic and will drive you. Things will change, but that’s where you’ll get your joy and happiness.
What does International Women's Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day, for me, is two-fold.
The first is that we have the opportunity to celebrate our own personal achievements and those of other women.
The second is that it’s a time to acknowledge there’s a conversation happening and it doesn’t always need to be on a huge platform. It can be how we educate and keep the dialogue open, for instance helping women prepare for business conversations like going for a promotion or fundraising for their company.