A day in my life as a Senior Analyst consists of Zoom meetings - a regular part of my daily routine for better communication and collaboration with various departments for financial modeling. Financial forecasting is our team’s forte which we do weekly, and the busiest time of the month for our team would be around the 1st to 2nd week wherein we have regional meetings for financial month-end closing. The remaining days of the month would be dedicated to creating management reports, resolving issues found during month-end closing, profitability review and ad hoc engagements such as analysis of new business models and focused improvement projects.
As a Zalorian, ‘Own It, Always’ is the first value that always comes to my mind in the workplace. We have a strong sense of responsibility in everything we do with the understanding that users of our reports and figures will make critical decisions for the company. I also feel that no matter what position an employee is in, we each do our part for the betterment of the company as most of the teams are open to changes and discussions as long as we have a clear common goal in mind. I can also see leaders in everyone as they own the work that they do and know its importance for the business.
As our team does ad hoc activities and financial analyses for other departments depending on what is needed, each day in ZALORA is different and that’s what makes working here exciting. Also, like any other company, we have our busiest moments and difficult times but the culture and work environment can easily lighten the workload. The biggest motivator for me is meeting an inspiring mentor who actively participates in my development and success. I first joined Zalora under a different specialization (I previously focused on taxation) but my mentor (AD Chat Aquino) has been kind and patient, among many others, in explaining how e-commerce and ZALORA works, teaching me how to create financial models for different scenarios, and providing guidance for my career growth.
There are only 3 of us in our team which is relatively small compared to others, but because of that we also work closely together and have formed unbreakable bonds. We also mainly work behind the scenes, monitoring project profitability and understanding the financial impact of various scenarios. Although our work may not be constantly shone under the limelight, we know that other departments trust our insights and opinions in our decision-making. Since we keep track of financial metrics in different areas of the company, we also get to flag certain issues that may have been previously overlooked and we see through its resolution. This is how our team pushes for process improvement and ensures checks and balances.
I very much appreciate that the company truly feels like a family. As the organization is generally flat, conversation between various functions and positions is comfortable. We are also able to lighten up each other’s mood after serious discussions. Even the top management, despite serious and heavy meetings at times, are still able to give encouragement and gratitude to the meeting participants. Communication is generally open and suggestions or recommendations are accepted across the board.
Since my role was still relatively new when I joined ZALORA, my functions were not yet defined. It was a rough start but I was able to narrow down my role as I gained more understanding and experience over time. I was able to drive changes and additional checks and balances into processes as part of operation control. As a finance person that is involved in operations, I was able to provide open communication and better understanding between operations and finance. I was also able to co-lead a focused improvement project with my teammate, reviewed the financial impact of other people’s projects and continued my training in Lean Six Sigma. Now in my second year, after finishing my training for Lean Six Sigma, I am now co-leading two more focused improvement projects with my teammate.
The light and friendly tone at the top makes interacting with colleagues comfortable and straightforward in our work environment. I joined ZALORA during the pandemic in November 2020 and despite not meeting the people I work with personally, I was still able to make meaningful connections through Zoom meetings and chats since everyone is friendly and caring for new hires like me. I heard that during pre-pandemic times, the team had larger parties that everyone has been missing. This year, I was able to get a glimpse of this experience as we started having different face-to-face engagements and parties. I was only able to meet most Zalorians in 2022 and it has been a great experience.
ZALORA also provides us with accessible mental healthcare through Mind You wherein we can take a regular mental health assessment or book an appointment with a duly registered and licensed psychologist. I was able to use this service several times now whether my concern is work-related or not. HR also recently launched Culture Amp where I get short but precise reminders on how I can develop my soft skills through Skill Coach.
As part of the finance team, we are not required to report onsite every day. We are also provided work from home subsidies and internet allowance to make sure our home office setup is comfortable and conducive for work. We also have shuttle buses in case we need to go to the office. As a result, we are more productive and work effectively in a place of our choosing.
I am grateful for ZALORA for providing me with training opportunities and trusting me to co-lead projects. Even after only a few months in ZALORA, I was able to join Lean Six Sigma White Belt training and after two years, I am now getting a Black Belt certification. Just this September, I was able to finish my training sessions and pass the exam for a Black Belt, and now I am co-leading two focused improvement projects to be certified.
I have previous experience working in an audit firm where the environment is at times toxic, which is the exact opposite of my experience in ZALORA. Despite having a friendly tone and not emphasizing the hierarchy in the company, our leaders are able to demand respect through their deportment and strong sense of responsibility. We are also kept in the loop with the latest updates in the company, valuing each employees’ opinions and worries. This makes for an overall positive experience and work environment in which I enjoy the work I do.