Learning Specialist II, Suban Ashfaq

SoFi Learning Specialist Suban Ashfaq epitomizes our value, “take care of other people and help them grow.” He trains new hires joining our Operations team who are on the front lines supporting our nearly 4 million members! Suban says, “My SoFi family has helped me grow to get me where I am, so I feel it is my responsibility to help every new hire grow and improve. I want to help make a difference in their lives''. Continue reading to learn more about Suban’s inspiring story of development and growth.

First, Suban, you are giving advice to new hires nearly every day. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Suban: Make yourself irreplaceable.

<Cue Beyonce music>. Sounds like you’ve excelled at that in life so far. Tell us more about how that shaped your professional career and led you to SoFi. 

Suban: I started working at the age of 10 helping with my family’s business. This experience sparked a love for people management and customer service. Growing up in the Poconos with a family-run business, it was natural to forge strong bonds with my community. It was a small town - everyone knows everyone! My customers became my family and reminded me on a daily basis that I was meant for something more. I worked many jobs after that, but the one thing that stuck with me was that you can make a small difference in a stranger’s day that can lead to strong bonds and relationships that are priceless. 

My passion for customer service and business ultimately led me to SoFi, but it’s a bit of a crazy story getting here! I moved to Delaware on a whim because a friend needed a roommate. During my job search, I noticed that the building next to my apartment (a company called SoFi) was hiring. My roommate had heard of SoFi and recommended I apply! I had offers to join other companies, but the commute to SoFi, the benefits, and the excitement of being a part of launching a new office in Claymont, DE sold me on the opportunity. I joined SoFi as a Relationship Management Consultant (RMC) on the Operations team in October 2017. 

We’re so glad you are a part of the SoFi family. Tell us more about your career development here. 

Suban: When I joined SoFi as an RMC (what we now call a Member Service Representative. We’re hiring by the way!), I was completely new to Fintech and wasn’t familiar with the industry at all. It was a bit of a steep learning curve; I didn’t even know my credit score when I joined SoFi! Much of my training was done on the job, taking phone calls to support our lending products. I really had to take a “learn by doing” mentality and made it my goal to try to learn as much as I could about our products so I could best support our members. After completing training and taking calls for a few months, I started to assist with our Medical Student Loan Refinance, Invest, and Mortgage products. 

Learning helped instill confidence in my abilities, and I found myself spending my breaks helping others on my team. I absolutely love mentoring my colleagues and seeing them grow. I also want to pay it forward. I am where I am today because of my SoFi family. They invested in me, supported me, and have ultimately contributed to my growth at SoFi. 

Tell us how you got into the Learning Specialist II position. It sounds like a natural fit for you!

Suban: I had been at SoFi for about a year when one of my mentors suggested I present learning and development tips to other MSRs on the team. She secretly recorded me presenting and shared it with one of the Operations leaders! They both suggested I apply for a Learning Specialist position. I have to admit that I had major Imposter Syndrome and didn't think I was qualified, but these leaders believed in my abilities and convinced me to apply. I got the job and have been training new hires for the last two years. I was recently promoted to Learning Specialist II, and my manager regularly has career development conversations with me.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

Suban: It is my responsibility to educate new hires on the systems that they will utilize in their job, develop soft skills for calls, educate them on products, member features and benefits, plus assess our new hires during their onboarding. Most of my time is spent in the ‘classroom’ running training. If I’m not in class, I spend my day keeping up with changes for the product I support, discussing improvements that can be made in the onboarding process, or meeting with our design team who creates training content to make sure it is up to date. 

What do you love most about working at SoFi? 

Suban: Getting to meet new people, especially since the pandemic has forced all onboarding classes to go virtual. I used to only train new hires in Delaware, but now I have the opportunity to teach new hires across the country!  

Additionally, I love the amount of support I continue to receive from my teammates and the leaders at SoFi. They have supported my learning and development so much. As I previously mentioned, I knew nothing about personal finance when I joined SoFi; now I am a homeowner, I live on my own, and I have learned how to manage my money. This education has provided me with an incredible amount of personal and professional growth.

Looking back on your three years at SoFi, what’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Suban: Adjusting to the constant change. Every employee at SoFi is helping to transform an industry that hasn’t changed in decades, so learning to be flexible and adaptable is critical here. We’re constantly iterating, learning, and innovating processes to scale, so in the moment, this can sometimes feel like you once have a grasp on something, it changes and you have to relearn and pivot. But this also keeps me on my toes and perpetuates continuous learning. 

Suban, it was such a pleasure getting to know you. Our SoFi family is better with you in it. Thank you for sharing your story with us! 

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The individual featured is a SoFi employee. Their personal experiences, obviously, do not take into account your own specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. Results will vary.

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Kari Scheidt, Talent Brand @ SoFi