Serina Hedrick is a controller on the banking team at SoFi, and is located at one of the company’s fastest-growing locations - Jacksonville, Florida. She didn’t grow up thinking she’d work in finance, but decided to switch careers during the COVID-19 pandemic, because she “couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join SoFi at such an exciting time in its history.” Keep reading to hear why.
Jacksonville is rapidly becoming a destination city for professionals across the United States. Can you give us a quick locals’ guide to Jacksonville?
Serina: I love Jacksonville and always try to support some of our great local businesses. On the weekend, you can often find me walking around the Riverside neighborhood visiting some of my favorite establishments, including Bold Bean coffee, Brew, or Community Loaves Bakery.
While we’re on the topic, what else do you like to do outside of work?
Serina: I love to cook and have been a vegetarian since I was in college. I am always happy to share vegetarian recipes and blogs that I follow!
You joined SoFi in October 2020 - right in the middle of a global pandemic. What ultimately made you take the job?
I could not pass up the opportunity to join at such an exciting time in SoFi’s history. I joined to be a part of the bank readiness effort - which is a critical part of achieving our mission of helping our members get their money right.
What really sold me was the chance to contribute to a significant company-wide initiative that would help propel the continued growth of SoFi. My position gives me the opportunity to work cross functionally as we work through the application and regulatory examination process, in addition to helping to drive the direction and strategy of a new SoFi subsidiary.
Readers, you can learn more about our path to become a bank here.
What advice would you have for others who want to succeed in this industry?
Serina: Fintech and SoFi are both growing fast, which means that we work hard and have to adapt quickly to change, which can sometimes feel constant. The fast pace provides the opportunity to drive impact and influence the direction of the company, both within your department, as well as across the organization. I encourage others to embrace challenges, as they often provide the greatest opportunities for growth and career advancement. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out to others for advice.
Tell us a bit more about what you do as a controller.
Serina: My team is responsible for administering activities related to regulatory reporting for the SoFi Bank initiative and the bank holding company, including researching and documenting regulatory reporting requirements and technical accounting concepts, monitoring the firm's compliance with certain bank policies and regulations, implementing and documenting controls, and managing system integration projects for SoFi Bank.
Every day is different, presenting new challenges and opportunities. Some days involve a heavier focus on month-end close and reporting responsibilities and others involve working cross functionally with partners in the organization to implement new tools/systems focusing on innovation and automation.
Lastly, where do you see yourself in three years?
Serina: In the next three years, I plan to be here at SoFi working at a growing bank that is competing nationally with large players in the banking industry.
We look forward to watching your career take shape here, Serina. Thank you for sharing your perspective with us!
Readers, if you’re interested in joining us as we become a nationally-chartered bank, check out our open roles!
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.