You want to get to know Breck Hauser. He’s had seven roles since starting at SoFi in April 2017 (yes, you read that right) and is a rising leader in the Operations organization. Oh, and he’s also in a reggae band. In this SoFi employee spotlight, our Talent Brand team talks to Breck about how he got into the fintech industry, what he’s learned along the way, and his advice on what it takes to succeed in Operations….and life!
We’re excited to get to know you, Breck! First off, tell us more about the reggae band you're in!
Breck: I play bass for the band, which I formed with my two best friends. While we're still writing and jamming together, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us on a hiatus so we aren’t playing any gigs right now. Hopefully we can get some things back up and running and get into the studio this year!
Your career took a bit of a different path from rockstar to fintech. Tell us more about your background and how you got into the industry.
Breck: I was born in Idaho and grew up between Logan, Utah, St. George, Utah and Salt Lake City. My first real job was at a Hollywood Video (RIP) as an Assistant Store Manager. It was there that I learned I loved managing people but wanted to work in a more professional office environment. Later on, I spent five years at Discover Card working as a Team Lead in their written communications department before getting an opportunity to work for American Express doing sales and customer service.
What brought you to SoFi?
Breck: While at American Express, I worked really closely with two people who eventually joined SoFi and were raving about it. It seemed like an excellent place for the kind of career growth I was looking for. I ultimately joined as a Member Service Representative in April 2017 because I wanted to be a part of a young company where I’d have opportunities to move into management, as well as positively influence policies and procedures as they were developed.
It sounds like you made the right choice. You recently got promoted to Senior Operations Manager, your seventh role at SoFi. First of all, congratulations on the promotion! Tell us a bit more about the new role.
Breck: I’m now the Senior Manager in Quality Assurance (QA), overseeing SoFi’s Cottonwood Heights and Jacksonville offices, as well as a team of analysts. Together, we conduct QA reviews for nearly every member-facing team in the company. I have weekly calibrations with almost every department where we monitor calls, emails, chat and SMS communications and discuss ways to improve our processes and call quality.
So what’s the secret - how does one succeed in Operations at SoFi?
Breck: I think the best thing someone can do to be successful is to have a positive attitude — both in your internal dialogue and externally as an example to those you work with. Things change frequently in the Fintech world, and not letting yourself get frustrated with constant change is critical. I’d also say that it’s important to manage upward and make sure that your manager knows your goals and objectives and does their part to assist you in achieving those. Lastly, try not to chase promotions, but instead to run after opportunities to learn things that are important or interesting to you.
How has this experience shaped your leadership philosophy?
Breck: I try my best not to micromanage and instead consistently touch base with my team and let them know that I’m here and ready to support them. I feel that SoFi has an open door policy. I am comfortable reaching out to leadership with questions and concerns. This has been really refreshing and has reframed the way that I look at managing people. I’m focused on open lines of communication with my team and an expectation that they can and should reach out to me when they need help or feel overwhelmed. I take their questions and concerns very seriously, and it’s important to me that I follow up when I get answers or when their suggestions drive change.
Our Operations organization is one of the fastest growing in the company! What characteristics do you look for when you hire?
Breck: I love working with people who have positive attitudes and who are flexible. As a manager, nothing is harder than having your agents feel frustrated. You want to always be there to support them, but sometimes we have to change directions very quickly. So having a team of people who are flexible and stay positive even when things get tough is really valuable to me.
What paths can someone on your team (or in Ops) take to advance their career here?
Breck: The most direct and obvious path upward in Ops is management. I think it’s important to understand that to be viewed as a leader and considered for leadership opportunities, you need to be a leader first and foremost. You need to do the work before you get the job. So supporting your peers, being a positive role model and finding ways to take on additional responsibilities is really critical.
We talk a lot about our core values at SoFi - they are our guiding principles for how we think about serving our members, building our company, and most importantly, how we work together. What value resonates with you the most, and how do you live that value?
Breck: My favorite value is “Do the right thing. If you’re not sure, do the harder thing.” There have been times in my career where something goes wrong with a member’s account, and it’s always been really important to me to pick up the phone and call them, even if it’s going to be a tough conversation. Even without much training, it can be easy to distinguish when something doesn’t feel right, so it’s critical that we always try to use that lens when looking at our products and processes. If it doesn’t feel right, say something. It’s the only way that we can continue to get better and live one of our other values, “Learn, Iterate, Innovate!”
What tips do you have for others looking to break into the tech/Fintech industry?
Breck: Participate! It’s really helpful to get yourself familiar with the products available out there. Download competitor apps, try out other products, and find out what you like and dislike about those products and services.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Breck: “Don’t chase a dollar” - James Houlin. This quote really resonates with me as something I’d tell my younger self: spend more time personally and professionally on the things that make me happy instead of what I think will bring me the most monetary success.
So what are some of those things? Can you share three things about yourself that make you happy?
Breck: Playing bass in a reggae band with my two best friends, watching Quentin Tarantino movies, and hanging with my nine-year-old daughter.
That’s a wrap. Thank you so much for sharing your career journey with us.
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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