In the fast paced and dynamic world of fintech, SoFi is always seeking innovative ways to help our employees thrive — one of which is our SoFi GROW mentorship program. GROW helps develop SoFi’s underrepresented minorities and groups (URMs and URGs) through professional mentorship by pairing these future leaders with senior employees at the company to provide real-time feedback, active coaching, key business knowledge, and advocacy to support their professional journeys.
Meet Carlos Bravo and Nikhil Agarwal, recent GROW participants! Nikhil is a Senior Staff Software Engineer and Carlos is currently a Senior Software Engineer, and Nikhil mentors Carlos through SoFi GROW. We had the opportunity to catch up with them to discuss their experience in the program and find out what they think makes SoFi a great place to work!
What inspired you to participate in GROW?
Carlos (mentee): Every manager I’ve ever had has told me that they had a mentor. I joined GROW because I thought it would be extremely valuable for me to have a person other than my direct manager who I could go to for career advice! After learning about the program at SoFi, I decided to jump right into it and knew that it would be great for my personal development.
Nikhil (mentor): I am extremely grateful to the mentors and coaches who have helped shape my career. After I read about the GROW program, I knew I wanted to give back and share my knowledge and experiences with fellow colleagues who are in the early stages of their career. GROW—like any mentoring program—is a two-way street, and I am proud to say that I have been able to learn a lot from Carlos’ experiences as well.
Tell me about a benefit at SoFi that you utilize to its full potential, professional development or otherwise.
Carlos: I would say the Udemy for Business courses! We are able to take any online course on the platform and learn new skills. Additionally, although I haven’t used it myself, I also know that SoFi encourages additional continuing education by providing tuition reimbursement.
Nikhil: I really enjoy the flexible time off benefits we have at SoFi, which help us recharge and rejuvenate. This helps a traveler like me to explore new places/experiences and come back supercharged. Additionally, SoFridays allows eligible full-time employees to start their weekends early, every Friday at 2pm local time!
What is your favorite part about working at SoFi?
Carlos: I would say the people at SoFi make this company. Whether in the office or remote, everyone is super kind and ready to help at the drop of a hat. The tools and resources at our fingertips are unmatched and we are able to communicate in real time with people who really want to help you grow!
Nikhil: I also agree that the people at SoFi make it a very special place to work. Everyone is empathetic and kind in their interactions with their colleagues and coworkers. This fosters a very friendly and collaborative environment in the company.
Tell me about the most valuable thing you’ve learned from your time in GROW!
Carlos: My time in GROW has helped me develop better organizational and presentation skills as well as setting up my SMART goals. With the guidance of Nikhil, I am able to strive for excellence by gaining tips about how to properly present to my teammates, or setting up my professional goals.
Nikhil: As a GROW mentor, I believe that everyone has the potential to GROW to their fullest, sometimes it just requires a gentle nudge.
One last question, just for fun: What would the title of your autobiography be and why?
Carlos Bravo: “Personal Growth”
I have grown a lot within the SoFi Grow mentorship. It has opened up my growth mindset and I truly believe this mindset aligns with a lot of our SoFi Core Values. For example, “Set ambitious goals, be gritty, be accountable”, “Get to the truth”, and “Learn, Innovate, Iterate”! I’m very grateful for this opportunity, and my goal is to one day become a great mentor like Nikhil.
Nikhil Agarwal: “Just Getting Started…”
Every day I feel I have new heights to climb, impossible things to solve and too far to drive. I am just getting started and gearing up for the long journey!
The benefits of mentorship extend to both the mentee and mentor, as they form meaningful connections and contribute to the success of the organization as a whole. At SoFi, we believe it is important to us to unlock the full potential of our workforce and build a thriving ecosystem of innovation and success. Thank you Nikhil & Carlos for sharing your GROW experiences with us.