Employee education is key – 7 questions with Business Analyst Tavis Wong

July 28, 2017

At TradeRev, education is the lifeblood of our company culture. As a thriving startup, we offer people a unique opportunity to carve their own career path, so we are always looking for self-motivated, ambitious employees who raise their hands when they identify a chance to learn, grow or advance.

While some companies are reluctant to invest in employees for fear they’ll leave for greener pastures, we’ve worked hard to build a culture people want to be a part of. We’re disrupting an entire industry and getting bigger every day so it’s critical we invest in our employees. To continue our upward trajectory, we need empowered team members who want to take on new challenges and grow with our business.

Business analyst Tavis Wong is one example. He embodies TradeRev’s ethos – he is brave, asks for new opportunities, and is honest and accountable. Since joining the company in October 2015, Tavis’ drive and ambition have already led to three promotions. And while he’s obviously an exceptionally talented individual, his rise highlights the importance of employee learning and growth opportunities.

As a tech company, skills development is essential. We invest in our developers by making sure each one gets their AWS Certification but we also invest in every area of our organization, ensuring all employees get the training and education they need to achieve their goals. From the top down, we believe learning should never stop, regardless of role or career level. We view employee education as a tool for attracting and retaining the best talent, as well as a competitive advantage because of the way it inspires our people to push boundaries and deliver innovative work.

To discuss what makes TradeRev a special place to work, we recently chatted with Tavis about our culture of learning.

Why did you join TradeRev?

While I was formally educated in finance, I love cars and always wanted to work in the automotive industry. After gaining some experience at the dealership level, I joined TradeRev because I sensed there was a real opportunity to learn and advance here.

I guess you were right about that hunch.

Definitely. Less than two years ago, I joined the company as an arbitrator—one of the frontline soldiers charged with resolving issues and keeping customers happy. After excelling in that role, I decided to take a technical position in quality assurance in order to learn the inner workings of the TradeRev app. I then moved to a junior sales analyst position, working alongside our sales and product teams to learn more about the business side of things. That led to my current role as a business analyst, where I meet with executives and key stakeholders to discuss and build a rationale for new app features, liaise with the design team to go over requirements, and then touch base with the development team to ensure new features are possible.

How were you able to move up so fast?

Advancement is common around here. TradeRev really prioritizes learning and development, and they’re always trying to expose you to different areas of the business; you can almost choose the direction you want to go in. For example, whenever a new employee starts, they have to sit in with customer support staff and get a week of training with the mobile app. Even though it’s intuitive and easy to use, it’s important to know how everything works. Similarly, software developers and arbitrators are paired up with the sales team so they get the perspective of our end users.

How has TradeRev helped with your education and training?

Everyone has been incredibly supportive, encouraging and generous every step of the way. When I first started here I took a Codecademy course on SQL to learn some coding basics, and then TradeRev covered my Udacity course on predictive analytics when I was in a more technical role. To help me reach my next goal, the company’s now funding my Coursera courses on product management.

How would you describe the culture at TradeRev?

People here feel appreciated and supported. It’s not just about paying for courses and training. At TradeRev, managers listen to you and do what they can to put you in a position to succeed. Employees have an opportunity to work in different areas and jump aboard projects they show interest in.

Why do you think this approach works?

When you can see a clear career path laid out in front of you, it’s easy to come to work on Monday morning and do great work. To be honest, the vibe here is very different from other places I’ve worked. People work hard here because they are invested personally. Oh, and we also have free snacks, ping pong, and all the usual startup perks, so that doesn’t hurt.

What’s next for you?

Before I joined the company I had no career aspirations in the tech world, but now I can’t see myself working in any other industry. Moving forward, I hope to move into a product management role where I can help TradeRev continue to enhance the app and innovate in the industry.

TradeRev is growing and we’re always on the lookout for new team members to help drive our business forward. To learn more about employment opportunities, please visit our careers page.