Over the next few weeks, Girlboss is exploring what it’s like to work in crypto. We’re speaking to women at different ages and stages, and who work across the industry in operations, culture and community and education. Next up, Chanda Sethia, engineer manager at Coinbase based in India.
This content is funded by Coinbase for Girlboss.
How did you start working in crypto?
Truly, it was accidental. I was looking for options to scale for myself and an environment where I could be challenged more. My partner was an early crypto adopter, so his excitement and belief made my decision to join Coinbase easy. I also had a discussion with the VP of engineering in India and he helped me understand how huge the opportunity is, to build something from scratch. I’ve been here for 8 months, and I’m very happy.
What does your day-to-day look like?
I’m part of the customer experience and tools team. Very simply, our mission is to provide a great customer experience. We’re leading a lot of strategy programs wherever customers need help and provide a world-class platform for meaningful help.
What do you find rewarding about what you do?
First, I’m really excited to be part of a mission to bring an open financial system, which will increase economic freedom around the world. This has the power to change every life. The second thing are the fast changes and disruptions that are happening in this space. This means adapting a really nimble, agile mindset to be able to navigate this industry. It’s quite challenging, and people who like challenges feel really excited about this space. Another aspect is the ambiguity that we are dealing with in this space. This really lays out a great opportunity for innovation and deep thinking. As an engineer by heart, I love solving challenges. That’s what excites me day-to-day.
What about the challenges you’ve faced?
I’ve been a blocker to my own potential many times. I used to believe that there was a limit to what I could deliver. That’s a self-belief, and I think coming out of that helped me prove myself wrong. That initial period when I had to adapt, and come out of this negative self-belief was challenging. And at no point in time will you feel that you’re an expert in this area, there’s always more to learn. That feeling that you’re still a learning or a beginner in this space is a little different, I do struggle with that sometimes.
There are a couple of aspects, in India, the regulation aspects are still evolving. And there are questions from people outside the space about whether this is a stable job, I don’t know where that misconception comes from. Additionally, another area where I get a lot of questions is the work-life balance. Being a woman in India, traditionally we have a lot of responsibilities at home. And while Coinbase is known for the fast-paced culture, as long as your agile and nimble, you will be able to navigate it. Our weeks are very, very busy. But in the 8 months that I’ve worked at Coinbase, I have never worked a weekend. I believe in the idea of sprint and rest, sprint and rest.
What do you wish you knew before you started?
The most important thing is to stay curious. I did not come to Coinbase with any previous crypto experience, I was never a crypto enthusiast. But if you’re in a phase in your career where you want to explore a new ecosystem and the next big thing, then crypto and Web3 is the space. Keep your curiosity high, don’t limit yourself if you don’t understand something. There are a lot of opportunities to learn and upskill in this space, but there is also a lot to un-learn. Continuous learning is the key.