A Day in the Life: Theo Onigbinde, Codecademy Finance Manager

Welcome to this month’s A Day in the Life feature! Theo, Codecademy’s Finance Manager, shares what a day in the life is like and about in his role at Codecademy. He also provides a bit of his background – how he got to working in finance and what he enjoys doing in his spare time.

Without further ado, please meet Theo! :slightly_smiling_face:

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, my name is Theo and I’m the Finance Manager at Codecademy. I started working in Finance during my Sophomore year of college through an Investment Banking internship, and have been in the industry ever since.

A little about me: I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria and moved to the United States (Maryland) when I was 4 years old. I love playing/listening to music, and my favorite hobbies are biking and playing chess. I admittedly only really got into both of those hobbies because of the pandemic, but I’ve grown to love them ever since!

I was part of the Undergrad Business program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, though if I could go back, I think I would add a Music major. I’ve played the drums for 15 years and my dream is to one day play at a Jazz Club or build up the courage to play at an open mic.

How did you end up working for Codecademy?

I’ve always had a passion for education. I interned in an elementary school for a year and always told myself that I would do some kind of work in the education space later in my career. I truly believe that education (or rather the lack thereof) is a big contributor to inequities in our society, so when I saw there was an opportunity at Codecademy, AND I resonated with the mission, I jumped on it.

Did you always want to be a Finance Manager?

No. Finance kind of found me. My initial major in college was Sociology. I always thought I would become a lawyer or do something with music; however, after my first year economics class I really developed a passion for numbers, and the rest is history.

What are the best aspects of working as a Finance Manager?

Being a Finance Manager is a very cross-functional role. I get the opportunity to be in meetings with so many smart people across all aspects of the business, and that allows me to really get a bird’s eye view of our operations that many people don’t have. Even though my focus is the numbers, I’m really glad I get a chance to talk to everyone about all the cool work they are doing (& ultimately how it impacts the numbers).

What are the worst aspects of working as a Finance Manager?

Although I love numbers, I also wish I got the chance to build things like the other employees across the business. Finance is about measuring impact, reporting on performance, and estimating the performance of work other people do. While that’s something I enjoy, I do sometimes wish that I was the one creating the work rather than just talking about it. Guess it’s a good thing I have access to an online coding education platform to possibly make that happen in the future :slight_smile:

If you could make one piece of fictional tech reality, what would it be?

Teleportation devices! I love to travel but think the worst part of traveling is the journey. I would love to have a way to just appear in any city or country I want to visit. My favorite city is Cape Town, South Africa so it would really come in handy as the flight to Cape Town is at least 25 hours (depending on stops).

Do you have any advice for the learners?

Take your time. Even though I dislike the journey of traveling, I think when it comes to learning a new skill, the journey is incredibly important. Don’t be afraid to redo lessons you’ve already done, and make sure you don’t move on until you feel like you’ve really gotten a handle on the concepts. Notes are your best friend, and although going a little slower will extend your learning journey, you’ll be happy you did so when you’re an expert coder!

If you could make one brand new course what would it be?

Financial literacy. Learning about savings and investing was really important for me as I worked to gain financial independence. These concepts (specifically investing) are generally only known/gate kept by the most privileged individuals in our society. Given Codecademy’s mission of empowering all people through education, I think Financial Literacy would be a perfect fit – and would pay dividends for all our learners! (pun intended)

What does a typical day look like for you?

My days can vary widely but I’d say Monday’s are usually pretty consistent.

Morning: wake up (around 9 AM) and eat breakfast. Do a few pull-ups (if I’m feeling extra motivated). Then, log on to work at around 10 AM to start reviewing our financial performance from the prior week. While I’m reviewing, one of my teammates compiles a one page report for our leadership team detailing our performance and trends we are seeing within the business. A lot of finance is about reporting on business trends, discussing what we think will happen moving forward (e.g., financial projections), and supporting the different departments with numbers to help them understand how the work they’ve done is performing.

Afternoon: after my teammate is done compiling the report, I review it and we send it out to the team around 12PM. After the report is sent out, I’ll do a deeper dive into our trends then try and eat lunch around 12:30 or 1 before I lead a meeting with our leadership at 2 to review the trends. My Mondays are usually very busy so I spend a good part of the day in meetings, answering emails, updating analyses, and also planning out the rest of the week.

Evenings: I usually end the day around 6PM - 7PM. Once I’m done with work, I like to take some time to decompress (staring at numbers all day can be taxing) by playing chess, watching some TV, or going on a bike ride (sunshine and weather permitting).