What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Payments Strategy Manager at Toast?
We connected with Zach Baharozian to find out!
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Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
I grew up in Westford, MA
My parents own their own eyecare practice in Westford - My Dad Dwayne is the head doctor, and my Mom Christine runs the business side of the practice.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?
I went to the University of Michigan (Go Blue!)
I studied pure mathematics, with a focus on financial math & risk management.
Prior to Toast, I worked within the management consulting arm of Fidelity Investments, partnering with Fidelity’s leaders on some of the most important strategic decisions the company faced.
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
I truly believe that being able to watch my parents operate a small business my whole life has really helped find success in an environment such as Toast. When you’re a small business owner, there is no real distinction between “job” and “life.”Observing the effort my parents have put into their practice over the course of my life gave me an incredible awareness of how much hard work is required to succeed.
I also attribute success to a childhood of team sports and competition. Sports helped me foster a deep competitive drive and willingness to “win” in any competitive forum. More important than pure competition, however, is a sense of team - success shouldn’t come at the expense of teammates or allies. Team sports showed me the value of a strong team all competing for the same outcome as one connected group. At Toast, I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of a rockstar Payments Team, and we all share the same drive to “win” the POS & payments markets for Toast. When you’re a part of a great team and you believe in the mission of your company, work becomes fun in a hurry.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Payments Strategy Manager at Toast?
The Payments Team at Toast is responsible for implementing and maintaining the business practices Toast’s payments products. My team, the Payments Strategy Team, designs, executes, and implements the most pressing cross-functional projects related to Payments. These projects can range significantly, from optimizing our payments go-to-market strategies and positioning, to internal process design and optimization. Personally, I get to wear lots of hats in my role, which I find exciting - my role is some combination of operations work, marketing, competitive intelligence, data analysis, product work, and Sales enablement.
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
Coffee is a must
What time do you get into the office?
Right around 8 am, give or take a few minutes depending on traffic.
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
Autonomy - I am given lots of autonomy to execute my projects in the best manner I see fit. Having that freedom to approach and solve business problems in my way is very rewarding, and is something I don’t take for granted.
The pace of Toast - at Toast, everything moves at hyperspeed. This pace really speaks to me, as I enjoy being a part of high-stakes and action-oriented environments.
My team / the talent at Toast - Toast is a collection of smart and driven folks working towards the same goal - to empower and better serve the restaurant community through technology and services. Working with such talented people continually inspires me to always be delivering impact.
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
Every day is certainly different! I manage 5+ projects at any given moment, so the day is often dictated by the projects with the most pressing needs at that time. My days are primarily filled with lots of meetings with all the different stakeholders of those 5+ projects, looking for free time to keep getting work done, and lots of caffeine.
Any productivity hacks?
Honestly, I track everything I do with my projects through Microsoft OneNote - I find it incredibly helpful to stay as organized as possible.
I firmly believe that taking 30-60 minutes a day to exercise really helps me stay mentally sharp and productive. I love going to the gym to refresh mentally and get some time to myself.
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
Powerpoint - Anyone that works with me knows how much I value clear and concise messaging. Powerpoint is my favorite medium to deliver messaging - definitely a consequence of management consulting.
Slack - Slack is an awesome messaging platform - definitely the best I have ever used.
OneNote - As mentioned before, I track everything I do via OneNote.
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
In January, I had the opportunity to present an overview of Toast’s Payments business at our annual all-company January gathering called Kickoff. It was humbling to be able to represent the team at the company’s biggest event of the year, and I thoroughly enjoyed delivering the presentation. Toast Payments has some major developments happening in 2020!
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
Definitely my parents, as they’ve seen everything over the years with their business.
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