Help on what to do after a rejection!

Hello, I applied for the TN Vias endorsement and got a rejection with the feedback below.

I see there are some misinterpretations that I seek to clarify. I would also like to know if I can change my application from an Exceptional Talent to an Exceptional Promise. How do I request a review? Would it be on my application or by merely responding to the mail I received?

I have been a Product Manager, building and managing digital payment products in a bank in Nigeria, and at the moment, I am working as a product manager on digital payment products in a ban in the UK.

Assessment panel feedback:
The applicant has applied for Exceptional Talent based on Optional Criteria 2 and Optional Criteria 3.

The applicant has provided several letters of recommendation. Many of them refer to the work done
when he was employed at XXtBank Nigeria between 2009-2018. Most of them discuss his work
between 2009-2014. Based on the Tech Nation guidelines, this is beyond the 5-year limit for evidence.

(While I started working on the platform between 2010 - 2018, the work referred to were done in 2017 and 2018, but the assessor simply referred to the aspects done before that time. -

How do I point these out?

These letters simply summarise his accomplishments all of which are standard activities of a product
manager. None of the letters explain why the applicant is exceptional. - This speaks to deploying digital payment solutions in 6 African countries where the bank had subsidiaries.

He has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that he is a leading talent in the digital
technology sector having had national or international recognition within the last 5 years. He has not
been endorsed by individuals who themselves would be considered as an exceptional talent. He has
not been a keynote speaker at any significant fintech conference; he has not received any awards or
prizes and he has not been quoted as an expert in any significant fintech publication. The applicant has provided some evidence of speaking engagements - however upon further research, those speaking engagements when posted on social media did not illicit the response one would typify with a leader of their field. For example, the speaking engagement “Transition to Tech” only has one comment on LinkedIn - and that comment is from the candidate himself.

The applicant has provided details of a high salary twice the national average of Nigeria. However, they were compensated by a UK-based organisation as a consultant. - I am not sure where this information was obtained because I have not worked as a consultant. However, there is feature on LinkedIn that displays skills and services you can provide and activating that feature displayed me as a consultant. I have since disabled this feature.

As such, the compensation comparison is not valid. Currently, he is working for NatWest Bank as a product manager. His salary is not significant, especially when compared with the salaries of product managers working for major fintech companies in the UK. -

Optional Criteria 2 requires the applicant to provide proof of recognition for work outside their immediate occupation that has contributed to the advancement of the sector—specifically, they need to provide evidence that they have gone beyond their day-to-day profession to engage in an activity that
contributes to the advancement of the sector. The applicant provided various pieces of evidence to
support this criteria. Although he has mentored various individuals, none of his mentoring has been
done as part of an organised and structured programme; a lot of his mentoring has been either ad hoc
or mentoring that is available online to potential product managers. This does not meet the mentoring
requirements as noted in Tech Nation guidance.

The applicant has spoken at events and workshops, but these workshops were undertaken as part of his occupation—for example, the workshops cited occurred while he was working at YYY Bank. He has not shown how he has been recognised over an extended period and he has not shown how he has advanced the sector.

Optional Criteria 3 requires the applicant to have made significant technical, commercial, or
entrepreneurial contributions to the field as a founder or employee of a product-led digital technology
company. Most of the applicant’s career has been with FirstBank of Nigeria. This is a financial institution and not a product-led digital technology as per the Tech Nation definition. His work in the UK has largely been done as a contractor and does not qualify. XY Bank is also not a product-led digital
technology company. Notwithstanding this, his work at NatWest modernising SWIFT messaging
infrastructure is not a significant contribution; it does not advance the digital technology field.

It should also be noted there are signs of templating and replication between supplied references. For
example, the letter from the HR department of YYY Bank contains sections that are exactly the same -
as the letter from DDD Technologies. - These were various references for the same work done in the same organisation.

Additionally, any reference where the referee’s signature has
been copy/pasted as an image (such as those letters used to validate the candidate’s mentoring) are
not taken into consideration as their authenticity may be compromised.

The applicant has not provided sufficient or compelling evidence to meet all the criteria and cannot be
endorsed for this visa.

How do I make updates to my application? What are the next steps?

You can not ask for your application bto be reviewed under promise. The issues raised in your application suggests similarities in your letters. Don’t forget Tech Nation have a application to detect plagiarism. You work in a commercial bank, this also makes you ineligible to apply as it is clearly stated that applicants from nontech organization with nontechnical skills are ineligible to apply.

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Thanks @Francisca_Chiedu, but I am a bit confused. as a Product Manager in the fintech arm of a financial institution, one builds and manages digital tech products, the same things a PM in a small Fintech does. Are you saying that a PM in a bank is ineligible because of the organisation?

Also please help provide clarification on what these edits are - saw these from some applicants. Are these edits by the applicant or assessors? Thanks

Submitted 27 Sept
First Edit 5 Oct 12:21 am
Second Edit 18 Oct 2022 16:41 pm
Third Edit 19 Oct 2022 01:31 am
Fourth Edit 19 Oct 2022 18:37 pm

Banks are not Financial technology companies. Tech Nation defined product -led digital technology companies. Unless you work for a subsidiary of a Bank that is a fintech company then that’s a different thing but working as a product manager on a bank app does make you eligible. If you were writing code, it is a different thing. It is all stated inthe tech nation guide. As for the question in edit, not sure what it means, the assumption we have is that it shows your evidence is being worked on.

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Base on the information provided here, there was no query on your mandatory requirement? I will suggest your evidence dates should leave out anything beyond 5yrs.

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Thank Afolabi, I built a digital payment app for my organization over five years. Within the last five years, I deployed and launched them in 6 African countries where my organization (bank) had subsidiaries. My mention of work outside the time range was to give a context on the beginning of the project. However, the assessor focused on the context for my evidence to be outside the five years time frame.

Thanks for the detailed feedback. At this time, I am wondering if it would be necessary to request a review if working in a e-busniess arm of a financial institution still makes me ineligible. Would you advise me to go ahead with requesting a review? Apologies if the answer is obvious, just needed to hear from others.
Finally, what would be your advise for me if I was to re-attempt the application i the future.
What gaps do you think I should close based on the feedback.

Thanks ahead for your kind and patient feedback.

you lose nothing applying for a review, it is free. You can either get endorsed or get a different kind of feedback from another assessor’s lense.

Sorry about this. Can you confirm Natwest is not a digital bank? You can also make a case to present it as a digital bank.

If you would re-applu, reposition Natwest as a fintech company which it looks like it is as well.

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You said you built a digital payment app for your organization, Did you code? do you write code, whether open source or not? You can show evidence of substantial contribution. if they are in private repositories there are ways to show the contribution on your GitHub profile. Add it to contributions to StackOverflow if you have one and that will make up for your optional criteria.

Hi @Uchechi_Nwigwe I am from the Fintech space so I understand your work… Your work is exceptional and you should redo your application. Unlikely the appeal will suffice:

  1. Get better letter of recommendations\
  2. Get some letter from stakeholders of your projects
  3. “modernising SWIFT messaging infrastructure is not a significant contribution;” - This needs to be presented well. I think this is gold.:+1:
  4. “deploying digital payment solutions in 6 African countries where the bank had subsidiaries” This needs to be presented well. I think this is gold. :+1:
  5. Package it better
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What about the issue about a bank not being a fintech or product-led company?
Tech Nation has been cleared about who can apply, business applicants in nontech organization are not eligible for endorsement.

Thank you @Francisca_Chiedufor your insightful thoughts as always, I also work with a bank that has 6 different digital products that compete in the Fintech space, I am not part of the bank’s marketing team, there is a product organisation team created that leads these Fintech products. We have product across digital bank/payment, lending and investment. I am the head of growth and product marketing, do you think this will still be primarily considered as a bank.

I am not in charge of banking apps, but actual digital products. We also have our own structure within the product organisation different from the bank. I have other experiences though with product led organizations, but being my recent job, do you think there is a chance here, based on the positioning?

Focus more on other product+
-led companies, as long as they are under 5 years, it should be fine.

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Banks these days are also fintechs or works like Fintechs. I think the Tech Nation Accessors should also consider experience with working in a bank as an IT or product developer/product manager as a fintech experience. Nowadays a lot of people don’t go to banks and to deposit and withdraw cash as banks are now one of the largest fintech on their own right. Banks has lot of products just like modern fintech from Mobile app, Internet banking and lots more. I think if Tech Nation accessors don’t rate product led banking experiences, then they should state it in their guide to avoid confusion.

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Deposit money Banks are not fintech. The apps they build are just enablers but not the major source of their revenue. If you are a technical applicant working in a bank, you are eligible but nontechnical applicants like product managers are not eligible.

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