Ask Mihnea how long he’s worked at Points, and his answer is “8 months going on 8 years.” As a Product Manager, he oversees the team responsible for the software that credits your loyalty account and debits your credit card when you buy points or miles from any of our loyalty program partners. It’s a role that can be hectic, and Mihnea wouldn’t have it any other way. Get to know this entrepreneurial, charitable, and family-focused Pointster in his own words:
What’s your favorite thing about working at Points?
I’ll resist the temptation to say the people I work with (even though that’s true) and I’ll share something that happened to me recently while flying to Romania to visit family. I was flipping through the in-flight magazine and I saw some information about the airline’s loyalty program.
I had a very strange feeling at that moment, the type of feeling that makes you want to pick up the phone and call your mom and say “Mom, look what I can do!” because I am very familiar with that loyalty program, Points being the engine behind its “Buy” button when you go to purchase points, and my team having worked on that implementation.
That’s my favorite thing about working here: not only can I (for probably the first time in my career) point to something I work on that both my mom and my kids can understand, but I can proudly say I work for a company that helps move people. Not move in the physical sense, because we are not pilots. But move in the sense that we power at least part of their travel experiences. That’s pretty cool and motivating.
What are you working on right now?
That changes from day to day, but lately I’ve been tapping into my background in software development to build something that helps others at Points and even our partners understand what it takes to move points around the loyalty industry.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever done with loyalty points/miles?
I am not organized enough to actually collect points; I leave that to my wife. But if I were to collect points I’d likely donate them to an organization that works with children in developing nations.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
My yearly weekend retreat to Startup Weekend Toronto where I build and pitch a business in 54 hours among friends.
What does a day in your life at Points look like?
I start my day with the team, walking through what they accomplished the day before and what they are planning to work on today. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. I have a stated goal to make at least one thing happen every day, and I’ve been pretty successful at it so far. I try to avoid meetings I’m not needed in and I prefer walking over to meet with someone face to face instead of emailing.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three movies would you bring?
Goodfellas, Train de Vie, and Inside Man.
What three unique things would we find on your desk right now?
You’d be hard pressed to find anything on my desk because of the mess.
Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I listen exclusively to live music. I love the moments of humanity that peek through what could otherwise be fabricated sounds.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be the best at whatever it is you’re working on at the moment. I’ve passed that on to my kids.
What one person from the past or present would you like to have dinner with, and why?
A former professor of mine from Rotman. He always reminds me that age has no meaning.
Describe your favorite pair of shoes.
Since you didn’t ask for shoes that I own, I’d say that the shoes in question would be something my wife owns, for obvious reasons.
If you enjoy getting to know members of the Points team, imagine how much you’ll love joining the team yourself! Check out our open positions.