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Meet the Primigos: Sarah Brennan, Product Manager

Florencia Tettamanti
People and Talent Lead

At Primer, we have over 120 people based across 35 countries doing incredible things day in and day out in service of our mission to rebuild payments and commerce from the ground up.

In our new series, we’re going to meet as many of them as we can. We’ll speak with them about their career journeys, learn more about what they do at Primer, and more.

First up, we have Sarah Brennan. Based in Ireland, Sarah is a Product Manager who looks after all things payment acceptance. She joined us in November last year, having worked in payments for a decade. 

Here’s what she had to say.

Flo: Sarah, what did you do before joining Primer? 

Sarah: I worked at another payment start-up before joining Primer. Before that, I worked at Paypal/Braintree as a Product Manager. 

Flo: What’s the best thing about working at Primer?

Sarah: I love the challenge. I love puzzles and solving problems. The problem we’re trying to solve is a big one, and I believe we're succeeding and offering so much value to our customers. It’s really fun!

I’m going to give two answers, sorry! But also the people. Everyone here is super talented, super knowledgeable, and fun to work with.

Flo: Do you have a favorite memory from working at Primer? 

Sarah: There are a lot. But one that sticks out was from my first couple of weeks. A minor issue with a merchant originated from a change I pushed in the product. Not ideal! But no blame was passed. Instead, everyone came together to find a solution for the merchant. This experience cemented my belief that I made an excellent choice to join Primer.

Flo: Thank you for sharing. Sarah, you’ve been in the payments world for a while. How has your role at Primer contributed to your professional development? Have you learned anything new working with us?

Everywhere I worked before was rigid, one way or another. They had one way of thinking about payments, one style of implementation, or one fixed design. One of the things we’re good at—which has helped me grow as a Product Manager—is that we’re very open to different ways of looking at things, presenting ideas, product specs, and engineering solutions. We all have our working styles, but we’re all heading towards the same goal, and this has made me better at thinking about things.

I also think this not only comes from us and our way of working but also from the problem we’re trying to solve. It’s so complex that we must look at it from every angle. 

Flo: How would you describe the workplace culture at Primer?

Sarah: Fluid and collaborative. We’re all super busy all the time, but it’s very relaxed at the same time. Interacting and working together with our colleagues is always so easy and enjoyable.

Flo:  Are there any specific values or principles that resonate with you?

Sarah: One that comes down from immediate leadership is ‘focus on the outcome'. I really like that as a value, as it ensures we’re always looking at the bigger picture and putting our customers front and center.

Flo: What advice would you give anyone considering joining Primer?

Sarah: I advise them to take a real look at the world of payments and not underestimate its complexity. I’ve met people who have entered the payments landscape after working in other industries, and the common sentiment is that they thought it would be far simpler. It’s a minefield, so get ready to embrace its complexity and have fun with it!

Flo: What can we find you doing outside of work? 

Sarah: I’m a big nerd and wear that badge with pride! I like fantasy tabletop role-playing games. The most commonly known one is Dungeons and Dragons, but I play lots of different ones. I like to read and LARP (Live-Action Role-Play). I also enjoy cooking and gardening—which is less nerdy.

Flo: Could you share one fun or quirky fact about yourself that other Primigos might not know?

Sarah: I’m pretty open, so that’s going to be hard, but very few people know that before I started working in payments, I worked in bookshops for a while. But the unusual one is that I trained as a piercer, so I worked making piercings for a year or so.

Flo: Very different from building payment infrastructure! To wrap up, do any unique or interesting routines contribute to your productivity?

Sarah: One thing I swear by is getting up, making coffee, and going back to bed before starting the day. It helps me wake up and start the day on a positive note! 

Flo: You certainly couldn’t do that with a long commute!

Are you interested in joining Sarah at Primer? Visit our careers page to see what open roles we have.

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