Working remotely as a research analyst at Messari

Olumide Aderinwale
4 min read
Remote Religion is a series which shines a spotlight into the life of a remote tech worker in Africa. We explore the promise and perils of remote work and how to navigate career transition.
In this edition of Remote Religion, we spoke with Jennifer Obem, a research analyst at Messari. We talk about her journey into crypto research and her advice to anyone looking to transition into analyst roles in Web3.

Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for your joining me on Remote religion today! Please tell me about yourself

My name is Jennifer and I presently work remotely as a research analyst at Messari, a Crypto-research firm based in NY. Prior to Messari, I worked as a professional trader at a crypto startup in Lagos, Nigeria and a corporate finance analyst at a fintech startup.

Apart from working full time in Web3, I also actively volunteer in leading communities in my spare time. Additionally, I frequently facilitate educative sessions on cryptocurrencies at corporate seminars.

Thank you so much, Jennifer. Big fan here! How did you get into crypto?

It was accidental. I was driven by curiosity to understand Bitcoin in 2016 after I had been gifted 0.1 bitcoin by my uncle. I wanted to understand why my bitcoin had increased in value shortly after I received it.

And so, my quest for crypto knowledge began. Shortly afterwards, I stumbled on an educational blog by a Nigerian cryptocurrency trader. He called for admissions into a cryptocurrency group he managed. I applied and got in. That community, today, is a pivotal part of my journey into crypto.

I saw an opportunity to work full time as a professional trader right after uni and I took it. Sadly, the long 2018 bear market happened and I took a break from crypto having lost a huge chunk of the value of my personal portfolio to the bear market.

And the curiosity has paid off. You work at Messari! How did you get here?

In the course of my learning adventure, I realised that the utility of cryptocurrencies was actually way bigger than speculative trading. So, I began to explore the possibilities of starting a career within the space.

From 2019 to 2020, I transitioned into a corporate finance analyst role at a fintech and continued to volunteer to lead due diligence research efforts at various cryptocurrency communities like Dalemat Research team and Analyst DAO.

In May 2021, Messari put out a call for community analysts for a crypto research writing programme. I gave it a shot and got in. Shortly afterwards, an analyst on the research and due diligence team reached out to ask if I was interested in a full-time role in their team. I interviewed for the role and accepted a full-time offer to join the due diligence and protocol services team.

How has Messari been? Was it your first full-time remote role?

It's been a rewarding learning curve for me at Messari. I work with some of the brightest minds in the industry which has exposed me to a lot of learning opportunities. It's also a plus to work with people who are equally as passionate about building within the space as you are.

I had worked hybrid remote at a fintech during Covid times in 2020, but Messari was definitely my first global remote role.

How has your salary changed since working in Web3?

I earn 5x of my income last year working full time at Messari and freelancing for a few crypto communities. From the data I've seen, research analysts in Web3 are paid at least 15% higher on average than their traditional counterparts. More technical analysts earn considerably higher.

Do you have some tips or advice for anyone considering transitioning into web3 research / analyst roles from non-tech backgrounds?

First, be curious and ask questions about projects, assets and protocols you have read about. Curiosity will help you discover valuable insights.

Second, communicate these insights with the public via social media: Twitter, Medium, etc. You may also choose to visualise them via data vis tools including crypto native tools like Dune analytics, or trading terminals for quantitative insights.

Third, reach out to well-known researchers in the space once you've done your homework. Most of them will be willing to give you feedback on your research articles.

Last, network! This step can't be overemphasised. Join research focused DAO communities like analyst DAO, metrics DAO, and so on.

Thank you, Jennifer. This is very actionable advice. What does your typical workday look like? What are your daily routines?

Staying fit!!! I start my day typically by hitting the gym. This has really helped to keep me hyped and energised for the day's work.

I try to work deeply during office hours to ensure the bulk of my work doesn't extend beyond them. I can usually do this except for days where I have a ton of team meetings, usually Mondays and Tuesdays.

Prioritise! I keep a visible list of everything I intend to do for the day in front of me 24/7. This keeps me in check.

I take mini breaks in between too. So, my 1hr break during my typical office hour is split into two, 30 minutes each to ensure I am able to relax mentally.

What do you do for fun?

Working remotely can get depressing sometimes, especially if you stay alone, so I go out during the weekends and try out new restaurants or hook ups in the city. At the beginning of the year, I also made a resolution to visit at least two new countries every year, to ensure I'm able to explore my nomad driven instincts!

What’s next for you?

I intend to focus on protocol-specific research, building more experience as a protocol research specialist.

Thank you so much for speaking to me today, Jennifer. Really grateful for your time. How can people find you?

My pleasure! Feel free to reach out on Twitter @jenniferOvat.

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