Financial analyst turned business IT consultant: meet our colleague Aďa

Adriana has been working at msg life Slovakia for more than 6 years. We asked her what a typical day looks like as an IT business consultant, but also about her previous work experience.

Hi, Ada. Try to give us an idea of your typical working day. What does it consist of?

A typical working day and job of a business IT consultant consists mainly of a lot of conversations and phone calls. Whether with developers, testers or other consultants. We have a lot of conversations about what problems and bugs are solved in projects, what is right and what is wrong, how software bugs should be fixed so that we don’t damage the system even more. That is, whether a bug is fixable or not fixable.

Then there are managerial and organisational responsibilities. When we create new functionalities, it requires a lot of communication with the customer. At the meetings, the customer presents the requirements, what he expects from the system and what it should meet. From this we derive a specification, which we write in a common dictionary, and which even a layman should be able to understand. In sentences, clearly, descriptively. And then the second part of the specification, which is more technical and is for developers. It’s actually software documentation that is for people who can read the code.

So you’re also involved in the documentation. What is this specification actually for?

The specification is sent to the customer, they look at it, and then we have review conversations. There we find out the customer’s opinion, what he likes, what he would add. Then, when everything is approved by the customer, we give the specification to developers, other consultants and testers and work on the implementation of new functionalities.

Do you also solve bugs in systems and functionalities, or is it more a job for other testers?

For example, compared to automation tester, both IT tester and business IT consultant have a greater connection to the client’s needs.

Many bugs and errors are reported to us by customers. We use Jira for ticketing, where we evaluate whether it is a bug or not based on the description of the bug. If it’s a bug, we assign it to a specific team to fix and incorporate. If it’s not a bug – because it can happen – we explain to the customer that the functionality works and how to use it properly.

You mentioned Jira. What other tools do you use?

Jira is our base platform for ticketing purposes. All our systems and data outputs are entered into databases. I use Oracle SQL Developer, but we can use basically anything to manage and read databases. From languages I use SQL. I’m trying to understand Java even more, it helps me to communicate with developers.

Several of our colleagues were introduced to IT segment for the first time here at msg life Slovakia. What was your previous work experience?

I worked for almost 10 years as a financial analyst in a large corporation. A friend told me at the time that msg life Slovakia was looking for people who spoke German and had a logical mindset. My preffered language was English, but I was supporting the German market, so I was actively using German. I’ve always been inclined towards German, even when I was a kid in central Slovakia I had a bigger selection of fairy tales on German channels than on Slovak ones.

I tried and succeeded. Although I came from a completely different segment and with a minimum of experience, what was important was the passion for work and logical thinking – of course in combination with language skills.

As a financial analyst, I had no technical background to help me in msg life Slovakia. I only used Excel and macros, we automatically pulled data into sheets. Financial analysts in a corporation are more likely to be casual users. It was such grunt work, nothing too technical.

This scenario repeats itself quite often. What is your view: when you compare the setup in the corporation and msg life Slovakia, what do you get out of it?

I have been in msg for 6 and a half years. There’s seriously low turnover, which doesn’t compare to a corporation where someone is burnt out at any moment. A million and one. A few colleagues have left, but overall people are changing more slowly. This is certainly due to the employee benefits, but especially to the environment and atmosphere that the company honestly builds.

IT business consultant poses at her desk with her hands on the keyboard
At msg life Slovakia we pride ourselves on a pleasant environment and atmosphere.

As an employee here, I feel like I’m a person and not just a number. I can sense that the management cares that I am happy. Excellent approach towards employees. Even the highest boss in Slovakia finds time for me and we can talk, even in the corridor. And the head of our department? I’ve never had a better boss.

They don’t focus on trivialities, but on what is essential. I feel that anything is possible. For example, if a person has personal problems, just come to management and explain your situation. We can always find a compromise. At msg life Slovakia we also value the initiative of our employees, it is very welcome. Which, in turn, is not consistent with the corporate world, where any attempt to increase efficiency or improve processes is turned a blind eye to.

How do you perceive your colleagues and your cooperation – not only the Slovak ones, but also the German ones?

We have excellent relations with our colleagues in Slovakia and Germany. Everyone takes the time to help the other. I’ve been working with the German market for 16 years now, so I can’t evaluate if it’s a different mentality – after all this time I don’t see any differences between us.

But I can say for sure that our cooperation is very effective, human and pleasant. Recently, a German colleague told me that he was pleasantly surprised by the conscientious approach to work we have in Slovakia. Every Slovak colleague can answer, explain everything and navigate through any topic. And he appreciated it very much. So the satisfaction is mutual and I am sure that it is due to company culture that msg life Slovakia has created.

We are always looking for new colleagues, and many times lack of experience is not a barrier. But some people are afraid to change their sector. What would you say to them?

If I had to say something to newcomers, I would say: come try it. The IT world is much more relaxed than it may seem. It’s all about what one knows, can do and whether one has the desire to learn new things. I have a feeling of openness here, I can say anything, suggest anything. If someone likes logic and sometimes even “detective work”, finding out what works and what doesn’t, the job of an IT tester or business IT consultant is the right one for them. For someone who likes to think about logical problems, this is a beautiful work. I’m much happier in it than I was before.

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