Career Story - Nahyeon Lee
Career Story - Nahyeon Lee
Software Engineer Nahyeon Lee had studied English literature and was working as an international business manager at a smart LED manufacturer in Seoul, when she realized that she wanted to understand more than just the surface of the technology. Defying uncertainty, Nahyeon took a leap, decided to quit her job, and participated in a 6-month Java bootcamp to learn more about the IT field. This decision was the first step leading Nahyeon to Mandatum.
Nahyeon first got the opportunity to work at a CRM company in Seoul as a backend developer for two years. What then brought her to Finland in 2021 was her family. Nahyeon has taken a liking of the calm and nature-friendly Finland, which offers a very different lifestyle than the hectic and vibrant Seoul.
“In Finland, I like the calmness and peacefulness, which I feel also reflects people’s minds and how they think. I feel that the atmosphere at Mandatum, as a Finnish company, also reflects safety and reliability in the community, a bit like the nature. I feel calmer and more peaceful here”, Nahyeon says.
Nahyeon first came in touch with Mandatum while working as a consultant. The financial industry was not familiar to her, but with FinTech getting increasingly popular, she saw an interesting and promising opportunity to grow as a software engineer.
Today, Nahyeon has worked as a full-time employee at Mandatum for two years, mainly as a backend developer responsible for building and maintaining application servers and databases. She works at the Oulu office with ten other software engineer colleagues, while the rest of the Business Technologies unit is based in Helsinki.
“I sometimes have the feeling of being in a startup company here. We are a small group of people working really closely together. We support each other with work-related tasks but are also having lots of fun at the same time”, Nahyeon explains.
Over the past years, Nahyeon joined one of Mandatum’s projects to explore and utilize Apache Kafka. This tool has been helpful in easing the flow of data across different parts of their MSA (Microservices Architecture) services. They find Kafka can be beneficial in their ongoing efforts to make data processing and server design efficiently.
“At Mandatum we tend to never be satisfied with how things are and always try to face new challenges with a willingness and power to share new ideas and can adopt new skills into the company.”
What Nahyeon enjoys the most about her job, is the excellent chance to progress, both from a technological perspective but also to learn more about the finance sector. Nahyeon expects that the modern technology used at Mandatum will be hugely beneficial for her career.
“It is very interesting to use the technologies that Mandatum utilizes to leverage financial data and make the data flow smoother. Plus, working in Mandatum is not only about technology, but also about getting a deeper understanding of how the financial sector works. It means I have a great opportunity to work with the business terms and principles of finance in the field in Mandatum. It would be never boring because there is always something new to learn and adapt to!”
The challenging part about working in the financial sector is regulation.
“For example, data protection and quality assurance are far more thorough and well organized than in many other companies outside this sector. This is obviously also a good thing”, Nahyeon says.
At the end of the day, what Nahyeon appreciates most at Mandatum are the colleagues. Being a non-Finnish speaker in a rather Finnish-speaking environment was challenging at first, but with a little help from her colleagues, Nahyeon has integrated well and feels at home.
“I’m the newbie, and in the beginning, the terminology was difficult to understand on a detailed level. My colleagues have always been very helpful with explaining and helping. The culture at the office is very supportive and reliable. Everyone is working with me, taking care of me, translating documents and helping me to understand. I also feel at ease around my colleagues at the office. To chill out together, not only do we take coffee breaks together, but also, we have a “pizza Friday” tradition. We go to the pizzerias in the city center of Oulu every other Friday for lunch. I really find my colleagues are the best part about my job”, Nahyeon rejoices.
The biggest surprise for Nahyeon has been the trust shown by Mandatum to its employees. This appears as a freedom of choice regarding, for example, working hours and hybrid work.
“I really feel that Mandatum trusts each employee, for example, by allowing remote work and flexible working hours. I benefit from this as it enables me to decide whether I want to work at the office or at home, and even how long I want to work each day. I truly appreciate the trust that my employer places in me. We are given freedom, which also means we strive to meet our commitments and deliver high quality work on time. This balance of mutual trust makes working at Mandatum truly meaningful.”
Moreover, she highlights the flexibility she has when she chooses a task. She has the autonomy to select the works and solutions she wants to focus on, allowing her to align them with her skills and interests.
“Especially when we do problem solving with programming, we usually come up with multiple potential solutions. At Mandatum, we have a culture of freedom that allows us to consider each option thoroughly and independently. The open-minded people at Mandatum give everyone the chance to think through and support me when it comes to putting my solutions into action. To drive my own work with responsibility and see it through to completion is rewarding and satisfying.”