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Driving Innovation and Inclusivity in Prague

I studied economics at university, but I always dreamt of working with technology. When I finished uni, I decided it was time to pursue my goals. So, I began working in financial technology. You might be thinking technology doesn’t really go hand-in-hand with finance, but it’s quite the opposite. For Barclays, technology sits at its very core. Everything they do revolves around advancements in tech – from developing electronic trading platforms, contactless payments, mobile banking, and cyber security to protect our clients and customers transactions, the list goes on.

That’s why I had my sights set on joining Barclays, and I was thrilled to join the team earlier this year. I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the vast portfolio of technologies and play my part in helping the Prague office to continue redefining the future of finance.

Redefining the Future of Finance

Technology is developing every single day. So, the financial services industry needs to be willing to adapt their ways of working – to be prepared to change the direction of a project as new technologies emerge. As a Lead Business Analyst, I ensure our technology teams understand the requirements and analyse data to ensure our solution has no unexpected impacts. This ensures that the technology we’re working with is utilised efficiently to create the best possible result.

As a business, we need to be proactive in understanding and adopting new technologies, but it’s also important that we utilise these technologies before it’s too late. Technology is developing every day, so, in this field, if you aren’t ahead of the times, then you’re behind. You can’t be reactive in this industry; you need to work at the cutting-edge – always. That’s why it’s vital for us to monitor emerging technologies, to see how we can build on these in the years to come.

Innovation Around Every Corner

Nowadays, innovation is something that you can't escape from. Data volumes are growing so quickly you need to update the operations that support your technology too. Previously, I would manage this data on excel – manually inputting information and downloading statistics. But this wouldn’t cut it in our developing world. So, I’ve started to learn the coding language, Python. With my background in economics, this is a huge step forward for me –and I’m proud to work with an organisation that encourages me to develop my skills as the industry around me evolves.

And it goes further than that. There are countless learning resources available for me to tap into. The Barclays Prague office is a technology centre, so I work alongside tech experts every single day. So, aside from the physical and virtual training courses I’m able to attend, I can learn from my colleagues too – whether they’re part of my direct team or not.

Unique Offices, Unique Offerings

What makes the Prague office so unique is that it really is a hub of innovation. There are so many teams working on different tech projects – from modernising systems to make them fit for the future to developing systems that support and protect the global economy. I work alongside colleagues who can offer advice and expertise for almost anything in the tech space. That’s what makes us different – we communicate with each other to ensure every new development is the best it can be.

This also means that we’re able to cross over the technologies we’re developing, to create the best possible service for our clients and customers. Our experts come together and drive innovation across their respective fields. They challenge each other and ask the questions needed to push them forward.

Working with the Bank of the Future

The best bit is that I’m able to be involved in all of this while balancing my work and personal life. I have two children, and I need to be there to take them to school, to care for them when they’re unwell and to be available when needed, no matter what. At Barclays, I can work from anywhere – I'm in the office when it’s convenient, and I work at home when necessary. I’m also trusted to manage my own working hours. Barclays approach to dynamic working means I have the flexibility to work when works best for me, and the business.

This has shown me that Barclays really is the bank of the future. Here, there’s technology around every single corner. We’re working at the cutting-edge. We’re surrounded by innovation. We’re inclusive and supportive. And it’s all happening, right here in PragueKristina Erofeeva, Business Analyst, Prague

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