„We can influence business decisions and drive future solutions.“
In recent years, we at SEB paid a lot of attention to develop new solutions for customers and accelerate digital development. We have assembled Product development and tech team in the Baltic countries with the aim to strengthen the agile way of working, to enable the faster response to change. Further investments, extensive recruitment, and the development of new solutions are planned for this year in this business area. Birutė Beniušytė, Head of Baltic Product Development and Technology, discusses the future.
„The product we are currently developing with a team will be used on a daily basis by financial institutions.“
Simonas Juodis is a senior software developer in the Savings and Investments team of SEB. Since being a school student, Simonas knew he wanted to master the field of IT and technology. Therefore, he chose to pursue both his studies and career in that direction. He emphasises that the work of a software developer requires a creative approach, attention to detail, and analytical mindset. The greatest satisfaction in this job stems from creating new things and opportunities, as well as influencing many processes.
„Our job is to turn chaos into structure and order.“
Irmina Švambarė is a project manager in SEB bank’s Baltic Portfolio and Project Management team. Together with her colleagues she is responsible for managing large and complex, cross-functional projects and implementing changes. “Our job is to turn chaos into structure and order” - this is how she figuratively describes how ideas are shaped into concrete initiatives and actions.
„There is no such thing as a routine while working in technology field.“
Danielius Barkovskis is one of those solution architects who has been involved with technology since childhood. After receiving his first computer at the age of eight, he became involved in its construction and operation and shortly thereafter developed his first game server. “It was since then that I knew which field I would pursue as a career and there was not a week that passed without me learning something new,” writes Daniel in his LinkedIn profile. Programming and technology – it is not just his job, but also occupy a great deal of his free time.
„15 years working in a bank – not a day that has ever been the same.“
Ingrida Savaikaitė is a business developer in private lending area and has worked at SEB bank for 15 years. Throughout her career, she has gained experience in various roles at the bank and believes there is always more to learn. “I will continue to develop in the direction that interests me most,” she says and recommends SEB bank as a place to work with friendly colleagues and inspiring work tasks.
“Stability and development opportunities are main advantages of being an employee in a large organization.”
Gintaras Namavičius joined SEB bank in 2021. Currently he is leading Core and Application Team. Over the course of his career Gintaras has worked for several companies and was immediately impressed by SEB’s unique work culture, characterised by responsive and helpful colleagues.
“Jobs in software development – a path to future opportunities and solutions.”
Kornelijus Pacevičius is a software developer. He joined SEB bank as a trainee and now continues his career journey at SEB as an employee since last year. The solutions his team develops create new opportunities for the bank’s customers and make the work of his colleagues in the bank much easier – this is what inspires Kornelijus the most.
„Bank is a driver for a lasting change.“
Ernestas Bartkevičius is a Head of Identity and Access Management at SEB bank. He is leading a growing technology area where professionals with the right skillset are in a very high demand. He joined SEB team quite recently - October of 2022. Ernestas has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve and how. For Ernestas, working at the bank is not just about financial products and services. It is also about having a lasting impact on society.
„I think you should never be afraid to change your career path and try new things.“
Vaida Garbauskė started her career at SEB almost without any experience in tech, but with sparkling eyes and with the motivation to move mountains. Now she works as a scrum master for three teams of IT professionals and represents SEB in tech career events and tech conferences. Want to know what led her from linguistics to tech?
„The change will happen if you believe in yourself and desire it.“
Laima Remeikaitė works at the bank’s recently established Quality Assurance Competence Centre in Common Way unit. Four years ago, Laima decided to change her career path radically, went to Vilnius Coding School to learn testing and became a software tester. She advises people who are thinking about a possible career change to be brave and try something new. Laima recommends SEB bank as a great place to learn and start your career in a supportive team.
“Change is the biggest motivator.”
Simonas Dakanis has been working in the SEB team since 2019 and currently leads bank’s Collaboration and Communication team. Simonas has been involved in the field of IT and technology for over 15 years now. All the modern technologies available to us are the driving force motivating him. At SEB bank, he appreciates the freedom that allows people to be creative and offer something new.
Birutė BeniušytėHead of Baltic Product Development and Technology
The merger has brought a wide range of competencies into a single place, the Baltic Product Development and Technology area. The different roles provide ample opportunities for further development and growth. Speaking of product development and technology, it is not just about technology. Perhaps a small example will be helpful: a house must have a foundation – in Product development and tech organization, this is the data centres with infrastructure, platforms and databases being taken care by IT administrators. Then there are more than two hundred applications, and all our products, business processes and channels are created and maintained by product development team. Typically, we have several roles working as a team to deliver new features – product owners, business developers, project managers, analysts, software developers, testers. And finally, to keep the house in order, there are risk managers, experts in cybersecurity, and service desk, who we all probably contact every day.
Working in such a large organisation, how important is cooperation with other structural units?
We know that one is not a warrior, i.e., business is unable to do anything on their own, and neither can IT decide which direction the company should follow. Therein lies the greatest strength: when business needs arise, IT come with ideas how technology can support. And vice versa, sometimes new technologies bring business opportunities. We must work together to achieve goals. The best results are achieved when business moves with technology.. Thinking broader, for us to succeed in delivering new features to our customers, all organization must be involved – business units, segments, finance, legal, compliance and many other. Cross collaboration and common goals are key success factors.
How many employees do we plan to hire this year?
We currently see three areas driving the trends: regulatory environment, sustainability, and digitalisation. Talking about the latter, we continue to see increasing demand from our customers for digital solutions. It is now common for individuals and businesses to conduct everyday transactions via online banking or mobile app. Customers’ expectations are growing, as is our desire to offer more convenient and digital solutions and automated processes. To accelerate developments, we plan to hire more than 100 specialists in product development department at SEB Banks in the Baltic States.
Where are new recruits being sought?
As investment is mainly focused on developing new solutions, we will look for additional resources in Product development area, e.g., business developers, analysts, software developers, testers, UX designers, and other related functions.
What do you think is the best thing about SEB as an employer compared to other organisations? What can we offer better than others?
The greatest advantage a bank can offer is a wide range of competencies, roles, and business areas. For each employee there are great career opportunities to grow professionally as well as personally. Secondly, as we have merged organization, where technical experts are together with business, they can influence business decisions and design solutions together. This is not the case in all IT organisations.
Another advantage is that we have a wide range of technologies. I will not be wrong when I say that there are very few companies in the Baltic States where IT experts have broad technological stack, opportunity to influence business decisions. And all this on the scale of the three big banks of the Baltic countries.
I would also like to point out that we have a very strong internal culture and team spirit, and we put a lot of emphasis on the working environment and cooperation. We see ourselves and, in a way, we would like to be perceived – Reliable & caring for business with CAN DO attitude.
Vaida GarbauskėScrum master, Finance & Risk department SEB Global Services centre in Vilnius
Education: Master's degree in International Project Management (in progress); Bachelor's degree in English
Personal interests: traveling, hiking, cooking, playing chess, reading
What was your career like before entering tech?
I’ve shifted my career in different ways a few times, but I always knew that I am very interested in people’s growth. I studied English philology for my bachelor's degree and during my studies I worked as a translator. I was also coordinating educational projects between culture field professionals and students. After graduating, I tried myself in Human Resources. I had a feeling that HR would be close to my heart and to my soft skills. I started with HR Operations, then tried Talent Acquisition. Later I moved to project management. My education and career path show I was really trying to experiment and find out what’s best for me. I think it’s important to explore, to try different things and not be afraid to change.
What made you think about a career in tech?
When I was working in talent acquisition, I was very fond of hiring for tech roles. It was and still is a huge challenge to find employees for tech positions. I needed to proactively look for tech talents. Somehow, I realized that IT really interests me. Mostly it was because I saw how tech people are constantly learning, they are very dynamic. I think if you want to succeed in IT, you need to have this learning mindset, keep up with the trends and newest technologies.
And when I heard about Women Go Tech program and applied for it. I was happy to find out that I can choose not only tech roles but also project and product management. I decided to go with project management as it was very close to my job at that time.
How did you find SEB?
It was really good timing. When I was almost at the end of the Women Go Tech program, I saw SEB’s job ad for a scrum master. The job description seemed to be relatable to what I wanted to do and what I’d learned. I went through the interviews, got to know my manager and everything worked out.
Tell us more about your responsibilities at SEB.
Doing everything together with the team – it’s everything scrum-mastery is about. Here at SEB, I have three teams of 4 to 6 people. In short – I am working on helping the teams to grow and be as autonomous as possible. I establish and maintain agile way of working, instruct on Scrum practices, identify and solve impediments, shed the light on more challenging situations within the team. It’s a lot of listening, planning, coaching, ensuring the smooth work process, feeling the pulse of the team. I closely work with a team manager, I help coordinate some projects, organize trainings.
I think the most important thing for a scrum master is not to interfere with how developers work. I don’t want to force doing anything unless the team sees value in it. Scrum masters’ work is work with people, so you need to patient and understand that changes never happen overnight.
What are the things that you like the most at SEB?
I think my curiosity is flourishing here. Learning is one of the highlights of working at SEB. I already got so many opportunities to learn. I’ve already completed my SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) certification, I had a lot of training and opportunities to grow as a specialist. Another thing are the initiatives of the people. There are so many events, meetups, different groups, which you can join and share your experience, learn new things.
What are your superpowers?
I think I am a time traveler because I really like to reflect. And during retrospectives we do that in our teams too. I always reflect, ask myself: “Am I fine with what I am doing right now? Should I learn something? Am I doing what I really want to do?”. And if I am not happy with something, I can openly talk with my manager and try to maneuver my role into the future.
What are your dreams for the future?
For now I want to continue working as a scrum master and become better at this role. Later maybe grow into either an agile coach or a manager. I want to broaden my knowledge, so currently I am studying for my master's degree in International Project Management, also I am enhancing coaching skills. The highest purpose is being fulfilled in my role and what the future will bring – you never know!
What are your hobbies?
Traveling – I am very much interested in seeing new places and faces. I relax and recharge when I am in a new environment. I would really like to travel to Asia and would love to come back to Iceland. Besides traveling I also like hiking, being around mountains, cooking, and reading. I like to try different things, like aerial yoga and crocheting. Now I am trying to level up my skills in chess.
Simonas JuodisSenior Software Developer, Savings and Investments
Education: Bachelor's degree in Software Engineering, Vilnius University
How long have you been working at SEB?
SEB bank is my first employer, where I have been working since 2018, after graduating from Vilnius University. I have started my career as junior software developer, and now, for approximately a year and a half, I have been working as senior software developer.
Why have you chosen IT for your career?
I have been interested in computers, computer design, and technology since I can remember myself. I was interested in and good at mathematics. So, when choosing a career path, it was clear to me I wanted to become a software developer.
What does it mean to be a software developer in a large bank in terms of day-to-day work?
The main thing one needs to understand is that being a software developer is not simply programming (although it is a very important component). There are several other activities: starting from analysing the needs, moving on to planning exactly what and how should be done. Only then comes the programming, together with testing, fixing, and finally, maintaining and supporting the systems. So, the job is rather complex.
In addition to programming knowledge and skills, what other qualities does a person need to be a good software developer?
One must have the problem-solving skills – every day we face problems we need to solve. Analytical skills are also important to not blindly follow the set instructions, but to understand and come up with what and how needs to be done by oneself. Another thing is the ability to recognise and keep track of many small details related to the problem. Of course, communication is very important because one needs to constantly communicate with the colleagues and other teams, therefore, openness helps to come to good solutions more easily. Many minds working together will always be more effective than one working in silence.
What product or upgrade are you working on now?
My team works mainly with financial institutions. We are currently working on the implementing some new functions in securities area which will make processes more effective and reduce manual work. It is difficult to describe this product in a few words, but I can say that the financial institutions use it daily.
In your job, how much space is there for creativity and innovation, and how much of it are the processes that simply need to be executed correctly?
The accurately described, the already-known part of the processes makes up the smallest share of the job. Most of the time, my colleagues and I are figuring out what to do and how to proceed with that unique case. Of course, we must fulfil business requirements, but the execution is in our hands. So, one can say that it is basically a creative work with a lot of improvising, because we make the decisions on how the product or solution is going to function. This is the responsibility of software developers.
What do you like most about your job?
The first two things that come to mind are freedom and collaboration. It is not like I have a list of requirements or tasks that I need to execute during the day or the week. Together with the colleagues, we often discuss what to do and how. I can give advice to my colleagues, as well as receive that from them. Knowing that I can be useful and create something new gives me great satisfaction.
What advice would you give to young people who are thinking of working in IT?
Be open to new information, knowledge, and experiences. It is important to be curious, especially in the beginning of your career. Ask questions and do not be afraid to receive them, all of them will come in handy. After all, once you have completed your education, it is necessary to acquire skills that no university can teach – go work and be among the colleagues who will teach you all the practicalities and be your best mentors.
Why should young adults apply for a job at SEB?
I can only answer from my own experience. I applied because SEB is a large and stable organisation with good reputation. For me, sense of stability that a large company can offer is important. Another reason was the wide range of technologies the bank uses. This allows me to improve myself and expand my knowledge as part of my work.
Would you recommend SEB?
Yes, based on my experience I would. The bank has a wonderful team that can help right at the beginning of the working here. Senior colleagues become mentors for the younger ones, which is important. And there are a lot of experienced colleagues here who are willing to share their knowledge and train new colleagues.
How do you see your own future career opportunities in the bank?
The opportunities for growth are good, both in the field of IT, and elsewhere – horizontal career is also there. If I wanted to change my area of expertise, I would have the opportunity to join another team and acquire new skills.
What are your hobbies?
In my spare time, I enjoy DIY electronics. I build light decorations that can be controlled via smartphone or custom keyboards.
Irmina ŠvambarėProject Manager, Baltic Portfolio and Project Management team
Education: Graduated from Birkbeck, University of London with a bachelor’s degree in Management
How did you start working at SEB bank?
My formal educational background is financial management. However, through my international experience, I have obtained knowledge in event management, property management, as well as project and service management. I was so delighted when I received an offer from SEB to join the team where I was sure I will be able to apply all these skills. I have been working here as a project manager since August 2021.
What do you do as a project manager?
Baltic Portfolio and Project Management team is a part of Baltic Product Development and Technology organization within the bank. We are a relatively small team - 12 people from all Baltic countries. The main role of this team is to facilitate, track and ensure the progress of large banking projects, as well as to ensure efficient delivery of the portfolio. Each of us works on four or five big projects at the same time.
Does it basically mean project coordination?
That would be a rather narrow and simplistic view. In the context of project management, I would rather emphasise the word “facilitate”. Figuratively speaking, I would say that it is our job to transform chaos into structure and order. Sometimes there is a bright idea or a plan for introducing something new, but in the initial stages, nobody really knows who is going to implement it and how. How will it happen? Here our task is to think about the initial idea in terms of project progress and to create and establish project working group with involving respective stakeholders. A very important part is stakeholder management, i.e., identifying and involving these stakeholders in the necessary decisions and working with them during the project. For example, we are currently working on a sustainability reporting project, which is particularly complicated and extensive initiative as it involves many different levels and functions. Sustainability goals affect all of us - from bank’s strategy to product development and customers. Sustainability is one of the main priorities in the bank, so we are having large working group and many stakeholders representing many areas within the organization. This is a relatively new thing requiring innovative ideas and actions to implement.
Sustainability reporting is gradually becoming the standard in all business sectors. As a matter of fact, you are setting a standard of sorts for others to learn from.
This is because banks are already obliged to report on their advancements in the field of sustainability. Soon, large companies will also have to prepare such sustainability reports. It is an inspiring project due to its scale, impact, and importance. I hope that I am helping our team to have a more simplistic, structured view and action plan towards this complex and multifaceted initiative. This is a special project for me because sustainability is a topic that I have been interested in for a long time.
What qualities must a person have to become a good project manager in such a large organization as SEB bank?
In short, you must have common sense and the ability to work with the unknown. In our work, especially in the early stages of projects, there are many questions that need to be understood and properly structured. This requires critical thinking and a broad perspective. Also, an open mindset and the ability to look at each question from different angles. A complete picture always emerges from many different angles, opinions, and perspectives. The third point I would like to emphasise on is the ability to transform and adjust because we work in a very agile environment here at SEB, where adaptation is an important characteristic. It is comparable to working in a start-up, where there are many unknowns, many new things, only in this case - within a large organization that provides stability.
You mentioned the agile environment, which is an important element of the bank's internal culture. How does this manifest in life?
In the agile approach, smaller steps are taken and what has been achieved is constantly tested and tailored, considering changes identified during implementation. Meaning, we can be flexible and versatile towards our deliveries.
What do you like most about this job?
First, the very knowledgeable, smart and motivated people around me. Experts in their field who are self-confident. The second point is the working environment - not only in my team but in the bank. The culture of the company is that people here are open and helpful. That encourages and makes the daily work much more pleasant.
Can you name three reasons why it would be worth applying for a job at SEB bank?
This is an organization that is working towards building more sustainable economy. Therefore, it makes a great contribution to society by facilitating the transition from the historical business model to the modern one. I know that this is an important aspect for many people because people want to be a part of something valuable. It is also worth applying because there is a diverse environment here where everyone can develop their potential and find opportunities to grow. Ideas and initiatives are heard here and that leads to the third reason - people are greatly valued at SEB and you can feel that in the daily work and interactions. Therefore, I would advise those who are thinking about applying to SEB bank to give it a try. Maybe you will manage to unleash your true potential here that you have not even thought of before. Bank is a large organization where a career can develop in many different directions. It is worth a try!
Danielius Barkovskissolution architect
It seems that your passion for IT started very early. How did it happen?
It all started with my first computer which I received quite early. My parents had downloaded some games to my device, but as I played them, I realised that I was more interested in how those games worked “behind the curtain” rather than the actual gameplay. “Counter-Strike”, “GTA” were one of my first games. I was around 13 years old when I created the first “GTA” server.
How did you learn to do that?
Basically, I taught myself by self-study. I found information on the internet and figured the next myself. At that time, I experimented intensively and learned a lot along the way. That has laid a very solid foundation for later. I have to add that I was already working as a freelance developer before I started my studies. I was developing game servers. While I was still studying, in my second year, I already took part in SEB internship programme.
Did your studies offer you anything new in this field? It seems that you had already studied and mastered a lot of things by yourself.
Yes, I knew many practical things that I had researched and tried out. However, I often lacked an understanding of why they worked in that specific way. Studies has given me this theoretical understanding, the scientific perspective and knowledge of the IT field.
How did your career at SEB start and develop?
I started my career in the bank six years ago as a software development intern. Later I was hired as a junior software developer, soon I became a software developer and solution architect later. The career has developed step by step. My field of work at the bank was and still is the development of mobile applications.
At the moment you are one of the bank’s technical leads. What are your main responsibilities?
In general, my responsibilities are to create architectural solutions for business needs and to support team while following and implementing it during the entire cycle of development.
Does the position of solution architect mean that you do not directly participate in software development processes, only monitor them?
It depends on the project, but I am always more than happy to get involved in the programming if needed.
What appeals most to you in this work and specifically when working at SEB Bank?
After six years at the bank, I can say that there is no such thing as routine here. Every new project is like a new job because all projects are different in every way. So even though I have worked for one employer the whole time, I feel like I have changed jobs several times. It is never boring here, that's for sure!
Would you recommend SEB as an employer?
Because of the size and scope of the bank, everyone has the opportunity here to find something that suits their interests and abilities. And even if a person finds that the work does not really suit them, it is always possible to find something new and try it out. In that sense, this is a really great place to start and continue a career.
What qualities does a software developer need to make a successful career in this field?
The most important thing is to keep curiosity and passion. It is also important that a person should take the initiative to do something, to change and to improve. You cannot sit back and wait for someone to tell you what to do and how to do it. For you to improve, you have to take the initiative yourself - come up with ideas, questions and suggestions. As for myself, what motivates me most is the fact that this field is constantly evolving, and I can always learn something new.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Developing, actually (laughs). As strange as it may sound. My professional career began as a hobby, and it still is.
Do you still play games?
Yes. My favourite game is “Counter-Strike”, which started my passion for computers in childhood. Over the years, the game has evolved and changed a lot.
Ingrida Savaikaitėbusiness developer, Financing products unit
Education: IT, Vilnius Tech (2 years studies); Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (Bachelor's degree in Economics)
What does a business developer do?
In this position employee’s area of responsibility and the resulting work can be quite broad. It depends on the individual. For example, I am mainly working on tasks related with mortgage loans in Lithuania. In my daily work, this means, implementing regulatory requirements, supporting and consulting other colleagues in the organization, launching new projects, interacting with stakeholders, testing developed solutions and fulfilling other prioritized task. Through collaboration within the team and with other teams, it is clear what everyone's priorities are and what needs to be achieved. I have worked in product development for five years and I can say that there were no two workdays that would look the same.
So, one can also be creative and innovative enough in this job?
Yes, if that is what a person wants. We are always encouraged to do so. Some of my business development colleagues are more focused on data analytics, systems issues, automated decisions analysis. I am more focused on communication and working with people. I started my career as an assistant of a teller Before joining product development I was a private financial advisor, so communicating with customers and searching for a solution to fulfil their needs has always been a part of my job. The most important thing for me is to find new ways to initiate effective and efficient discussion to identify problems and possible solutions that help customers and organization. That is my drive.
Can you describe a day at your work?
First of all, working hours at product development are flexible - they can be tailored to your needs. The most important thing is that the work is done on time and to a high standard. My day usually starts by going through letters to identify any questions or problems from other teams related with customers. These questions or problems are a priority to me, so I start there. This is followed by a meeting with our team to discuss the work done yesterday and planned for today. Agile working environment means the team is self-managing – it is friendly and collaborative, and you know you will receive help whenever you need it. After that, we look for other solutions to previously identified problems and work on prioritized tasks. My working time consists mainly of meetings where together we look for best ways to tackle different problems, testing and preparing needed changes in processes or systems. Though another one of my colleagues would have a very different day if he or she had chosen to work on more independent tasks.
What does an agile working environment really mean?
Work used to be more individual in the past. Of course, many issues were dealt together, but now there is much more teamwork. The biggest advantage of the agile approach is that you are never alone with your problems – there are always colleagues by your side to support you. In a traditional work structure, there is often a “tug of war” situation as everyone wants their task to be done faster. Here, the agile way of working gives a much clearer prioritisation of work, and the whole work process becomes more structured.
How do you keep track of changes in society and people's daily habits?
It is a challenge. And you constantly have to challenge yourself because customers change. They have new demands, new ways of understanding things, and we have to not only keep up, but also be one step ahead. For example, there is now a desire to do everything digitally - just logging into an app without ever meeting a bank employee and receiving a loan as fast as possible in a simple way.
How did your career in banking start?
An acquaintance of mine described the working environment at SEB bank so vividly that I felt instantly - I want to belong to this team. I realised how many opportunities there are here from a day one - both for career and for knowledge. I knew that I could achieve anything I want here if I will work hard and try to learn as much as possible. I have worked in eight different positions at SEB bank. I know there are more development and growth opportunities ahead of me, I just need to choose the direction that interests me the most.
What do you like most about SEB?
It’s open working environment where you feel that anything is possible if you want it. This great variety of opportunities is probably the main reason why I would recommend those who work elsewhere to start their career at SEB bank. Just try something new. It is better to try once than to think about it hundred times and never do anything.
What did you study?
My first choice for a bachelor's degree was IT. Yet I wanted to expand my knowledge in finance, so I switched to this side and now I have a bachelor's degree in economics. This symbiosis of technology and finance in my life continues to this day: almost every year I take additional online courses or programmes in this field.
Find your new job at SEB Bank
Gintaras NamavičiusCore and Application Team Lead
Education: Bachelor’s degree, E-business Technology, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.
How did you start your career in IT?
As a teenager, I was already interested in the world of computers. When first computers appeared in our house, I was excited about new possibilities this technology could offer. Like many others, I was first fascinated by computer games. Later, I began to explore possibilities of other programmes. After high school, I studied e-business technology at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. During my time there, I was exposed to variety of IT-related disciplines, including programming. I was mostly interested in technological possibilities, engineering, and security. After graduation, I had the opportunity to join another organization as an IT engineer. We prepared and managed workstations for office workers from a technology delivery perspective. It was a brand-new world at that time – you had to learn a lot on your own.
Describe the team you lead. What does it do?
I manage three teams – one is responsible for the operation of bank’s standard applications, another for its databases and the third one for applications that require special attention and access. These are three main areas in which we provide IT services. The focus here is not on the development of new solutions – development side is the focus of our colleagues in other teams. We rather focus on looking after IT aspect of the project. In this regard, it should be noted that we work closely with development team so that, for example, newly developed applications would be able to run stable in bank's common IT environment.
There have been many different companies in your professional career since 2008. What differentiates SEB from the others?
When I started to work at SEB (a year and a half ago), first thing I noticed was an extremely supportive working environment – it is really encouraging. Here you will always get support if you are struggling. In previous organizations, there have been situations where difficult issues have been put off for a long time since no one wanted to deal with them. At SEB bank, a solution is sought immediately and without delay. Whenever there is a problem, my colleagues and I sit down at the table and discuss how we can solve it. If we had to compare, the special culture of SEB is a pleasant difference.
If you had to recommend SEB bank to someone else, what would be the main advantages you would mention?
I would definitely recommend SEB bank. If specialists are young, they would appreciate working in a stable and growing company with the encouraging work environment I have mentioned earlier. Therefore, many interns who come to SEB eventually land a permanent position here. I believe that IT area specialists value a positively challenging work environment that encourages people. The achievement of high goals gives a different meaning and feeling to daily work, because people love challenges. And as a result, people develop professionally and grow as individuals.
What do you like most about this job?
I value my great colleagues and the direction this organization is heading towards. Here we have to mention the agile way of working that we all strive for. IT services follow the same direction, so the whole bank is on the same page and our work is even more efficient. As we are all closely connected in the bank (not only in the IT area, but in the context of the whole organisation), this direction of development makes sense.
What qualities are important for a person to be able to develop in such a large organization as SEB bank?
Self-motivation and desire to learn new skills are essential. After all, if you do not show initiative, there is a certain risk of "going under" in a large organization. It is certainly appreciated if you are interested in growing and developing. Success is possible when there is initiative and interest.
What are your hobbies and leisure activities?
Going to the gym is one of them. For me, it's like regular therapy after a long and stressful day at work, where I can relieve stress and tension. Padel tennis (a sport similar to squash) has become a new passion for me.
Kornelijus PacevičiusSoftware Developer
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Computer Software Engineering, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
When and how did your career in IT start?
My career in IT started when I joined Gediminas Technical University in Vilnius. I was looking for a job from the very beginning. There was a publishing house at the university that hired me as an electronics’ publishing specialist. Since I had studied software development, I wanted to try more in this field. Also, it was an opportunity to work at my university for a while. In autumn of 2021, together with friends, we took part in the “Hack4Vilnius” hackathon, organised by Vilnius City Council. It was a great opportunity to share experiences, make new contacts and exchange ideas. Given the relevance of sustainability, our idea and proposal for the hackathon was to develop an app that “rewards” users for making sustainable decisions. For example, if you use your own cup in a café or buy food without using the packaging, points are collected in the app. You can then use these points to choose one of the offers from the programme’s partners. The jury at the hackathon highly liked our idea and we were awarded first place. I later used this idea as the basis for my bachelor’s thesis.
What made you decide to study technology specifically?
During my senior year in high school, I decided to pursue a career in technology. I was never really fascinated by other professions. I also realised that engineering was a broad field in which I could specialise or focus on a particular area of interest in the future. This is how it happened - I gradually became interested in software development when I realised that this was something that excited me and that I would like to work with it in the future. Today I can say that this was the right approach and the right decision.
And how did you end up at SEB bank?
At the end of my studies, I applied for an internship programme offered by SEB bank. I applied to several places, but I was particularly excited about SEB’s offer because of many reasons. Firstly, it was a paid internship. It also offered exactly what I was most interested in professionally. To be honest, I knew nothing about banking, so there were a lot of interesting things I have learned and experienced during my internship here. In March of 2022, I started working as a full-time employer for SEB bank.
What can you say about SEB after your first year here?
There is a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere here at SEB. Moreover, work processes are flexible. Everyone knows what needs to be done and when - I have heard this from friends who have had internships in other countries as well. Another important value at SEB is people and the level of mentorship. People here are really dedicated and approachable, so it’s easy for new employees to integrate at SEB.
What area are you responsible for as a software developer?
The bank has a large product development area where there are several teams or tribes as we call them. As far as the structure of the teams is concerned, there are business developers who take care of the business side, and IT developers who bring new technological solutions to life and ensure their functionality. I would like to emphasize that the two sides work as a strong team and complement each other. Each team is responsible for a specific area. In my case, it is the area of financing and loans. My team’s responsibility is technical solutions of this area for corporate customers. For example, we are currently working on a system to calculate the amount of capital to be allocated to a customer, considering the financial information submitted and other data about that customer. In fact, it is about assessing customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What would you like to achieve in this job?
Since I have only been here for about a year, I am mainly interested in consolidating my knowledge and experience in software development. I want to understand how bank’s products are designed so that I can contribute my ideas to improve them. Fortunately, SEB bank offers a variety of online courses as well as conferences that provide both additional knowledge and a comprehensive insight into the latest global developments in the field. Furthermore, the bank has a solid library if you want to study a topic in more depth.
What do you like most about this job?
I like the fact that we are, in a sense, offering people the very latest (you could even say the future) solutions and opportunities with our banking products. Apart from that, I appreciate the opportunity to make the work of colleagues in the bank easier and more efficient through automation and digitalisation. It is very inspiring to hear that our solutions work.
What hobbies do you have?
Watching films and TV series. Sometimes playing computer games as well. I used to play the guitar. Last but not least, I am passionate about basketball, like most Lithuanians.
Ernestas BartkevičiusHead of Identity and Access Management
Education: Master’s degree, Marketing (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University); Bachelor’s degree, Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management (Czech Technical University in Prague); Bachelor’s degree, Business Administration and Management (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University).
You have an impressive job title - Head of Identity and Access Management. What does that really mean?
This means that I am responsible for the identity and access management function at a strategic level. In the bank, there are operational, development and support teams that deal with the implementation of this function. My area, on the other hand, is the vision, the goals and the strategy of what we want to achieve. I work hand in hand with a technology department. When we talk about identity and access management, we mean a framework of business processes, policies and technologies that facilitate the management of digital identities. It enables controls to allow right individual to access right resource at the right time. This applies to customers and employees alike. It should be noted that this is an area of increasing importance whose potential and possibilities are not yet fully exploited by companies in various industries and geographies. Yet recently identity and access management has become an area of a particular demand.
To what extent is this work related to the field of IT and technology and how much to business development?
There are these two sides of the medal. If we approach the question formally, it is one of the positions in IT and technology, but in reality, at least half of regular routines are related to governing with the business side. We can say I am an enabler – I provide the platform, the processes and controls, but it is critical that there are business people who own and make the final decisions in relation to their digital assets. They need to be aware and informed about both their duties, responsibilities and how to perform those if questions arise. Therefore, these two areas are practically inseparable today.
What is your current project?
Currently, I am assessing maturity level of identity and access management in the bank and benchmarking it to financial industry best practices. Understanding where we are and where we would like to be in terms of our maturity. There have been several workshops where we have defined the purpose of identity and access management in our bank, painted vision and created strategy for 2025. Thus, now most of my work is focused on a strategy management and execution.
What is bank’s identity and access management purpose?
SEB Baltic Identity and Access Management purpose is to enable strategic value co-creation by providing foundational layer security, mitigating risks and ensuring that legislative requirements are fulfilled.
What employee qualities are most in-demand right now?
Speaking of values and skills I most value in people (apart from technical expertise in one or another field), these are communication skills, the ability to express one’s own opinion and have a productive discussion, sense of ownership. If we are talking about recruitment in IT and technology, I think that it is also a common trend or rather differentiation of good and perfect candidate for the position. Real life example of this might be our payment card tribe – people with technology background and skills work together with business developers, customer advocates and experience designers to develop the card business. It is essential to be clear communicator to strive in such environment. That’s why we are looking for so many different people who are not only talented programmers but are also willing and able to think in a structured and bigger-picture way.
Your professional experience has been formed in many different companies. What are the main differences between SEB bank and those companies?
What I have experienced before is that there is still a very distinct separation between the business function and the IT function. The business side, with such a division of roles, simply needs IT to be the support organization. This is a bit of an outdated approach because in mature organizations, the business and IT have merged into one body that can achieve next level results. SEB bank is an organization where everyone has a single mission and agenda. There is no “us” and “them”. Just “we”. This can be observed at all levels and in all manifestations of the bank’s activities in our daily lives. This approach is much more efficient and meaningful because it avoids unnecessary discussions and other superfluous actions.
Your professional career has always been related to the area of IT, but you have received your education in other fields. Why is that?
Being young and silly. But on a serious note, my story is an example which proves that technical skills can be learned, yet so-called soft skills are crucial for a professional career. I have made a conscious effort to learn as many different trades as possible, but I chose IT and engineering as my career foundation as I believe this is the area with the greatest potential. Universities have been a valuable addition to broadening my perspectives and gaining a deeper understanding of many things, but in my previous jobs, I never worked in areas related to my chosen subjects of study.
What would you say are the main reasons for young adults to apply for a job at SEB?
First, you can learn about the leading mindset that impacts the future. Everything we do is a story about creating value towards sustainable future. Also, what the bank does comes from our values and behaviours related to values. I know this is an important factor for young people who want to relate themselves to what is important, understand why they do what they do. Secondly, it is about the use of technology in our daily work, in our services, and in our cooperation with customers. And closely related to this is a constant process of learning, which the bank is particularly open to. In my opinion, this is a great value at the beginning of a young person’s career, where you are free to expand your horizons. Thirdly, as long as you deliver results, the bank is flexible and open to hybrid ways of working, which leads to healthy work and personal life balance.
What do you like most about this job?
Challenges. I tend to know what to do and how. Now I see how much work there is in this field and that motivates me. When I have the feeling that I am no longer required at my full capacity, I start to grow a need for challenges and look for something new. My previous job, where I worked for five years, was a very demanding, but when I realised that the pace there was slowing down as we reached respectable level of effectiveness and efficiency, in my mind I was already thinking about the next step. The second thing that really appeals to me about SEB bank is the working environment and the atmosphere. It is very inspiring and positive. Furthermore, this is an organization that provides a sense of stability, which is particularly important in current times. It should also be mentioned that working in a bank in a broader context means having a tangible and lasting impact on society, e.g., changing the perception of the role of sustainability in business, developing green financing as a mainstream direction in corporate finance, educating people on financial literacy, providing support where it is needed and in many other ways.
Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, it is mostly all about football. I play both at the amateur level and cheer for professional clubs and national teams. My favourite club is Liverpool. I have to say football is what connects me with many friends living in different countries around the world. Enthusiasm for the game, teams and individual athletes – that is what makes us come together every year and enjoy that special bond.
Laima RemeikaitėSoftware Tester
Education: Software tester trainings, Vilnius Coding School.
Administrator qualification, Business and Public Administration study programme, University of Applied Sciences.
Did you have any connection with technology in the past, or did it start in 2018 with Vilnius Coding School?
I was always interested in technology. In my first job at IT company “CGI” I worked as an office administrator and was also involved in HR. So every workday I was among IT specialists. After seven years of work, I decided that I need a change and started working for the Central Project Management Agency in Lithuania, which manages European Union and other countries investment projects. I spent almost 12 years there and was mainly responsible for a quality control. As I had always been interested in IT, at some point I realised that I wanted to combine my career with the world of technology. Therefore, I entered Vilnius Coding School and successfully passed software tester trainings. I tried my skills at coding programme at first, but quickly realised that this would not be my calling.
Sometimes people feel they are stuck in their career yet cannot bring themselves to change it because they feel their time has run out. You have successfully made this change. What advice would you give to others who are thinking about it?
The age is not an obstacle to a career change. What matters is a desire for a change and that you are psychologically ready to make it. It depends on a person. If you are willing to change and believe in yourself, then the change will happen. Yet if you are more inclined to look for reasons of why this change is not possible, it is unlikely to happen. For me, it was clear that I wanted to change my life, learn new things and try them out. It turned out that the programming was not for me because I am not that strong in maths. Conversely, testing was the right path for me. Therefore, at the age of 42, I started a new professional life and SEB became my workplace. I hope my experience inspires those who are considering a change.
What characteristics are crucial for a person in order to change career and be successful in, for example, technology?
You must be brave and proactive. You need to take the initiative, ask questions and look for ways to improve. You must not give up on the first hurdle and must concentrate on getting to know the new field in which you will be working in. Money should not be the main motivator here. The main motivator should be the interest in the field and the desire to change one's life, to learn and experience something new.
However, remuneration is also an important factor. When you changed jobs, could you have earned more?
At first, I earned about the same. But even if I earned less here, I would still have made the change. I was convinced that it had to be done. It was time.
How did your career in banking start?
I started as an IS analyst working mainly on CRM system testing. I have to say that I was very lucky with my team - my colleagues welcomed me warmly, helped me fit in and trained me in everything I needed (and still need). The job of a tester is to check that systems work as expected and are error-free. It is a very careful and meticulous job with paying attention to every detail. After two years of work, I was offered to join the recently established Quality Assurance Competence Centre team where we gather feedback from testing area and best practices in the field to implement improvements in the testing process.
What do you like most about being an employee at SEB bank?
Firstly, the people who work here are very smart, open and helpful. Secondly, the workplace and the working environment are very encouraging to learn and try new things. This means that if an employee feels stuck, there is every opportunity to join another team and learn a new area of work. In addition, bank offers the opportunity to express oneself and learn new skills alongside direct professional work, which helps people develop into well-rounded personalities. I also appreciate flexible ways of working that allow both remote and office work. I would definitely recommend SEB as a place to work for people who want to change careers, as it is an employer where you can do so in a very open and empathetic environment.
What would you like to achieve while working for a bank?
I want to make the most of my current position. We have certain results to achieve, and it is fascinating to see how we work together to achieve them.
Simonas DakanisCollaboration & Communication Team Lead
Education: Bachelor's degree, Information Systems, Vilnius University of Applied Sciences
How did your journey in the IT world start?
My professional career began more than 15 years ago while I was still studying. However, the interest in this field came much earlier when I got my first computer – a pre-Pentium era PC. At the time, to have such a computer was something “extra”. I became so fascinated by it that soon I was able to assist those who had computer difficulties. That was the beginning.
Do you remember the first computer game that was relevant at that time?
Yes. It was one of the first versions of “Commander Keen”, and later “Wolfenstein 3D”. My family had friends in the US, so we had the opportunity to get hold of the “blockbusters” of the time in the gaming world.
And how did your professional career begin?
I started to work in a company owned by my friends that provided IT support to various companies in Lithuania. It was a job in both hardware and software fields since in the early days of the computer era there was no such strict separation. There were several clients I helped to manage the complexity of their computers and other office equipment. Later, a well-known company “Microsoft” asked my employer to provide on-site support for them. After a while I decided to work at Microsoft as part of the team instead of outsourcing it. My career path in “Microsoft” lasted for more than 10 years. During that period, the company went through many changes, was interesting, and offered several opportunities for professional advancement.
In 2019 you came to SEB bank. How did it happen?
One of my colleagues started to work here. At that time, SEB was building a new office building where meeting rooms with the necessary infrastructure had to be planned. I had to understand what the technological architecture should look like, how these meeting rooms would function in the future, what would be needed there from a technological point of view. I was invited to take this role because my colleagues remembered my setup of meeting rooms in the “Microsoft Lithuania” office.
You currently lead Collaboration and Communication team at the bank. What does this job consists of?
My team ensures daily cooperation and communication between bank's staff in all Baltic countries. We are communicating about secure and simple communication tools that are used intensively by a very large number of people. “Microsoft Teams” platform and e-mails are the backbone when it comes to communication tools at SEB. Since it is a part of “M365” platform, we have bunch of other tools to offer for employees. Currently, some of these services are being migrated to the Cloud, which opens new possibilities for our staff. For example, a more efficient scheduling function and others. I must say that the past few years have been particularly intense for my team – remote working model, which used to be an exception, is now a customary practice. This has meant that we have had to learn and redesign many things from scratch so that the technical infrastructure would be adapted to the new conditions. I think we have managed to do it quite well at SEB bank.
What are the main advantages that characterise SEB bank as an employer?
Here we have relatively much freedom in what and how we make something happen. The goals and objectives are clearly defined and we agree on strategic things together, but the way of how to get there is in our own hands. For me, this feeling of freedom and trust is a great advantage in the organization. It allows people's potential to unfold – they become more creative and more confident. In other organizations that I have worked at, this particular feeling of freedom was perhaps not so much pronounced. At the same time, you must remember that we work in a bank where there are particularly high requirements in the area of security, as well as requirements from the regulators. It is a certain challenge to balance these requirements with the freedom in the daily working environment and the mood. I think if you look at things in a logical and rational way, it is doable. For me, SEB is a great proof of this.
Would you recommend SEB bank as a workplace for young adults?
Definitely. SEB offers many different programmes for training. The knowledge you gain here can be applied both at SEB and in any other organization in the future.
Do you see career opportunities in the bank for yourself too?
I see my possible future options here, yet now it is too early to think about concrete steps. My career in the bank has been quite successful so far - I started with building infrastructure for meeting rooms and now I have a team lead position. The future holds the possibility of career growth for me. All I need to do is to choose what I want to do and how I would like to do it.
What still motivates you after 15 years of work in the field of IT?
I am a bit of a nerd in IT and technologies (laughs). I am always amazed and delighted by new possibilities that technology offers us. I do not get bored with it. I work in a field where there are news every month, thus I must be able to keep up with everything and understand how we should benefit from it all. I think I am most motivated by these incessant novelties.
What are your hobbies or pastimes?
One of my hobbies that takes a lot of time is having a dog (laughs). I am a member of the Lithuanian Rifleman’s Union, which means I train regularly and take part in various events. We learn how to defend our country and people. I also like music very much. “Gorillaz” is one of my favourite bands since in their music I notice the same thing that drives me in the field of technology – a constant improvement.