Ieva Repšienė: I like when things are not going according to the plan
- Title Head of Procurement and Payables department at SEB Global Services
- Education Master’s degree in Finance and Banking, Vytautas Magnus University
- Personal interests blues &rock, travelling and baking sourdough bread
During her career in SEB Ieva has tried many positions and discovered that her passion lies in working in a team, growing her leadership skills and experimenting to find new solutions to improve the services delivered by her department. “I am energetic person who likes to do more than is expected. That is probably one of the things that helped me earn a leadership position in my career, and I discovered that working with a team is my passion,” says Ieva.
Tell us about your career in SEB
I joined SEB in 2007 and since then I have worked in a lot of positions, but I started as a teller in Kaunas branch. After a while I became an assistant to private banker and I also worked directly with VIP clients. Then in 2008-2009 the global financial crisis hit, and many customers started having trouble to keep up with their loan payments. I started to work with loan restructuring, which was emotionally hard, but I felt I could help people find ways or surviving their financial trouble. Then I went on a maternity leave and moved with my family to Vilnius. When I had to return to work, my previous manager helped me get an opportunity to join Global Services, and in 2012 I joined the Finance department as an accountant. The team was growing quickly, and after a while I was chosen to become a team manager. After my second maternity I returned as a manager of Travel and Entertainment team.
Then after a while I wanted to try something else, and SEB is an excellent place to try new things in your career. For a year I moved away from managing people and first worked as a functional owner in SEB Group Procurement which involved working with strategic matters, and later as a project manager in business development. I really enjoyed this period and I learned a lot, but I also realized that my heart is in working with people. The position of Procurement and Payables department head opened up, I applied and was chosen for this position, and now, 2 years later, I am still in love with this role.
What are your responsibilities?
My typical day is full of meetings with my colleagues, my management team, our stakeholders etc. We have almost 50 people in our department, any my main responsibility is to ensure delivery of accounts payable, travel and entertainment, procurement and sourcing processes in the best quality possible. Almost all 15 000 SEB employees are using our systems such as TEM or MyInvoices, so the user experience is very important for us. I am also responsible for the future of my department and planning what should we do to remain competitive and efficient.
What are the things that motivate you?
I like when something is not happening according to the plan. That’s when you have to turn on your imagination, investigate and find a new solution. Even though I have spent almost 15 years working in SEB, I am still learning every day. It motivates me and keeps things interesting. And, of course, the people. They are my success factor. I need to hear that my help and advice are needed.
In which areas would you like to develop yourself?
I still have a lot to learn in my current position. I know my weak spots, so I am working to improve them, for example, not to take things personally, distance myself from emotions while still keeping a personal touch. As a manager you have to be able to take a step back and see the bigger picture. Strategic thinking is another direction where I am working to improve.
Please share your hobbies with us. What are the things you like to do after work?
Spending time with my family is the most important thing for me. We love rock and blues, and we like to attend music festivals abroad – Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic etc. We like to travel with our kids, and last year we spent two weeks travelling around Lithuania, camping and sleeping in tents. Our family car is always loaded with camping equipment, and most weekends we are going somewhere. COVID pandemic has brought a new hobby – every week I am baking real sourdough bread for my family. I start each Monday, and Tuesday morning I have a fresh loaf of bread.