Meet Neus: Moving from Malta to Sweden

“Change is the essence of life; be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.” This Reinhold Niebuhr quote is one of Neus’ favorites, and judging by her time working with Trustly, she certainly embodies it.

Having worked at both the Barcelona and Sliema offices and bounced around from the Sales to Support to Finance teams, Neus is now heading to Stockholm to work at Trustly’s headquarters. She’s seen Trustly from more perspectives than most other employees have and we caught up with her to learn about her various experiences at the company.

Hi Neus, nice to meet you! Can you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before joining Trustly?
I come from a small village in the south of Catalonia called Xerta, just between Barcelona and Valencia. When I turned 18, I moved to Barcelona to study International Business Economics at Pompeu Fabra University. At the end of summer 2014, I got an Erasmus+ scholarship, and can you guess where the adventure lead me? Sweden! I went to a Southern area called Småland for about 6 months. That was enough time to fall in love with Sweden and its culture.

After that, I began looking for an internship that would 1) focus on banking 2) live and breathe innovation 3) provide flexibility so I could keep studying while I worked. Trustly met all three, plus it was a Swedish company, so I jumped at the opportunity to work at the Barcelona office.

What do you do at Trustly? What do you like most about your role?
When I first joined Trustly in Barcelona, I was part of the Sales team. When I moved to Malta, I joined the Support team, and after 9 months, I joined the Finance team as an Accounting Assistant. Now I will be moving to Sweden, where I will still be in the Finance team, but working with Cash Management instead.

As an Accounting Assistant, I’ve been responsible for the identifying and recording financial information for our Malta office. That includes everything from monitoring supplier invoices, tracking employees’ expenses and making sure those follow our internal policies, to assisting with the monthly reconciliation of our accounts. I also assist the Payroll manager in onboarding new employees in Malta.

I can’t pick just one thing I like the most. I love working with numbers, doing data analysis and presenting the results. Since I was a child, I’ve always wondered how much things cost, from small things like a family dinner bill, to big things like building La Sagrada Família. The fact that I am in Accounting now helps me precisely with that!

In your time at Trustly, you’ve worked at 3 different offices — Barcelona, Malta and now Stockholm. What are the biggest similarities and differences between the offices?
I’d like to start with a similarity in the 3 offices: there are no siestas! Sorry, guys, but we don’t take naps after lunch in Barcelona, nor we know how to dance flamenco, unfortunately. We do like eating Paella and building human castles, though.

Jokes aside, the biggest similarity is in the way the organization is structured. When I first started in Barcelona, there was a noticeable hierarchy, which is typical in Spain. Managers usually sit in their own offices, for example. But that was the completely opposite when I relocated to Malta. There, to my surprise, everyone sat and worked together.

Over time, I’ve noticed how the Stockholm office’s Swedish culture has penetrated the rest of the offices, and now we have a very flat hierarchy across Europe. This promotes better communication and transparency overall. For example, we have a monthly lunch where all 5 offices call in to hear updates from the CEO. It’s really easy to approach anyone at the company, no matter his or her title, which I think is very unique.

A big difference is the schedule and the lunch breaks. In Barcelona, we all came in around 9:00, had an hour lunch break at 2:00 and finished around 6:00. We used to all eat lunch together in the common area. In Malta, which is a much larger office, people come into work at different times and each employee takes lunch whenever he or she wants. This took me a while to get used to.

I’d also like to send a message to our London and Cologne offices: Watch out! I might not have checked off these offices yet, but I may jump in when you least expect it!

What will you miss about Malta?
I will miss my friends and colleagues, of course. But I know we will keep crossing our paths, thanks to Trustly’s annual conference (held in Malta this year!) and other work trips. What else will I miss? The amazing sunsets at Café del Mar, or walking through the Silent City of Mdina (for Game of Thrones lovers, various scenes have been filmed here!). I will definitely miss the afternoons hanging with friends and a bottle of prosecco next to the beach. But, I’m looking forward to what’s next, everything I will learn and all the interesting new people I will meet!

What has drawn you to Stockholm?
What has really drawn me to Stockholm is the Swedish culture, the fika and the nature! I look forward to learning a lot about the Swedish systems, Swedish people and the language. Sweden is an advanced country; I care about nature and Sweden is very environmentally aware. It just feels right and safe.

Most people say I’m crazy for wanting to move from a warm, southern country to a dark, northern one. But when I first came to Sweden in August 2014, I had no problem adapting; I felt like I belonged here. People say it’ll be different because of the Erasmus, but I tell them, “if I don’t try it, I will never know!”

That’s a great attitude, Neus! Best of luck in your new adventure in Stockholm!

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