You may already know that at Klarna, everything we do is inspired by our eight leadership principles. One of these principles is to ‘hire and develop exceptional talent’, which means that we’re committed to finding, training and empowering extraordinary talent of all ages, experience levels and backgrounds – including students and recent grads!
That’s right, at Klarna we want young talent with new, fresh and bold views about the business and that’s why we have been welcoming working students and interns across our offices. Curious to know more about who they are and how they ended up at Klarna? Here’s a Q&A with Calum Mackay, a mechanical engineering student at Imperial College London and an intern at Klarna UK.
Hi Calum, tell us about you! What brought you here to Klarna?
I am originally from Edinburgh and after graduating from high-school and taking a year out to travel around New Zealand, which was an incredible experience, I moved to London to study Mechanical Engineering.
What brought me to Klarna is my great interest in the fintech space – which has developed throughout my time in London as I truly believe this is the city to be in for this type of startup. I believed that at Klarna there would be a lot of opportunities to provide added value in teams that are growing at a very fast pace. This would mean that I could really drive my personal development and quickly provide value to the team at Klarna.
Could you tell us a bit more about your role and day-to-day tasks?
I joined as an analyst in July supporting the team from a UK strategic viewpoint and I will be here for 10 weeks. My everyday work is about finding and presenting new analytical insights on economic trends, consumer behaviour and Klarna product performance from Klarna’s huge database for a variety of UK initiatives.
Can you describe working at Klarna in 3 words ?
Fast-paced, Adaptive and … Freedom.
At Klarna there are incredible opportunities to identify areas in the business where you can really add value and where you are free to propose new rules and new ways to solve problems in order to find solutions.
How did you get the internship with Klarna?
I was extremely interested in the business and wanted to get a better perspective on how Klarna operated so I reached out to Klarna employees on Linkedin. I’d really encourage anyone to be creative and do this as you never know who will respond.
I gave a brief introduction about myself – including some experiences I have had from other summer jobs from traditional credit underwriting in Lloyds of London to working night shifts packing boxes for Scotland’s largest oatcake factory 😅 I explained my interest in data analytics and shared my CV. They came back to me within an hour.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on so far and what do you hope to achieve in the following weeks?
Practicing new programming languages and using them to analyse data has been a great learning experience. I was able to quickly apply my existing Python skills to another language (SQL) to start solving problems and begin structuring new analysis using Klarna data. Thanks to this I have been able to start working on data analysis for consumer and corporate facing teams.
In the next few weeks I hope to identify my own project that can help the wider team understand what is performing well and what is not and possibly find opportunities to create an algorithm that would enable us to automatically extract relevant information from Klarna data. I want to be able to make an impact with my contribution and I know that at Klarna there’s the possibility to do so as I’ve been given the opportunity to work closely with senior management where my opinion is always sought after, listened to and valued – even if I have only been here for a matter of weeks.
Who is your role model?
My dad. He has always encouraged me to think differently and to try to pursue different opportunities. As an example, he was a big advocate when I told him about my speculative approach to securing an internship as it really allowed me to communicate my variety of experiences and my self-driven and open personality.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Many things. However the running theme has always been an entrepreneur. The older I get, the more I realise that this goal can take different forms. For me this means succeeding in creating or finding a working environment where I am able to provide my opinion, add value and have freedom in what I do.