2021 has been a bizarre year for all, and working from home has become the new norm. But for those starting a new job during a pandemic, the excitement of finally meeting those inside the laptop screen feels just as good as that back to school buzz. Nerves, excitement and goosebumps galore!
With over 200 staff across the country, the walls of the new Klarna offices in the heart of London are slowly starting to buzz with the rushing footsteps and excited yelps of new Klarnauts travelling from far and wide to meet their teams face to face for the first time…
“Welcome to the fam!” a phrase thrown across the room, as a Klarnaut welcomes a new team mate with a mid air elbow bump and a second…just for luck? Although a large company, there is a clear link in Klarna personalities, from heaps of positivity, friendliness and a sheer lust for life that makes this such a special place to work.
As a Klarna insider, I spoke to four newbies in different corners of the company, to find out just what it’s like to work here… and not just from my own personal experience!
Marc O’Fathaigh – AL UK Partner Success Team Yellow
(Marc works with our fabulous Merchants here at Klarna, you can find them a click away in our Shop Directory!)
Hey Marc, how’s it hanging? Tell us a little about your previous experience and what has led you here today…
“My career started off at Google, as a customer support representative. I supported Google advertisers large and small, with my highlight being an account optimization for a one-man business that wrote bespoke poetry for people’s wedding speeches! My career in Google spanned customer support, sales and product specialism, ultimately getting a great understanding of online search, video and display.
After Google, I moved to Criteo, a market-leader in online display advertising and retail media. The industry was similar, but the challenges were completely different. A bigger focus on fewer, more strategic relationships and coaching. I was lucky enough to take on the Head of Criteo UK role, before joining Klarna in mid-2021.”
Amongst other things…what gets you most excited to start your day, in your new role at Klarna?
“My role in Klarna is a Head of Partner Success, within the London office.
I’m most excited about getting to work closely with some of the best brands in the world, across their online and offline business. Klarna’s solution for partners has so much to offer, so I’m excited to see how we can help drive substantial growth for our retail partners. Klarna marketing products and services are super exciting too!”
Vicky Gomes – Communications Director UK
Hi Vicky! Tell us a little about yourself, and what twists and turns have brought you here today, into the world of Klarna….
“I started out in agency life, working for one of the biggies, Edelman. After a stint in New York, 10 years working with Microsoft, a range of big brands, plus the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai (she’s incredible!!) I made the move in-house to Facebook. There I developed corporate brand and consumer campaigns to build reputation and trust in some of the toughest years for Facebook, and handled one of the biggest and most high profile stories of 2018: Cambridge Analytica. It’ll come as no surprise then that it was the most intellectually stimulating and challenging work of my career to date! I made great friends along the way and expanded my thinking and creativity thanks to some brilliant colleagues.”
Wow… what a ride you’ve been on! What excites you most about your new role at Klarna?
“The freedom and autonomy to lead a team at a company that takes risks and is shaking up and provoking an outdated industry in a bold and ambitious way.”
Thanks Vicky! I totally agree on ‘bold and ambitious’ – two words that are quite apparent throughout the company! Finally, just for fun… which quote, if any, do you live by?
“The grass isn’t greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.“
Becca Sanders – Senior Analyst UK Underwriting
Hi Becca, thanks so much for taking time out to chat… what led you to your role here at Klarna?
“What led me to Klarna? After I finished my A levels I was undecided about going to uni so took a gap year and worked in retail. I quickly realised that the retail life wasn’t for me and decided with two of my best friends to join Brighton Uni to study Maths. After finishing I got the opportunity to join Metro Bank where I worked in credit risk and met the lovely Lewis Fairbairn (Analytics Manager at Klarna). I was there for 3 and a half years when I saw a job vacancy at Klarna and reached out to Lewis to say I was interested. We agreed I’d be a good fit for the role, not only because of my analytics background but also because I love the brand, use the product regularly and have probably contributed somewhat to Klarna’s success in the UK!”
So cool to hear your journey, all the way from student life to now! Whilst we’re here, I feel it’s only right to ask… if you were a vegetable, what would you be?
“Thought long and hard about this one and concluded that I would definitely be a potato. Not exotic at all but very versatile. I like to think I have different alter egos much like a potato. Most days I’ll be a bog standard jacket potato and other days I’ll feel more fancy like dauphinoise.”
Now if that isn’t the perfect answer, I don’t know what is! Finally Becca, let’s end on a high! What excites you most about your new role at Klarna?
In short, the opportunity to actually make a difference both for Klarna and our customers. It really is an exciting time to be part of Klarna’s journey and I truly believe Risk is such an imperative function when a company is growing with such speed but also being faced with regulation. We’re working on so many interesting projects to help improve acceptance rates and customer journeys, including things like Open Banking. We’re also investigating what our Buy Now, Pay Later product offering may look like in the future. With lots of work going on, I love that , the primary focus remains our ambition to be customer obsessed and always do the right thing for our consumers!
Ed Rowley – Senior UK Corporate Communications Manager
Hi Ed! Just like me, you started your role from home… talking of being at home, how’s your Netflix lineup looking, any shows you’ve binged watched recently?
“I binge-watched The Witcher in a weekend when it first came out… and have binged it at least four times since then. I’m a massive fan, having previously played the games and read the books, so needless to say I am eagerly awaiting the next season of Geralt of Rivia’s adventure!”
Thanks Ed…i’ll note that one down! We should probably talk about Klarna now… how have you ended up here!
“I spent most of my early career in and around politics. After I left uni I started working in Parliament as an assistant to an MP, before entering the world of government communications. While there I got to work in some big departments like the Treasury, eventually leading media announcements around financial services. This helped me make the jump from the public to private sector, where I ended up working in banking PR before landing my new role in communications at Klarna!”
What a whirlwind adventure! What drew you to working at Klarna, what are you most excited to get stuck into…?
“Klarna is changing so much about how we shop, buy and pay for things. A company making these kinds of innovations is never out of the news for long, and as a communicator this makes it such a fascinating time to be joining. I think there’s going to be some great opportunities and challenges in my new role and I’m really excited to be working alongside the amazing people in Klarna’s comms team, as we work to communicate Klarna’s mission and values to the wider public.”
Klarna is full of amazing, hard-working individuals from all walks of life!
My name is Emma, and just like many others I started working at Klarna, from home, in March of this year. I work in PR and Events within the Consumer Marketing Team here in the UK.
My background started off in the city of Nottingham, not wanting to leave after my final year at Nottingham Trent University. Working in retail and behind bars somehow led to an opportunity through a friend, to manage events and a student PR Team at a popular underground Nightclub in Nottingham… Two years later, after coming back down South to London and tackling numerous roles that let’s just say… didn’t work out for me; with a little determination and perseverance I landed my first role in Fashion at an amazing Creative PR Agency on their Digital team working on all things social media and Influencer related. Months into my role, the agency took on an amazing new client… Klarna! 3 years later and after amazing agency side experience and full support from both sides, here I am chatting to you from the shiny new London Klarna office!
Klarnauts have all sorts of experience and stories to tell, but we certainly love where we’ve ended up!
If you want to find out more about what it’s like to work at Klarna, you can read more interviews with our Klarnauts of the month here… or apply to join the tribe at https://www.klarna.com/careers/our-locations/london/