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So far in our Women in FinTech series, we have spoken to senior members of Nethone’s team, from those in charge of customer success, business development to those who oversee the creation of the product. But what about the junior members of Nethone? We all have to start somewhere! In the latest blog post, we talk to Adrianna Galczak, a Junior Data Scientist who is at the beginning of her FinTech and cybersecurity journey. We discuss Adrianna’s education, work experience and how all this has come together to fit in perfectly at Nethone.
Women in FinTech: education, education, education... and work experience!
If you’ve read any of our fraud prevention blog posts, you’ll know how much we value education. For all the fancy tech and innovative solutions we build and use to combat fraud, we often find that helping educate online customers and users is just as important as anything else we do. And what a great place to start any cybersecurity conversation than with education!
Of course, it’s no secret that education in any form is the foundation for success. This is why we always encourage all motivated individuals with a keen interest in cybersecurity to consider employment opportunities in FinTech. The skills learned in higher education can be applied in the workplace and have positive real world impacts - protecting the finances of not only global companies and institutions, but of every online user that makes payments or transactions - so, basically, almost everyone with a computer or mobile device!
The positive real-world impact doesn’t end there. FinTech is one of the leading industries that is helping close the gender gap with its inclusive and forwarding thinking approach. Let’s ask Adrianna about her first steps in FinTech, her take on women in FinTech, and how education and work experience can pave the way to success.
Adrianna, tell us about your journey in IT and cybersecurity and why did you choose to work with Nethone?
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Econometrics at the University of Warsaw. My thesis subject was on the level of cybersecurity in European Union companies, with a focus on phishing. During these years I also worked as an analyst in the Cybersecurity Implementation Team at EY, which was actually my first position related to tech and IT. As I began my Masters Degree in Computer Science and Econometrics, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in Data Science. I certainly am passionate about working with data, especially considering how data-driven the world economy has become. This is how my path crossed with Nethone.
My studies mostly focused on statistics and analyzing data using various tools, which has proven a useful asset in my current job, allowing me to grow my skills further. My current role is mainly based on data analysis, which involves analyzing, interpreting, and investigating patterns in customer data. In addition, I take care of customer setup so that our product solution can protect them from fraudulent traffic. All the knowledge I have gained regarding cybersecurity is a great addition while working on customer data and investigating fraudulent activities. Joining Nethone’s Data Science team has been a great opportunity for me to grow and gain experience - working with professionals has helped me grow at a very fast pace. This is completely incomparable to the pace at which I gained knowledge at university. Naturally, some tasks can be challenging, but I always have the support I need from more experienced colleagues. I am grateful to them for the knowledge they share with me.
What advice would you give to women still in higher education that are considering a future career in FinTech?
If possible, take advantage of the time you have at college or university to find work experience or employment opportunities. Personally, I found that this is the perfect time and place to gain as much knowledge and experience, being able to compare everything you’ve learned in lecture halls, seminars and workshops to the faster pace of a real working environment. You will not only expand on your existing knowledge and understanding, but will learn things that can only be learned within the workplace. You gain a different perspective on the knowledge you have and you can focus on developing skills that will be useful in the future. Likewise, employers also appreciate a fresh approach from junior members who bring with them some of the latest insights being taught in higher education. Every little helps!
For anyone with an interest in finance, IT or cybersecurity, FinTech is the perfect combination of all these industries. It is also an industry where experience, skill and passion, not gender, lead to opportunities for personal growth. I have been able to apply my interests in data analysis, IT and cybersecurity in the FinTech industry, all while being able to learn from others. The end result, creating tech that effectively combats cybercriminals from succeeding in payments fraud is just the cherry on top of the cake!
I hope to see more women working in FinTech. So far, all the women I have met at university and at work have been incredibly professional and great at what they do. It is a pleasure to work with them as they display a depth of knowledge and understanding, and most importantly, a passion for what they do. It has been a pleasure to work with them! This is why it would be great to see more passionate women consider working in IT and cybersecurity, and more women in FinTech can help to achieve gender equity and close the gender gap across all industries. FinTech for women is the way to go!
If you are interested in securing your business with an advanced fraud prevention solution with a frictionless customer UX, or would simply like to know more about its capabilities, let's talk!