Julia Callejo is a Consultant within EDC’s London office. She initially joined EDC as a Business Analyst in late 2018 after two years of experience in the financial services industry across retail banking, accounting, and financial analysis. Julia holds a BSc in Business Management from the Complutense University of Madrid and an MSc in Professional Development from the University of Alcalá.
1. Why did you join EDC? What attracted you to the company and the Payments Consulting industry?
After I finished my studies, I had a couple of years of work experience in different roles within the financial services industry. However, these roles did not fully suit my personality and career ambitions and I decided to look for something different. I started to apply for roles in the consultancy sector, looking for a more client-faced, dynamic, challenging, and international work environment than my previous work experiences. EDC first attracted my attention due to its international outlook, with a multinational and multi-lingual team and experience working with clients across the world, and its emphasis on the importance of working as part of a team.Before joining the company, I did not know much about payments, besides what an average consumer knows on the topic e.g. card payments, e-wallets, contactless… It was while I was preparing my job application for EDC when I started to scratch the surface of the payments industry and to understand how diverse and exciting it could be. I have always been interested in how financial services are constantly evolving to meet consumers' changing needs and expectations, and I realised that the payments industry could be an appealing industry to work in.
2. What were your expectations when you first joined, and how right (or wrong) were you?
I expected to have significant exposure to project work from the start and work with different senior members of the team and be able to learn from their experience. I was proven right, since one of the great things about working at EDC is how everyone is always willing to help by sharing knowledge and expertise, our Principals and Directors' doors always open. I also expected a steep learning curve within the first year, but I did not anticipate how broad the payments industry can be and how much there is to learn, which is great as I continue to learn every day.
3. What is your current role? What do you do?
As a consultant, I help clients find solutions to their problems or questions by researching, conducting interviews, and analysing data. I work under the guidance of more senior members of the project team, such as Managers and Directors, but one of the advantages of working at EDC is that you own your work and learn by being fully involved in the project. For example, I recently participated in a study on the usage of virtual cards for B2B payments in the travel sector. As part of the study, we interviewed multiple stakeholders within the travel payment ecosystem, including issuers, airlines, hotels, and travel agents, to understand their perspective on virtual cards. It was a very insightful piece of work, and it was interesting to see how different stakeholders had a very different perception of the pros and cons of using virtual cards. Also, as the travel industry has experienced in 2020 a very difficult year, we could see how the business focus and payment needs for these players had changed significantly. Topics such as chargebacks and reconciliation were way more prominent in conversations than in the past.
4. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
When I moved to London, almost four years ago, I started to play tag rugby, a minimum-contact version of the sport. There is a large community of people that play all over London, and it has been a great way to meet people and stay active. I also like to read, and I am a member of a book club where we meet once every couple of months to discuss what we have read. The last book was Circe by Madeline Miller, which narrates the life of Circe, one of the daughters of Helios, god of the sun. I would highly recommend this book if you like stories of Greek Mythology, as the book covers some of the most famous tales.
5. What are your personal objectives/goals for the next year(s)?
After a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the pandemic, my main objective for this year is to go back to Spain to spend time with family and friends that I have not been able to see in over a year.
The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of Edgar, Dunn & Company. The information and views expressed in this publication belong solely to the author(s).