Hi Elaine, can you please introduce yourself? Where are you from, and how did you come to be living in Berlin?
To start from the start, I am originally from County Cork, Ireland. I am a qualified Irish solicitor and I’m also admitted to the roll in England and Wales.
In between Cork and Berlin, I have also lived in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was there studying for my master’s degree, and I also spent two years in Osaka, Japan, working as a paralegal, before completing my training as a solicitor in Dublin.
I guess you could say that the reason I am in Berlin is, essentially, love. When the pandemic broke out, my partner was living here in Berlin, and I was still living in Dublin. However, with Covid-19, it was no longer possible to fly back and forth between countries every second weekend, and we had to make a decision. So we decided that I would move to Berlin in late 2020. I then spent about five months learning German intensively before I started working here at CrossLend.
What made you decide to work at CrossLend? What were your first impressions?
In my previous role I was working as a real estate solicitor in Ireland, but FinTech is something that I have found fascinating ever since I became aware of it. FinTechs are becoming more and more prevalent in our lives, and the old days of paper cheques and banking in person are slowly, or not so slowly in some cases, being phased out. It’s really interesting to see the ways different companies are disrupting the way that we traditionally view finance. I could see that CrossLend was doing that, and I thought that would be a really interesting fit for me to learn about FinTech and get into this space, which was something I was very keen to do. My first impression of CrossLend was that everybody was really friendly and approachable. It is a really nice, collaborative place to work.
How was your experience of joining CrossLend?
Although I had previously been working in Dublin in a completely different area of law, my training as a solicitor was more broad based. So, for example, I had worked in investment funds and corporate law before, so that was somewhat transferable. There was definitely a lot to learn when I started, but one of the best things about working at CrossLend is that I have a really great team. It’s a very friendly and supportive environment, and we all learn from each other.
Looking at the CrossLend platform, what is one innovation or product feature that particularly impresses you?
I would say that it is the ability for investors using the CrossLend platform to be able to select or view the data that is appropriate for their requirements. The platform presents a very clear overview, as well as being standardised across different originators. So even if the data from the originators is provided to CrossLend in lots of different formats, CrossLend is able to consolidate and standardise it to make it easy for investors to make comparisons.
What was your experience in the German job market. Were you looking mainly at tech companies?
Yes, I was specifically looking for something in the FinTech area as it was something I had been interested in for a while, and CrossLend was a wonderful opportunity.
How would you describe the experience of working at CrossLend – the office itself, remote work opportunities, work-life balance, and of course your wonderful co-workers?
At the moment, things are flexible between home office and in-office working, which is very convenient. It is also actually really nice to be back in the office after so many lockdowns – in the legal team, we’ve organised things so that there are more days when we are all present in the office together. I think it helps to see people in person, and to be able to bounce ideas off each other. We had a Presence Week recently, where the whole company, even the international offices came to Berlin, and it was great fun to be able to chat to everybody and meet the teams from the offices outside of Berlin, in person, as well as really fostering the teamwork and collaborative spirit between colleagues.
CrossLend has six company values – innovation, sustainability, fun, open dialogue, respect and fairness, and teamwork. Which of these do you most identify with and why?
I’m going to say teamwork because, within the legal team, we make a great team. But also, throughout the company, everybody works well together. We communicate well, and we all collaborate, and overall the company has a good teamwork ethic.
What are some podcasts or books you would recommend?
I like to listen to a German podcast called Schwungmasse – Der Finanz-Heldinnen Podcast – ‘Finance Heroes’. I find it a good way to learn about the financial system in Germany, and how personal finance works here, while at the same time improving my German.