Maša Kete on the integration of business minds in tech enterprises

Maša Kete, a Senior Business Analyst at Adacta, navigates the dynamic insurance landscape with a blend of leadership, project oversight, and mentorship of other business analysts.

Maša Kete on the integration of business minds in tech enterprises

Maša’s professional journey began during her postgraduate studies in Quantitative Finance and Actuarial Sciences when she initially took on an administrative role at Adacta. However, as opportunities aligned with her educational background emerged, she transitioned seamlessly into roles more closely linked with insurance and analysis. Over a decade of dedication, Maša has witnessed Adacta's evolution from a company of around 100 employees to over 380, each transformation bringing new challenges and growth opportunities.

Considering your varied experience within Adacta, how has your educational background influenced your approach to your current role? 

 My educational background in Quantitative Finance and Actuarial Sciences has provided me with strong analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are crucial in my role as a Senior Business Analyst. I started working at Adacta during my first year of postgraduate studies when my curriculum allowed for a student job. I was more or less applying to any administrative job posting and ended up accepting an offer here by chance. Since I was studying Quantitative Finance and Actuarial Sciences, a position in administration didn't make much sense. Still, the company seemed like a good fit and the work schedule was flexible enough to give me time for my studies.

How has your role evolved over the years, and what new challenges and opportunities have emerged?

 Since I started at Adacta as a Business Secretary, my role has evolved quite a bit. Two months into my tenure, I was offered a position for an Application Tester that opened up on one of the projects. Of course, I accepted and was happy to transfer into the production part of the company, focusing on insurance. In hindsight, this makes Adacta an excellent fit for my education. From Application Tester, I advanced to an Application Consultant role, which led me to become a Business Analyst, bringing me to my senior role today. 

The biggest challenge, or rather an unexpected opportunity, was the fact that the part-time student job turned into full-time employment. But since I liked the work, the company and my colleagues, it all made total sense. Throughout my more than 10 years with the company, there were numerous challenges for me personally and Adacta as a company. Since the days it had around 100 employees, the company underwent multiple reorganisations due to expansion, and the organisation we are today with approximately 380 employees is drastically different. The growing number of projects meant increased responsibilities, we onboarded many new colleagues, and we had to specialise in certain areas to ensure we could still deliver the best service to our clients. 

Looking back, which achievements or milestones are you the proudest of in your career at Adacta? And what impact did they have on your professional journey?

As I mentioned earlier, my career at Adacta advanced quickly, bringing about increased responsibilities. I was able to work with clients independently, delivered extensive presentations to large audiences and even learned new languages on the go as needed. At the same time, I got a handle on the technical aspects of product development and gained a better understanding of the software we deliver. My responsibilities are varied and challenging, which allowed me to learn a lot, leading to the senior role and the new responsibility of passing my knowledge on to my colleagues.

What do you do in Adacta today? What does your typical project look like?

At the moment, we are in the midst of a business analysis phase for a new project. As the chief analyst, I lead a set of workshops with clients, establish the project's business requirements, and ensure the analysis project as a whole is in sync. Since business inputs drive technical discussions, I need to ensure business analysts and architects are on the same page so that the analysis comprehensively covers the client's requirements.  

What is the best thing about your job?

My colleagues. You can handle any task or project if you have a team of people who are very capable and easy to work with, and Adacta is full of them. And the second thing, while it may sound a bit cliché, is being constantly challenged and receiving opportunities to prove yourself, leading to personal gratification that comes with a hard job being well done. 

As an economist in the IT industry, how did you approach personal and professional development, especially considering the technical demands of your role?

As an economist by trade, I had to learn about the software development process and our system itself before I was able to test it, sell it and analyse its requirements. This all happened organically through the various roles I took on, supported by targeted training on Scrum and Project Management topics. 

Are there specific skills or competencies you believe are crucial for economists pursuing careers in IT?

For any economist, having an interest in computer sciences and technical aspects of the insurance processes is all you need. In my case, all skills and competencies were acquired. All that I needed was an eagerness to learn and absorb the knowledge shared with me. 

Can you share insights into the role of leadership and mentorship in your career? Were there specific individuals who played a pivotal role in your development?

Throughout my career at Adacta I was surrounded by team leads, coworkers and managers who invested their time in me by offering a well-rounded onboarding experience and support whenever needed. I assume my commitment and eagerness were a good enough sign that they viewed it as a worthwhile investment, either taking additional time to explain the basics of software implementation or simply taking me along to different learning opportunities with the expectation that I would eventually take over tasks.

What qualities make a good mentor for people fresh out of college?

Good mentors and support systems are hard to find, and I was fortunate enough to have it all. A key feature of a good mentor is not only the support they provide; It is also about their recognition of the mentee's potential and the opportunities they provide to use and challenge it. 

From your perspective, how have the opportunities and challenges in the IT industry evolved over the past decade?

IT companies are increasingly hiring experts with business backgrounds. When I first joined Adacta, there were approximately 100 developers, a couple of Project Managers who have been promoted from developers and perhaps 2 or 3 business consultants. Today, the ratio has drastically changed to the point where a development team is incomplete without a consultant, product owner or project manager who can contribute business expertise.   

Over the past decade we’ve seen early adopters of digitalization in the insurance industry struggle with the challenge of keeping up with IT advancements using their now outdated legacy systems. In today’s digital age, tackling IT transformation in a large and complex business like an insurance carrier is an undertaking that demands a high level of expertise. While insurance companies were able to jump on the digitalization bandwagon decades ago using internal resources and knowledge, relying solely on internal capabilities in today’s fast-paced and competitive industry no longer provides a competitive edge. 

Insurance platform vendors such as Adacta needed to respond to the growing demand not just for insurance system implementations, but also for support and consultation related to business transformation. Adacta responded by offering business analysis before the implementation itself, which required assembling a team of people with business experience and analytical skills that has since grown into our group of business consultants and analysts. 

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