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Revolut's 7 years in our employees eyes 🚀

July 29, 2022

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
You can find the original post here:
https://blog.revolut.com/7-years-old-employees-interviews/

We’ve gone from one user, to 20 million customers. We grew from a few employees in London, to the dream team of more than 5,000 Revoluters scattered all over the world.

For our 7th birthday we invite you for a short trip - starting in London via Australia, Poland, Portugal and many more countries, ending up in Mexico! We’ve asked eight Revoluters who joined us from 2015 to 2022 about their memories, experience and story at Revolut and how we’ve changed over the years.

Valdas, you joined Revolut in 2015  - what was the company like back then compared to today's rocketship?

Compared to Revolut today with thousands of employees across dozens of offices, it's easy to forget how small the team that started it all was. When interviewing, Revolut was nothing more than several desks in a shared co-working space. I was quickly impressed with the team and made a gamble to join this small, yet wildly ambitious startup for the learning opportunity of working alongside Vlad and Nik on building their vision. Honestly, it was also the first time in my career that I was surrounded by such strong role models, making me work harder and set high expectations, while getting things done.
When I joined, the company was still so small that the whole company would all fit in a furnitureless small meeting room, where we would stand or sit on the floor and go round with the daily catch-up. And while the team was small, it was really capable; the personalities mattered more than processes, with huge amounts of ownership and responsibility exemplified by all.

What has been your biggest “lesson learned“ in these 7 years?

If you get ambitious, hard-working and smart people together, bound by an idea and shared vision - you can achieve great things. Looking back, we overestimated how much we could achieve in 1-2 years, with many setbacks and close calls along the way. But, we probably underestimated how much impact we could produce over the 5+ years, with even more ambitious plans underway.

Revolut’s Polish branch is now the biggest one with almost 1,000 employees. Roman, you joined at the very early stage of establishing Kraków. What are your first memories from Revolut?

My first memory after coming back from my training in London to Kraków was the task of assembling my own desk. Back then, there was only me and seven other support agents who joined Revolut either after graduating or still during studies. I still remember an empty small office which we had to arrange to even start working. During that time, I would never have thought how big the company will become, and that I would stay for six years and grow so much professionally!

What is your proudest moment in the six years since you joined Revolut?

I think my proudest moment was when I noticed that people started recognising what Revolut is globally. When I was at a doctor, barber or any other place where I was asked where I work, people were impressed that I'm a part of this rocketship! Couldn't be more proud that I'm working on something big that will change how people manage their finances!

Ieva, we’re known for doing things for the very first time. Tell us about one of your favourite “firsts” at Revolut.

Asking me to pick just one is not fair at all! When I joined five years ago, all I knew about finance was the PIN code to my debit card. I never would have thought that one day I would translate our whole app to Lithuanian; that I would be able to get Revolut’s name into the newspaper headlines in seven different countries, organise and run community events all over Northern Europe, or teach myself sound editing and launch a podcast! I did PR and External Comms for over two years here and my whole life before Revolut - and then one day I told the company that I’d be able to figure out Internal Comms for us as well, and they just said, “Have at it!”.
I changed teams, roles, and countries multiple times here, and my whole story at Revolut is about doing things for the first time.

What makes Revoluters a Dream Team from your observations and experience?

When you’re part of the company that is breaking down barriers and pushing limits of what’s possible, it means that pretty much every room you walk into will be full of people who don’t know what they’re doing at first - but they’ll always figure it out. That type of mentality is so contagious - “getting it done” at Revolut means something completely different than anywhere else I’ve been.

You joined the Recruitment team in 2018, how Revolut’s approach to talent evolved?

Well everything changed quite a bit, back then the recruitment team consisted of less than 10 people across 3-4 main offices, and now we're global across many locations, with more than 150 in the People team. Everything still changes pretty often so sometimes a month can feel like a year.
We also adjust quickly based on the outside world, I believe, more so than other companies - like for example how quickly the remote and working abroad policy was introduced after the pandemic hit!

What is the most fun, memorable moment you’ve had at Revolut?

While I'm being nostalgic I guess the most memorable was my first Revolut: Unicorn & New London HQ Party when I was able to travel to the London office and actually see a lot of people I worked with for the first time in person, I should still have the photo-booth pictures stashed somewhere!

Revolut Australia is still a pretty small branch. Do you know every person there? What does work at such a small branch look like?

My case is not the standard one, as originally I’m a global employee in engineering and my project serves different business locations including Australia in the near future. Originally I joined Revolut in the Moscow office about three years ago after moving from Sydney to Moscow. I was thinking of traveling back and forth but Covid ruined my plans and I was stuck in Moscow for about two years. When I finally managed to get back to Sydney I asked to change my employment location and it was agreed to work remotely permanently. Initially I didn’t know anyone as I lived in Sydney and the Revolut office was in Melbourne! But I was eager to meet the Aussie colleagues. So right before Christmas I went to Melbourne to meet and greet our people. It was an amazing week. We had a Christmas party, everyone was so lovely and happy to see me. It turned out that we had people from Sydney as well and they gather at WeWork every Wednesday. So, after returning back to Sydney I started joining them!

Being a part of a small office is like being a part of a family. Also being a global employee I feel like a bridge between the global office and Revolut Australia, as most Australian employees work on the Australian market only. Also I feel if employees from small branches could gather periodically together with people from large offices then we could build a much better bond so everyone could see how big Revolut actually is.

You are the ONLY Software Engineer based in Australia. How did you manage to build a bond with your college overseas?

I must admit that building a bond when you start working remotely from the beginning is not easy, but in my case I started in the office and visited the London office twice before COVID - so it helped me a lot to have opportunities to build personal relationships prior to remote work. I've already had strong connections before I returned home to Sydney. Periodical meetings, personal chats, and Slack channels also help significantly to maintain the bond.
I take every opportunity to travel to be together with my colleagues. Six months ago I was able to travel to Moscow and Kiev to see my colleagues in person and it helped me to solve some work-related problems. I think the ability to travel and see people in person is still vital - and I hope to visit the London office again soon!

What do you see as the biggest accomplishments since your start in 2020?

Being able to provide multi-jurisdictional legal support to the business on innovative ideas/products with little or no precedence to work with. A key challenge we face as pioneers is the lack of precedence, hence being able to proffer legal solutions to address those challenges is an exciting part of my job as a lawyer here at Revolut.  I recently won a General Counsel Tomorrow's Leaders Award and that speaks to the amazing opportunities and the great team I work with here at Revolut.

What's the biggest strength of the Revoluters team?

Our biggest strength lies in the amazing people that we get to work with everyday. Everyone is super talented, super helpful and passionate about what they bring to the table to help achieve our goal of offering innovative products and services globally to our users.

We strongly believe that an inclusive working environment enables everyone to realize their full potential. How does Revolut allow you to enhance your potential?

From Day One, Revolut has valued myself and other Revoluters as smart decision makers. The mindset that Revolut has adopted across the board that everyone provides valuable input into a process and should be given space to advocate has helped unlock a lot of potential among people at Revolut and was a noticeable contrast to previous jobs I held where a hierarchical organisation structure often stood in the way of enabling talent.

What was the biggest and the most positive surprise for you after joining Revolut?

The biggest surprise for me has been the speed at which things work. I continue to be shocked by the number of products and services Revolut has and is developing across the full spectrum of the FinTech ecosystem.
Revolut has also paired this intense product development cycle with the ability to quickly scale across the globe. Prior to joining Revolut, I had a far limited view of what becoming the “Global Financial Super App” would look like and now realise that the ambitions are much bigger than this.

Revolut’s products and services are not available in Mexico yet. How did you learn about us and what made you join our rocketship?

I’ve been a Revolut fan and customer since 2019 because I lived in London for a little while - and when I heard about Revolut expanding to Mexico I did not hesitate twice to apply for the job. I’ve recommended Revolut to all my friends in Mexico and now finally they will be able to experience it.

There are a lot of topics around Women in Tech.  You joined us as an Information Security Manager. How would you encourage women to take their first steps in IT?

I’m a huge promoter of women and girls in engineering and for any women, adolescent or girl out there that has the curiosity to enter the Tech world - I say DO IT!
Ask in your school or university who are the women in Tech in your community and contact them! I’m sure they will be more than happy to chat with you and navigate your questions.
Don't be scared of asking questions, we all started somewhere, so just go for it.

Why leave it there?

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