"Intrum invests in people and gives you room to find a good solution"
Maria Kollia is IT Director for Intrum in Greece. Here she tells us what it was like joining the company at the start of the pandemic and how she is shaping her role in Greece and on a global level.
Tell us about your role at Intrum
I’m the IT Director for Greece, which is a strategic market for Intrum, as well as part of the global IT management team. It is a challenging role, balancing local initiatives with the global view, ensuring that innovations we implement can be applied in other markets as well.
My journey at Intrum began two years ago after the carve out of Piraeus Bank in Greece. I came in to set up a local IT infrastructure. One month later, the pandemic hit and I needed to focus on finding a home working solution for 1,300 employees when we hadn’t yet migrated to the Intrum systems. It was a very challenging project.
Two years on and we are a distributed team in Greece, working with global teams and implementing modern, digital solutions and a hybrid way of working. We have huge migrations to undertake and are able to bring new ideas and technology to the business.
Where had you worked/ studied before joining Intrum?
I have spent eighteen years working in the IT industry, having studied computer engineering and completed an MBA. Starting my career as a developer, I moved into business analysis, project management, then led an IT/ software department before becoming an IT Director. My career has spanned several industries – telecoms, banking, insurance – and I’ve had the chance to experience many different types of business.
Why did you choose this particular career?
Multitasking and having a breadth of experiences is important to me. I am an extrovert and enjoy spending time with people, so I wanted to combine technology with decision making – driving choices about the solutions as well as implementing them. I like communication and collaboration, bringing together the end user with the team developing a solution.
I have never felt that my gender has held me back and have been offered great opportunities. Don’t be afraid to go for it.Maria Kollia, IT Director Intrum Greece
What do you enjoy about your role?
I’ve always liked working in multicultural and global teams – looking at the technology available globally, experimenting with things like automation and then delivering solutions. Intrum cares about customers and employees, this culture flows through team building events, meetings, leading by example. Intrum invests in people and gives you room to find a good solution. There is never a mistake, always an opportunity.
What motivates/ drives you?
I’m passionate. I like having specific goals with tangible results so you can see things changing and make a difference. Results motivate me. Two years into this role, we have undertaken a lot of projects and had the chance to make a difference.
How does Intrum support people in their careers?
Intrum combines a modern approach with excellent management. There is a culture of transparency and a feeling that you are appreciated. Intrum supports employees in many ways, from training to new opportunities and there is always room for discussion in everything.
What advice would you give to others who would like a similar career?
Educate yourself, get experience and break through barriers. Respect your peers, managers and colleagues as you would like to be respected. I have never felt that my gender has held me back and have been offered great opportunities. Don’t be afraid to go for it.
What are you looking forward to in future?
I’ve only been here two years and feel that I still have a lot of things to do. Seeing how Intrum is changing and growing – I know there is a good roadmap in front of us. There are many opportunities to advance, change roles, run projects for different countries and expand yourself.