Sian Gulliver | 4 min read
Hey Chris, what is your role at Iress?
I’m a Trainee Software Engineer working on our mortgages team. My job is to implement features into our software that clients have requested. These can range from an extra field on an existing page to full stand alone projects. As I’m still training, I have to try my hardest to be a sponge and absorb as much information as possible; the people around me are great at helping with that.
Being an engineer means really thinking about the end user and focusing on their needs.
What is life at Iress like?
It feels pretty exciting. Everyone I’ve worked with so far knows exactly what needs doing and how to get it done. There is a lot of evolution here and working in an agile way means that the processes are always improving so we won't be caught on the back foot.
I have to try my hardest to be a sponge and absorb as much information as possible; the people around me are great at helping with that.
Iress is an ambitious, forward-thinking company. That really comes across in the work we do on our projects. We strive to be market leaders and it really feels like everyone here shares that drive.
Things like our global Hackathon help form this. It has been one of the highlights of my time here. The Hackathon had a really special atmosphere and I can't wait for the next one! We got to spend a day coming up with new ideas and building them against the clock. The team I was in actually won the 'people's vote', chosen by all our colleagues here in Cheltenham (UK).
What is the best thing about working at Iress?
The people here are amazing, everyone is extremely kind, hardworking and honest. There is a massive amount of support and sense of inclusion for everyone which is a vital part of the culture here. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, experienced or inexperienced - your opinion really matters. And as one of the younger and inexperienced people at Iress, I feel valued and listened to.
The commitment to CSR is also impressive. I was part of a group of global employees who took on the National Three Peaks Challenge this summer to raise money for a charity we support called Talent Beyond Boundaries. It’s a really special charity that works to place skilled refugees with employers around the world so they can rebuild their lives while contributing to the global economy.
The range of people on that trip went from me (a trainee), all the way up to our CEO, Andrew Walsh. None of my friends, whether they be interns or juniors at their respective companies, have even spoken to their CEO, let alone spent a weekend climbing mountains with them! We managed to raise over £30,000 and it was an amazing opportunity to be part of.
None of my friends have even spoken to their CEO, let alone spent a weekend climbing mountains with them.
What advice would you give your younger self, starting out in your career?
My career only really started out 10 months ago at 20 years old, but I’d probably just say - get involved! Say yes to any extracurricular activities. Really try to overcome any shyness or apprehension as involvement is a great way to get the most out of your job and build rapport with your colleagues.
I’d also use the age old saying of: ‘Treat others how you wish to be treated’ - respect and honesty are paramount to growth.
What do you tell your mates about Iress?
I tell them that without us their lives would be so much harder! Mortgages would take five times as long to go through. Aside from the day job, I’m also always talking about our company culture. There’s always something going on.
What makes you tick outside of work?
I love keeping up with the Boxing and MMA scenes. the beautiful technicalities of both sports are hidden to the ‘untrained eye’. A match that to the average spectator is extremely boring, is actually a show of true masters at work. The respect shown by the competitors towards each other at the end of the match tells you about the characters of the people in the ring.
What is your favourite pizza topping?
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