Aug 30, 2021
It’s not an easy decision for an insurance company to migrate to another core insurance solution. However, when our clients take the plunge, they can count on Gordana Radoš being there, talking to them to understand their business and forge the best path forward.
Starting as an actuary in an insurance carrier, Gordana is today a Business Analyst who swears on forging close relationships with her clients. After twenty years in insurance companies, her desire to work with people brought her to the dynamic, fast-moving software industry. Read on to learn about her journey.
Where did you start your career journey?
In my soul, I am a mathematician. I went to a mathematics school in Zagreb and then continued my studies at the University of Mathematics. After school, I started working at an insurance company and then worked for insurance carriers for most of the next two decades.
Did you start in positions related to your education?
I began in actuarial positions, which are all about math. However, I soon realized that I did not want to just sit in an office with a computer. I like people, and I realized I wanted to grow by overcoming my natural shyness and becoming more communicative. I believe that business is all about people, so as soon as an opportunity presented itself, I changed my position to become an insurance sales network trainer and work with people as much as possible.
As a trainer, I trained new agents about insurance in general, specific insurance products, and internal sales processes. This gave me a detailed insight into the overall operations of insurance companies. After a few years, I returned to the back office to work on developing insurance products and processes.
Did you manage to overcome your shyness?
My colleagues would certainly not agree that I am a shy person.
Yes, after I came to Adacta, everything changed. Adacta is an international company, and as a business analyst, I get to work with other international companies, which broadens your view of the insurance industry. You quickly learn that different companies take very different approaches to very similar processes, and I really like working on challenges like these.
»Adacta is an international company, and as a business analyst, I get to work with other international companies, which broadens your view of the insurance industry.«
How is working for an IT company different from working for an insurance company?
As a solution vendor, you have to know about your system and your client’s processes and then try and find the middle ground. This means everything is happening much more quickly than in an insurance company, and you must be very flexible in the way you approach challenges.
What do you do in Adacta today? What does your typical project look like?
I work as a business analyst on projects where insurance companies replace their software and switch to AdInsure from their existing solutions. Our task is to help them optimize, transform, and modernize their processes to prepare them for new challenges that they will encounter in the future. These are transformational projects that affect almost all employees and require the company’s full attention to complete. At the same time, our clients need to keep their businesses running. They must sell policies and settle claims while we work behind the scenes on migrating the same systems that make this possible. That makes our work very complex and sensitive.
This is not always an easy process, although it is an exciting journey for everyone involved. It is hard for the client and sometimes for us as well. You start slowly, but things get very complex as you begin to tackle broader issues and topics. But as you move forward, the teams start resolving issues and communicating, leading to a good conclusion.
How long is your typical engagement?
Over the past two years since I have been with Adacta, I worked on four different projects. The shortest was a limited scope engagement that took just a couple of months. All other projects have a larger scope and take a year of on-again and off-again work.
What is the best thing about your job?
I like the fact that every project is a unique journey, where you learn about the client’s processes, their people and the company culture. And you also get to learn about yourself and about how you respond to different situations. This also helps me to improve my knowledge, skills and performance.
What advice would you give to someone just starting in your position?
Such a person should be communicative, resourceful and ready to tackle stressful situations. They should be ready to work in an international environment with different cultures and origins. A business analyst should be ready to listen carefully and see things from different angles. That’s when things really start to open up and you begin to understand your clients. However, what’s most important are trust and belief. You need to believe in yourself and your team. Above all, you have to love this job.
What is the greatest challenge you face?
The greatest challenge is understanding the big picture. Insurance processes are often complex, and you first have to see how they relate to business and then map them to our technology platform. With so many moving pieces, it is sometimes difficult to see how everything connects. This usually happens in the middle of the project when the Client’s expectations sometimes become misaligned with your understanding of their business and their needs. This is a critical point where you need to find all the answers and align your knowledge with their expectations.
How do you do that?
You must be patient and continue asking questions to learn more about them. But to achieve that, you need to create a relationship based on trust. That has been made more difficult by the current COVID situation because these relationships are much easier to establish in-person than remotely.
And be aware that our projects are “on top” of regular daily business activities for the Client. And you never know what will make a relationship successful. For example, during the lockdown, I worked late on a project where I thought I failed to establish good relations for getting feedback from a client and sent an email to my counterpart very late in the night by mistake. She immediately responded, explaining that during the day, she struggles with regular daily business activities and late hours (when her baby is asleep) are the best time for her to deal with my questions about the project. This kicked off a successful working relationship.
What has been the most valuable for your career – your experience or your education?
It’s a balance of both. I found the experience an essential asset when I began working here, but constant education plays a primary role in your career. However, the critical thing is to keep an open mind. You need to keep asking questions and let go of your preconceptions. For example, you might think you know enough about insurance, and then you start working for a client in another country where the legislation is different, changing everything.
What is your favourite thing about working for Adacta?
It is the opportunity to meet and understand different insurance markets, which helps me to learn more. Then, it is the flexibility of the working environment and the possibility to work remotely. It is the first time I can work remotely, and I like it very much. And then there are the Adacta employees. Sometimes you work remote with colleagues you’ve never met, but they’re always there for you and respond with an answer or other kind of help.