Meet the Finsharks: a chat with Lejla!
Today we had the pleasure to have a lovely chat with Lejla Mujic Karahodza, our new Business Development Manager. Positive and determined, Lejla told us about herself, her new position at Finshark, and, among other things, her ritual before big meetings – do try it at home!
Tell us about your role at Finshark.
At Finshark I work as a Business Development Manager. This means that I spend my days researching, planning, and implementing target market initiatives. I also research prospective accounts in target markets and pursue leads – moving them through the sales cycle in the best possible way. In short, my job is all about opportunities!
I’ve had my eye on Finshark for over a year after briefly talking to our CEO Adnan Sporo on LinkedIn.
I actually grew up in Stockholm, Sweden but for the past 4 years I’ve been living in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Finshark combines both my favourite countries as we have offices both in Stockholm, Lund, and Sarajevo, and after being in the consultant / outsourcing sector for a while, I felt that it was time to move on to in-house development. With a master’s in law and experience within the IT sector as both a Customer Success Manager and e-commerce Project Manager, I feel that Finshark was the perfect transition for me to grow long-term.
What are you currently working on? Anything exciting?
Well, as I said my role is really all about opportunities all around. So currently I am in an intense research and educational phase, which I hope will in time lead us to prosperous new adventures!
What do you like the most about your job so far? You can say “nothing” if you like, that is a totally acceptable answer.
So far what has blown me away the most is the world of open banking. Honestly, I don’t know how I didn’t have a closer encounter with it before. I used to guide my former clients in what would be the best payment solution for them, and their e-commerce and the recommendations were almost always paired with an apology for the expensive and/or impractical solutions. But with open banking and Finshark, at least within the EU, it’s completely frictionless, cheaper than the traditional forms of payment and data collection and to be honest, it’s just brilliant! I do believe it is the future of smarter payments and data management, and I love that I get to be a part of the growth of this blossoming industry.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by measurable results, and I love to compete with myself. I also love to surround myself with positive people and successful friends, soaking in their optimism and ease always makes me look at things in a brighter, clearer way.
Tell us about your background. What were you doing before Finshark?
Before joining Finshark I did a bit of everything. I was born in Bosnia but with the war as many others, me and my family moved to Stockholm, Sweden where I grew up.
I got my master’s in law at Örebro University where I specialised in migration and EU law. I worked with the Swedish Migration Agency for 4 years, and eventually, my experience got me a job with the UN (IOM) here in Sarajevo.
After a year with the UN, I realised that I wanted to transition into the private sector and just have a greater impact. That’s when I got into the IT sector, and I have been loving every moment since.
As long as I can remember I have been a huge fan of tech, and everything that can simplify your life. Smart cars? Yes, please. Smart home gadgets? Yes! And now smart banking?! Well obviously, that’s going to be a yes for me as well!
How many languages do you speak?
Hmm, let’s see. So, Swedish and Bosnian are my native languages. English is a close runner-up as I speak it fluently. I studied German in high school, and I would say I can understand some, but I wouldn’t dare say that I know it. So 3, and some German!
That’s impressive! Speaking of talents, what’s your party trick?
Honestly, you will laugh but I’ve never met anyone who can do this, I can wiggle the tip of my nose!
We didn’t know it was humanly possible. That’s pretty amazing. Not to be too nosy (see what we did there), but have you got any quirky rituals you do before an important meeting?
I read a study once that said standing in a superhero pose with your hands on your hips, shoulders down and head held high for 2 minutes can significantly increase your confidence and reduce stress levels. If I need a moment before a really big meeting to collect myself, I do this with a few deep breaths, and it has never failed to get me focused and calm(er). Sounds silly I know but it works!
It does not sound silly at all, but we still might make fun of you given the opportunity. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not fighting crime and open banking scepticism?
Now as the colder weather is on the horizon, I love to cook and spend time at home with friends and family playing board games or watching movies. Another fun fact is also that I am a certified fitness instructor, so health and the gym are great passions of mine for sure.
I love to read and educate myself on what we can do to improve our health and well-being, be it with great skincare or what we eat, it all adds up.
Here are some flash questions to get to know you better. Answer the first thing that crosses your mind.
Favourite book. Harry Potter, I know it´s not very grown up but I love that world.
Favourite word. Fabulous.
Favourite app. Candy Crush – I know, I judge myself too I spend far too much time on it.
Favourite TV show. Oh, so many! But best of all times? Friends! I know it by heart at this point.
Favourite podcast. Can’t focus on podcasts, I always drift of in thoughts.
Favourite movie. Many, Will Smith has some golden ones. The Pursuit of Happiness, Seven Pounds or I Robot.
Favourite meal of the day. Oh I love them all! Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! Oh the snacks!
Favourite dish. My mom’s oven-baked peppers stuffed with potato! This would be my last meal if I ever had to choose one.
Favourite board game. Party Alias!
Aaaaaand a few more nonsense questions!
Beach bum or mountain lover? Beach bum for sure, but always with SPF 50 in the shade with an ice-cold Coca-Cola with a slice of lemon.
Paper and pen or keyboard and screen? Depends for what but keyboard and screen probably!
Mac or PC? Mac!
Trains or planes? Trains if possible, planes If long distance!
Felines or canines? Felines.
Köttbullar or Ćevapi? Hmm, how about a non-meat option?
Fika or schnapps? Fika in my heart forever!
Many thanks for your time today, Lejla. It was great getting to know you better! Please save us all from slow and clunky payments.
By the power of fintech!
[goes into superhero pose]
Nicola Spera | CBO
A jack of all trades with a passion for usability, fresh pasta and breezy payment flows.Connect with me on LinkedIn!