POWER > Business Strategy > Executive Perspective

Leila Soufi, System Developer, Handelsbanken

Leila Soufi
Photo by Stefan Tell
Name: Leila Soufi
Title: System developer
Company Name: Handelsbanken
Company’s Function: Banking
HQ: Stockholm, Sweden
Years in IT: 1

How did you end up in IT?
I ended up in IT by a coincidence, to be honest. I originally studied biomedicine but decided to drop out because I wasn’t enjoying it. I began studying psychology instead and joined a project that needed end users for a new administrative system that was being developed. I had been programming since I was 12 but never considered a career in it, so I talked to the project leader who recommended IT. I decided to take information systems as a major and here I am.

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t in IT?
I’d probably be working with usability and user experience. Technically, still IT (although it doesn’t need to be) but not as a developer.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment?
I think my biggest accomplishment is having the courage to drop out of biomedicine and deciding to take my own path and really do what I love and enjoy and not what is expected of me—especially since I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do.

What’s the geekiest thing you’ve ever owned?
I own a Harry Potter wand and a mug with a moving (heat-changing) TARDIS.

What’s your favorite part of your day and why?
My favorite part of the day is when I have my first cup of coffee, especially on the weekend. I always relax and savor that moment when it happens, even if I’m on the run.

What’s the biggest challenge facing your company today?
I think the biggest challenge right now is finding resources. There’s a shortage of developers—especially experienced ones, as we all know—and we need to not only encourage more people to learn programming but also give other languages besides the popular ones a chance.

What business skill would you most like to acquire or improve?
I would like to improve on my social and leadership skills because I love to work with people and I think those are skills that are important to have, regardless of what position you have.

What’s your favorite activity outside of work?
I love to take long walks and just enjoy the nature. It’s relaxing, refreshing and even better if there’s a dog with me!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice someone have ever given me was to remember that whenever we feel or think something for a moment, it will change in the next. This hit me close because it made me appreciate the good times but also realize that the bad times are always temporary.


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