Strategy & Ops Analyst Alejandro Pérez Ibiricu on the importance of teamwork
This N26 Strategy & Operations Analyst has made it his life’s mission to have a positive impact.
6 min read
In Alejandro Peréz Ibiricu’s early years, it wasn’t fame or fortune that interested him. From volunteering in his spare time to giving his all every day on the job, Alejandro’s worldview has always been centered around having a positive impact.
That worldview hasn’t shifted since Alejandro joined N26 in 2021—first as an intern, and then as a Strategy & Operations Analyst. “We’ve become one of the biggest banks in Germany,” he reflects. “Even in Spain, we’re getting so many new customers per day, so everything I do has a massive impact for them. That’s what motivates me every single day.”
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Organization Engineering at the University of Navarra in Spain and a Master’s in Engineering Management at the University of York, Alejandro began his career in the startup world. We sat down with him to discuss how his time at university shaped him and what he loves about his job.
The following interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 25 years old and I’m originally from Pamplona, a city in the north of Spain. I’ve been at N26 for almost a year. I joined as an intern back in March 2021, and in September of last year, I took on the role of Strategy & Operations Analyst.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I thought about what I wanted to do with my life, I always knew I wanted to make an impact on the world. It didn’t matter if it was at university or at work. I just wanted to have an impact everywhere I went.
This mainly came from my parents—seeing them working so hard every day to raise me and my three siblings, trying to give us the best they could. Watching them really motivated me to have that kind of impact myself.
Where did you go to college and what did you study?
When it came time to decide what I wanted to study, rather than studying something like medicine or economics, I figured I would have more opportunities if I studied something more general. So, I enrolled in an industrial engineering program at the University of Navarra.
Are there specific stories, classes, or events that stand out from your experience there?
It’s only today that I’ve realized that what university really taught me is the ability to work with others. Collaboration is so essential, especially because you’ll be required to work with so many different people when you join a company. So, rather than one specific class like mathematics or data programming, it was the opportunity to work in teams that I carry with me to this day.
One great example is an initiative I participated in at the University of Navarra, focused on startup entrepreneurship. It was called Innovation Fast Track, and the idea was to get people from a variety of majors together so we could present a project. We had six months to prepare it, and afterwards a judge would then evaluate it and choose the winners. Our team won and got to travel to Israel as a prize!
What did you do next?
After my Bachelor’s degree, I decided I wanted to do something new. So I moved to the UK and earned a Master’s in Engineering Management at the University of York.
It was the first time I needed to work with many people from different countries and navigate cultural differences. This really helped me improve my communication and teamwork skills—and helped me prepare for my future role at N26, which is such a multicultural environment.
Talk a little bit about your career path and how you ended up at N26.
During my Master’s, I started working at Startup Europe Week, which organizes entrepreneurial events around the world in 300 cities. The goal is to support local entrepreneurs who are just getting started with their businesses, helping them access resources and find partners.
Once I finished my degree, I really wanted to go back to Spain, but I still wanted to be in an international environment. I started working for a Swiss software company called Aveloq—my role was mainly focused on data analysis and programming. Then the pandemic happened. We all started working remotely, I went home to Pamplona, and I realized that I wasn’t making the kind of impact that I wanted to make by sitting in front of the computer and doing the same thing every day.
When I learned that N26 was hiring, I applied for an internship—and here we are!
What do you like most about your job here?
I would say the collective commitment to a common goal. This drives me to work hard every day. Another thing I really like is the collaboration and teamwork—for me, it’s essential to be able to count on people from different teams.
And no matter how long you’ve been at the company—whether a few months or a few years—people want to hear what you have to say. Even as an intern, I really felt that my opinion was considered in every meeting. My manager considered my opinion from day one, despite me being new and not having that much experience. That’s one of the things I love most about working here.
What’s a typical day like for you?
My daily work is very intense. I usually start working between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m., at which point I chat with one of my teammates to see how we’re doing in terms of numbers. We often have meetings—not just one-on-ones, but meetings with different teams as well. Sometimes I need to present analyses or proposals for the Spanish market. I generally wrap up work around 7:30 p.m., and I usually go out and meet some friends, work out, or play sports.
What are your goals going forward?
I really want to continue at N26! I like the product, I like the people I work with—I think it’s a really great place. And I’m looking forward to growing within the company. I really want to make my career here and help it to one day become one of the biggest banks in Spain.
Looking back at your childhood dream of making an impact on the world—it appears you’re doing quite well!
[Laughs] Yeah, I’m still trying to make an impact and continually better myself. On Sundays nights, for example, I volunteer with an organization that brings food to homeless people. They don’t have anywhere to stay or food to eat, so we try to help as best we can. And my family has been involved with the situation in the Ukraine. Together, we managed to get a bus to the Ukrainian border and bring 55 people to Spain. We want to do this more regularly and hope to bring a lot more people to safety.
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