Juan Vélez

Juan in numbers

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About Juan Vélez

Juan has an MSc in Information Technology from Kiel University of Applied Sciences in Germany and a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the Pontificia Bolivariana University in Medellín, Colombia where he also studied for a Diploma in Project Management. He joined Vattenfall as a trainee in the IT Security team in 2017.

“I find risk a really interesting area of IT because you need both the technical knowledge but also the ability to communicate well with others.

Everyone has a different view of risk: what I see as a risk may not be seen as one by someone else so it is important to be able to understand how different people think across the business.

As well as dealing with problems when they arise, I try to take a very proactive approach to look at what could happen and to minimise the risk.

Confidence in staff to deliver

Although IT is perhaps not as visible in contributing to Vattenfall’s fossil-free ambition as some areas of the business, it plays just as important a role. It’s like a theatre where you have a technical team in the background making sure everything works so that the actors on stage can perform!

I have a lot of autonomy in my work and always feel that the business has confidence in its employees to deliver without the need for micro-managing and clocking in and clocking out. I think there is an understanding across the business that if people are happy in their work then they will deliver results.

IT is a high pressure and intense area to work in so I find it important to really switch off when I’m not working through meditating and exploring the outdoors.”

Juan works within:

Business support

Career path

My role is to identify, assess and minimise risk. Even though IT security may not be visible, it plays a vital role in protecting Vattenfall’s infrastructure against cyber threats, information loss, computer viruses and other IT-related threats.
Safety has always been very important to me and I wanted a career where I could protect people and make them aware of risks. As a trainee I got the opportunity to work on several projects across different business areas where IT security expertise was required.
After graduating in Telecommunications Engineering in Colombia, I moved to Germany to begin a Master’s degree. I chose Germany because of its very strong reputation in technological development. At the Institute I developed business continuity plans for IT infrastructure and was also responsible for the IT security client protection platform. My master thesis was on Business Continuity Management and IT disaster recovery.
During my time as a student in Colombia I volunteered with the IEEE which gave me really valuable experience of managing projects and dealing with many different stakeholders. I led the student-professional awareness program for IEEE Central and South America which aimed to bring students and the industry together through various activities.
I started my IT career at a small technology business. I also got my first experience in the area of risk through supporting the handling of IT risks and the appropriate responses.