Archive for May 2012
Traditionally, a business analyst plays a significant role as the bridge between business users and the information technology division. Professionals in this role tend to possess strong communication skills with sound understanding of the business processes in specific domains, as well as substantial technical know-how.
Given the challenging market condition, the majority of investment banks are talking about cost reduction and cost saving which has posed vigorous discussions about whether an application developer can do a business analyst’s job.
In fact, this is already happening in several top-tier investment banks. Line managers tend to look for all-rounded professionals not only technically strong in programming, but also have the capability to communicate effectively with business stakeholders.
Based on such findings, I would like to share several tips below for a developer who is keen to secure a position with a global investment bank:
- Research and gain an understanding of the business domains you are about to interview for, i.e. equity derivatives trade flow and processes, meaning of pricing engine, what’s the flow of trade confirmation and settlement, etc.
- Remember to clearly elaborate on your work experience, project exposures and your strengths and weaknesses. Give a breakdown of what kind of projects you have worked on, the size of the project in terms of budget, the people involved, the achievement and results etc, and highlight your technical skills.
- Prepare for scenario based questions, most of the time there is no exact answer for these questions. Employers are looking to see how you would handle specific real-life situations through the way you think, your approach and how you solve the problem. Be sure to show you understand the situation and refer back to your own experience where you delivered a positive result.
- Lastly, initiate questions during the interview to show your interest in the company, the job and in interacting with business stakeholders.
Ally is defined as a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose. In recruitment, job seekers and recruiters must realise they share the same goal, finding a dream job or filling a vacancy, like an ally should be.
On a daily basis, recruiters like myself ask job seekers questions like:
- What is your expected salary?
- Where have you been interviewing for the past 12 months?
- What kind of roles are you ideally looking for?
- What is your short and long term career development plan?
And the list goes on and on. But does anyone know the true reason why we ask questions like the above?
The ultimate goal for job seekers is to find a position where there is higher pay, wider job exposure/scope, promotion, better team dynamics, management responsibility, etc. However, professionals that come to us tend to be quite reluctant to tell us the full picture and all of their desires and expectations.
To be frank, it is impossible for recruiters to make assumptions for all professionals that come forth to look for a job. They should come to understand that recruiters do not know everything about you and in order for us to assist in looking for what you want, it is important to have an open and transparent dialogue.
Once the mutual ground is set, it is our task as recruiters to introduce you the right opportunity where your expectations and wants are met and for us, work accomplished!
Movies can offer important career lessons – I watched 3 Idiots recently which offers lots of career and life lessons, it also gave me the impetus to write about the below from some of my favourite films.
Good Will Hunting – The importance of mentoring
‘It’s not your fault’ (that you dated Minnie Driver) Robin Williams tells Matt Damon in one of their mentoring sessions, whereby he helps Will Hunting turn his life around and put his life back on track. Having talent and ability is useless unless you know what to do with it. Being able to get career advice and share thoughts and frustrations with a mentor undoubtedly will help everyone in their work life.
Catch Me If You Can – Don’t burn bridges and second chances
In this film, Tom Hanks spends the whole movie trying to catch Leonardo Di Caprio who is a career con-man. When he finally does catch him – rather than put him in jail he offers him a job within the counterfeiting investigation department. The moral of the story is that we should never burn bridges as you never know who you will end up working with. Keep all work relationships positive – Hank’s character also recognised Leo’s potential and gave him a second chance in his career.
Growing up, I’m sure you’ve all felt societal and family pressures to get into certain professional careers. One of the central themes of the movie is that we should stand our ground against outside influences and pursue a career in life that we are truly passionate about. ‘Pursue excellence and success will follow’ – i.e. be good at what you do and do it with passion.
The Avengers are superheroes with different strengths and weaknesses, as individuals they cannot defeat Loki and his cockroach-like aliens, but working together as a team they do win. Superstars in their own right; they also recognise that they need to step out of the limelight, leverage off each others strengths and work together for the common good. No matter how good you are, real successes will come from being able to adapt and work collaboratively with others.
Mikael Blomqvist hits a road-block in his missing person investigation, until he hires Lisbeth Sander as a short-term contractor. Her expertise in new media and ‘computer programming’ complement his old-school skills of journalism and investigation. They are from different walks of life, but for a short period they work together successfully and the crime gets solved. In 2012 we’re definitely seeing an increasing trend in temporary work and it’s becoming something both employers and job seekers should be comfortable with as an alternative to permanent work.
Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back – Working with family
Darth Vader to Luke: ‘It is your destiny, join me and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son’. Luke doesn’t turn to the dark side; however in the real world family can work successfully together, but not when you drop a bombshell about your arch-enemy being your father!!
I’m sure I’ve missed a few here – have any movies taught you lessons which have impacted your career?