Meet the game design grad who made the switch to fintech
Benie Mambouana of Fidelity Investments talks about his introduction to the world of fintech and shares some tips for tech graduates.
One of the most exciting parts of the tech industry is how entry-level professionals can start on a path to a whole new area they want to explore.
That’s what happened to Benie Mambouana, who did a four-year bachelor’s degree in game design and development at Limerick IT, now part of Shannon University of Technology: Midlands Midwest (TUS). She now works as an associate software engineer at Fidelity Investments.
“I had never heard of fintech until I did a six-month internship at a small fintech start-up in Madrid,” she told SiliconRepublic.com.
“That’s when I realized that I didn’t want to have a career in the gaming industry anymore. I knew that I still wanted to have a career in IT, so I started to focus on the becoming a software engineer. I quickly managed to land a great opportunity with Fidelity Investments. That was my full-loop moment.
Mambouana said she chose the tech industry because of its continuous learning opportunities. “I like change and I get bored easily. It’s the aspect of the industry that appeals to me the most,” she said.
“One of the things that stood out to me the most at Fidelity were the learning days. Fidelity believes in continuous learning and hosts a learning day once a week to give employees the opportunity to develop their skills to advance their careers. »
“In this field, I think it is essential to have an open mind”
– BLESSED MAMBOUANA
With the Fidelity Investments graduate program, are you now working in the type of job you wanted?
Absolutely! One of the amazing things about the Leap Immersive Technology Graduate Program was the weekly meetings I had with my manager to discuss my interests and areas that would interest me.
My manager would keep track of this information to ensure that I was placed in the most appropriate role after completing the program.
I didn’t make it easy for him as I constantly changed my mind as the program progressed. But that’s what the Leap program is for. When you start it, you may have a set career path in mind, which may or may not change after training is complete.
Can you describe a typical day in your role?
At 8:30 a.m. I usually start my day by logging on, checking my email, and looking at my schedule for the day. At 9:30 a.m. my team is using the agile methodology and we have a daily 15 minute scrum meeting to discuss things like what we did the day before, the challenges everyone is facing, and how to possibly overcome those issues.
From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. I usually write down a list of my tasks for the day and work on my tasks until lunchtime. We work in two-week intervals called sprints. I use the two weeks to complete my tasks and at the end of each sprint we have a sprint planning where I get new tasks from our backlog.
After lunch, my team has a daily catch-up meeting. This allows us to discuss all the obstacles we face in more detail than the Scrum meeting would allow. It also gives us the opportunity to peer review our work.
From 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., I continue to work on my tasks or attend meetings scheduled for the afternoon.
No two days are alike in my role. Sometimes I’m on Zoom calls with my colleagues from the US and other times I might be in the office for a week of Team Connect.
Have your responsibilities and workload changed since you completed the program?
Since completing the Leap program, I’ve taken the skills I learned and started applying them to my role. I also informed my team of my skills after my arrival so that my workload aligned with my skills.
This helped me tremendously because my tasks kept increasing in difficulty based on the new skills I learned. All the members of my team have a more important role than me, so I have the opportunity to learn from them day by day.
Did the graduate program prepare you for professional life?
Besides technical skills, one of the most important skills I improved during the program is how to work well with others.
Since the new normal is now working from home, having good collaboration skills as well as communication skills is essential.
Would you recommend the Fidelity Investments graduate program to others?
This program helped clear up any initial anxiety I had at the start of my career. The industry is so vast and sometimes you can’t help but feel like you’ve been plunged into the deep end when you start a new job.
The Leap program is perfect because you start it with a group of other graduates who are all in the same boat as you. Your spirit is reassured from day one.
I would wholeheartedly recommend the Leap program as I learned a lot and met some great people I can call my friends.
Do you have any advice for future graduates or those just starting out?
If you’re just starting out, try working on a variety of problems. This will help you determine your interests and abilities. In this area, I believe it is essential to have an open mind; what you can enjoy now may change in the future.
Finally, don’t let your pride keep you from learning from others. Otherwise, you will prevent yourself from reaching your full potential.
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