I am Alex, I am a Technical Project Manager, I am FDM

John Smith

My name is Alex and I am a British born half-Latvian who was raised in Great Malvern in the UK. I am now working for UBS as a Technical Project Manager in Singapore.

In 2010 I graduated from the University of Kent where I studied Computer Science with a year in Industry. The course itself was technical and during my time at university I learnt the fundamentals of software programming, project management, hardware systems and network architectures.

Completing a sandwich degree allowed me to put what I learnt into practice in a commercial environment. For my placement, I made a conscious effort to go abroad and experience the working environment outside of the UK.  In 2008 I spent a year working for HSBC in Hong Kong in back office IT and with the development team for Sophis Risque. It was an amazing experience during which I gained valuable work experience at a bank at the height of the financial crisis. In addition to this, living in Hong Kong gave me exposure to a completely different lifestyle and culture.

When I returned to the UK following my placement in Hong Kong people would often ask me “would you go back?” to which I replied “yes, of course!”. I fell in love with the lifestyle, culture, food and the work I had been doing.

After graduating in 2010, I took part in research projects, taught Mathematics and later moved onto do some IT consultancy and programming work. After my consultancy work came to an end, I started to consider the direction I wanted my career to go in and where I wanted to live. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to move back to Asia!

Whilst I was looking for new opportunities I came across FDM. They offered training courses for a variety of different roles to bring you up to standard while boasting a large blue chip client base. The training course was a nice refresher and what really sold me on joining FDM was that they are an international company with Consultants placed all around the globe.

Since joining FDM, I have been placed at UBS Investment Bank. I spent several months working in London before moving to Singapore where I have now been for two and a half years. I initially joined UBS as an Application Support Analyst, where my responsibilities included monitoring trading systems and applications, dealing with incident and problem management, creating and deploying changes and training new staff. I have had the experience of working with the global teams of UBS including the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions, from all areas of the bank including support staff, development teams and business users. I have been able to further my IT and troubleshooting skill set and greatly improved my financial knowledge during my time at UBS.

Earlier this year when my contract with UBS was up for extension, I reviewed what I wanted to achieve in my career and how I could best get there. After a lot of consideration, I made the decision that I wanted to change roles and move out of application support into a more technical project management and business analysis role. After discussing this with both UBS and FDM, I’m happy to say that I am staying with UBS in a new role as a Technical Project Manager where I now have the responsibility to help manage MiFID II regulatory initiatives for the UBS EMEA Application Support Global team.

Living in Singapore has been an amazing experience. The city state is so convenient and the public transport system is fantastic, the cuisine is great and there is a strong focus on health and fitness. It doesn’t hurt that Singapore is a central travel hub in the region where I’ve had the pleasure to meet many amazing people from different cultures and backgrounds.

During my stay in Singapore, I’ve started to learn Mandarin and participated in some of the many running events Singapore hosts on a regular basis. I am very happy I made it back to Asia; I am having an amazing time here in Singapore and hope to spend many more years here.

Going forward I will continue to further my career and reach my goal of becoming a Chartered IT Professional with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, by the end of this calendar year, gain my Prince 2 Practitioner qualification and PMP professional certification. Outside of my career, I hope to be able to sit my first HSK Mandarin exam in 2018 and finally get a sub 60 minute time for running 10km in the blistering heat of Singapore.

My advice for those looking to join FDM would be to know yourself and what you want to achieve. What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? What can you do to reach your goals? If you know the answers to these questions, then the chances are that FDM can help you progress on this journey. Do your research and talk to people, whether it’s FDM Account Managers, Trainers or anyone else. The more people you talk to and who hear what you want to do, the more likely an opportunity you’re interested in will come your way.

Updated 16 June, 2017