Career Advice

Alumni Stories: Puvinthan Balasingam

John Smith

FDM is proud to have such a diverse and world-wide workforce. With offices in Europe, North America and APAC, our consultants are offered the chance to travel around the world with our clients and to experience our programme in a different environment. Puvinathan Balasingam explains how the programme gave him the career step he needed after university.

My career with FDM has been fast-paced from the start – in the space of only a year, I’d graduated university, completed my training with FDM and relocated to Switzerland to begin the career path of my future.

Like a classic graduate, I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and went straight to the job board to begin sending out applications. Coincidently, I ran into an old friend who was two years into a placement with FDM in Switzerland. He advised me to finish my Master of Science degree, and then have a look at FDM’s business model to see what it might offer me. After speaking to an FDM recruiter about the many opportunities available worldwide, I was completely sold. I wanted to see more of the world and thought working whilst travelling would be a great opportunity.

I finished my Bachelor’s Degree at Kings College in London in 2011 and went on to complete my Masters in Nottingham in summer 2013. I joined the Development stream at FDM instead where I learned Java, Web application design, UNIX and other skills and programmes that I often use on-site. During training I ran into a friend who had recently returned to London after finishing his two-year placement in Zurich with FDM, which he recommended highly to me. The account managers knew I was keen to travel and after my chat with my friend I started looking into Zurich. In July 2014 I began my placement with a high profile bank in Switzerland as a Software Engineer. This position helped me learn about business analysis, software engineering, problem management, shift-level management and capacity management.

I worked within several departments in my placement. Before moving into Project Management I did my final Business Analyst role in Securities Settlement. The roles were fast-paced and I worked to deliver IT change driven by bank-wide initiatives such as automation, offshoring, compliance and global process standardisation on a portfolio of applications used within Settlement Operations.

I settled into Switzerland faster than I expected – it’s a completely different culture and language over here, but luckily the business language is English so I manage to get by. I work with Brits and Americans alike, and all helped me adapt to the environment. I’ve been out here for just over four years, and as much as my mother hates to hear it, I have no plans to return back home. I’ve made a life for myself here and it’s brilliant. I’m now a Service and Product Manager where I manage a portfolio of IT products and services and am a channel for the delivery of a product. I’ve recently been certified in Software Project Management from the International Software Product Management Association.

I feel like my age has been a huge step in helping me secure these jobs. Being young and willing to take on the workload meant that the managers saw I was keen to network and prove that my age wouldn’t hold me back in the role. Being able to network also helped me get to know other people in the business who would recommend me for promotions and new roles within the company.

Honestly, I can’t recommend FDM enough. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door and to open up the gateway to new opportunities that you wouldn’t be able to just casually walk into from university.

Are you interested in kick-starting your career in business or technology? Check out our programmes today.