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From FDM Consultants to Business Development Managers: Two FDMers Share Their Stories

Andrew and Mark - FDM

Mark Antoniadis and Andrew Taylor joined FDM in 2013. Amongst one of the first cohorts of FDM consultants in Canada, they received their training in New York as a part of our pilot Canadian training classes. After two years excelling on-site at RBC (Mark) and TD (Andrew), they both transitioned to permanent staff with their placement clients. Mark took on the role of Senior Technical Systems Analyst and Andrew continued in his position as a Senior Business Analyst. Now, their paths have ultimately led them back to FDM. Mark and Andrew took the opportunity to return and rejoin FDM as Business Development Managers in January 2018. We got to hear more about their exciting career journeys.

How did you hear about FDM?

Mark: A friend of mine from university had gone through the program a few months before I joined. We had worked on similar projects and developed a lot of the same skills throughout university. When he told me that I would enjoy the program, I believed him.

Andrew: I applied to a posting on Indeed and was contacted the next day.

What made you decide to join FDM?

M: I was working at a frozen yogurt shop at the time and my friend’s positive review made it an easy decision. I was ready to learn more specific skills and start a career to see where I could apply my knowledge and experiences from university and previous work.

A: The reason I joined FDM was to gain exposure to UNIX. At the time, I wanted to get into cyber security.

How did you find the training process?

M: I went through the Java stream in New York and the people I trained with were all amazing, fun and hardworking. The environment was very encouraging and collaborative, which I really loved. The training itself was very intense but I really enjoyed the fast pace and was able to use my existing knowledge in other programming languages to my advantage.

A: I thought the training was very comprehensive and built on a lot of topics I touched on during school.

What was your job title and responsibilities while on-site as an FDM consultant?

M: I worked at RBC Capital Markets as a Technical Systems Analyst for the Commodities Production Management team. In this role, I was a full-service Support Analyst that supported applications used by the commodities trading market at RBC. My daily role included dealing with business user issues related to our applications, application maintenance and ensuring our systems and processes were working efficiently and as designed.

A: I was a Business Analyst at TD Securities responsible for the migration of the trade capture portion of an in-house system to Bloomberg TOMS for the corporates trading desk. I then worked on regulatory initiatives and other projects for the book of record system for bond trading.

How did your FDM training prepare you for your role on-site?

M: The development stream training at FDM fully prepared me to create the many tools I developed on site. In my tenure there, I developed nine tools, which are still in use today. It really gave me a running start at my placement to ensure I could set a good impression with my manager and teammates early on.

A: I think a lot of the skills transferred really well, specifically the ITIL, BA and SQL training for my role.

Why did you decide to re-join FDM after internalizing at a client organization?

M: During my time at RBC, I had kept a great relationship with everyone at FDM and was still very integrated with the staff. I was feeling the need for a change and I was ready for something more social, versatile and exciting. I wanted to use my social and technical skills in conjunction and this was something that I knew the new role at FDM could offer.

A: This opportunity seemed like a great fit given my experience and the exposure I would have both to the business and various technologies used by our clients.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities as Business Development Managers?

M: In my current role, I am here to assist FDM in delivering a strong service offering to our clients. This could mean attending sales meetings with our Account Managers to better understand the client’s technology needs and properly translating this need to our trainers and trainees. I also develop new training material based on client’s needs and requests to ensure we are staying up to date with the technology and offering current and exciting content in our academy. My main focus in this space at the moment is in the Test Automation and DevOps.

A: Every day is different in this role, which is great. Some of the more common tasks are assisting the account managers in translating technical requirements in roles to ensure we can offer training in those areas to our consultants, finding ways in which we can provide better training, identifying areas of growth and patterns within the industry as a whole and building out streams to accommodate the changing landscape.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

M: My advice to new graduates would be to continue working hard and learning after your university career is complete. The technology space as a whole is continuously evolving and there is a lot to learn outside of what is taught in educational institutions. By staying up to date with new and emerging technologies, you will have a world of possibilities and opportunities at your doorstep. On top of this, I would stay optimistic and open to new opportunities – you never know where life will take you or where you will end up in five to ten years.

A: Apart from the typical advice, don’t underestimate the power of networking. Connecting and just talking with as many people as possible will help you immensely with your career and personal life. Being exposed to people with different skillsets and backgrounds can really give perspective and teach you a lot in the process.

Any highlights of your career journey that you want to share?

M: I am very proud of the tools I built at my time in RBC. In particular, one tool that I built was fully developed by me and the code has never been touched by anyone else. It is still heavily used at RBC as a front line monitoring tool and it has added great value to our team and organization. The tool is actually named after me and I hope it continues to live on for a while!

A: I think joining FDM is the biggest highlight. It has helped me facilitate some really great relationships and everything has snowballed from there. I’ve met some close friends and gained an immense amount of experience in what feels like a short time, and now that I’m back at FDM I feel that will continue tenfold.

Inspired to start your own career in IT or business with FDM? Apply here to join our Careers Program today.

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