Consultant of the Month – October 2018

Paul Brown
29.10.2018 Published: 29.10.18, Modified: 29.10.2018 11:10:02

Amir Sofer

Business Analyst at National Grid, US

Rutgers University: BS in Business Analytics and IT, minor in Economics and Entrepreneurship

I graduated college in May 2017 and joined FDM a few months later in July. I decided to join due to FDM’s combined focus on Business and IT, which is strongly in line with my background as well as my passion. The best thing about my experience as an FDMer is my placement with National Grid. Working with the Finance Process Engineering team has been very beneficial and I am both honoured and appreciative for this award. Not only is there a friendly and accepting work environment at National Grid, but there are many opportunities to grow and learn new skills. FDM truly kick-started my career in tech as their focus is to help trainees transition efficiently to client site, working alongside prestigious companies all over the world—it is truly a fast paced environment. I would recommend FDM to anyone who is unsure of where they see themselves or what they’d like to do in the future. FDM is a good starting point and a great way to start a career if you are looking to gain access to renowned, international companies.

“I have worked with many people who do their job and go home. Amir isn’t one of them.  He has a desire to succeed and is willing to do the work that it requires. He has the same attitude whether he is doing the top or bottom level of a job. He is always a pleasure to work with. He is very organized and on point for each training and with the team. I have watched him interact with all levels of management from VP to Analyst and he treats everyone with respect and dignity.  He is always willing to learn new skills, as well as teach skills sets that others may not have. I’m very impressed with the well-rounded skills sets that he has and his willingness to learn from every opportunity that comes his way. Amir goes above and beyond what is asked of him.”

-Sr. Process Manager at National Grid


Jessie Hou

Calypso Support Analyst at TD Securities, CA

University of Toronto: Statistics and Economics

I have been with FDM for one year. My experience at TD Securities is great overall. My role in production support sometimes leads to stressful work, but the challenges keep me learning new knowledge and I am constantly making improvements. My teammates are very respectful and supportive, which makes work more motivating. I decided to join FDM because I know that it provides young professionals great opportunities to work for incredible clients across the world, including some of the largest banks. The best thing about my time with FDM was the opportunity to make many great friends, with both my trainers as well as my peers within the Academy. FDM is a great environment to meet people with different backgrounds, a good starting point for new graduates to begin their career, and a place where one can learn valuable skills that truly enhance your personality.


Arslan Akhtar

Software Developer at Manulife, HK

The University of Hong Kong: Mechanical Engineering

I am highly honoured to have been given this award. The FDM academy not only has a strong learning-intensive environment as well as trainers and account managers who are helpful and focused on successful placement. The academy has enabled me to apply my knowledge on site and shaped me to think creatively in terms of producing my work. After graduation, I held an immense interest in pursuing a career in software engineering. However, I had an educational background in mechanical and electrical engineering. FDM acted as a bridge that enabled me to pursue my dream in the field of software engineering and they played a key role in providing me sufficient training in software development, which is one of the primary reasons that encouraged me to join the company. Furthermore, FDM is welcoming; it has a multicultural and diverse environment, as does Manulife Asset Management.  I think this type of cultural environment is an essential asset that every successful company possesses and it proves to be beneficial for the success of its employees as well. Hence, I would highly recommend fresh graduates to start their early career through FDM, especially individuals from diverse educational backgrounds who intend to pursue a career in the IT industry.


“Arslan’s ability, attitude and work ethic has given me confidence in FDM’s selection and training process. It has also given me confidence to choose further FDMers even when their CV is not a perfect match, knowing that with hard work they will quickly come up to speed. FDM clearly provides a support mechanism for their consultants and trains them in technical skills as well as soft skills in order for them to navigate the workplace successfully. Arslan has been able to self-start, interact with multiple business stakeholders and deliver solutions to complex, poorly documented problems efficiently and without any complaints or concerns. He is able to learn quickly and give confidence to those around him that he is capable. He will ask for help rather than block on any given problem so that he continues to deliver despite obstacles.”

-Director at Manulife Asset Management


Shane Lore

Lead QA Engineer, Thomson Reuters, UK

Buckinghamshire University: Computer Science

I’ve been with FDM for around 16 months and the skills I learned at the FDM academy have enabled me to improve myself as a QA Engineer, implement solutions which I saw fit and earn my place as Lead QA Engineer and SME for Thomson Reuters. I joined FDM in order to gain experience with different blue chip companies and to build a network of connections that could mutually benefit from this relationship. The best thing about my time at FDM was building relationships with consultants and members of internal staff. Everyone has their own story to tell and skills you can learn from. The culture at FDM is very diverse and unique. They say that two pairs of eyes are always better than one and at FDM, each member of a training group has a different approach to solving a problem, each of which are important to consider. I would recommend FDM to anyone in the early stages of their career as this is when it is crucial to gain as much experience as possible. The opportunities provided by FDM allow a network of trainees who learn to use the same methodologies and tools, to be sent out to different companies and create their own solutions whilst building their own network.

“SIT is a really busy team looking at the integration testing of a large number of components/groups and projects. Shane’s been very quick to pick up anything that has been passed onto him, and if he’s not sure he will ask for more details. Recently, Shane was working on a specific project but was asked to support with a critical production issue at short notice. He needed to review and explain the issue by walking key stakeholders through what was happening while explaining how this should work. Shane stayed late in the office to complete the task, and the issue was identified, walked through, fixed and tested within a few hours. Shane’s knowledge really shined through in the explanations and walkthrough of what was happening vs. what was expected. Shane was pretty much thrown in at the deep end to present to stakeholders, which involved keeping calm, showing where the issue lies, how it should function and then remain at work for a very long day to ensure the fix is correct. Not all consultants are prepared to do this level of work. He’s a great member of the team and shows a willingness to learn anything new.”

-SIT Quality Manager, Thomson Reuters


Blair Aitken

Portfolio Manager, DWP, UK


Before I joined FDM in May 2017, I was in the Infantry (The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland). I decided to join FDM for their Ex-Forces Programme, which suited my needs at the time of leaving the Army. My experience at DWP is vastly different to my previous job; I never thought I would sit behind a desk. I have met some interesting people and I work with a team who treat me as one of their own, which is always a bonus. We all get along well on-site, regardless of where you are from and what you trained as. My placement has been challenging, but I have overcome every obstacle thrown at me so far. Winning this award has really taken me by surprise, thank you!

“Blair came with a sound knowledge-base since leaving the FDM training academy. He was highly-recommended, and has not marred that view. Blair originally came to DWP to work within resource management. Upon moving to Portfolio Management, he’s become a well-known figure in the Portfolio community. Blair uses his experience at FDM to make suggestions on how DWP could improve, and he is often sought for his advice and expertise. He is very vocal in Mental Health awareness and has provided feedback to our First Aid community, drawing on his army experiences to back up his views. He has recently highlighted that our first aid rooms should be checked regularly; a matter that is being taken up further as we speak. He has assisted the central Digital Portfolio team in TechNow testing (an elite function – only the most technically-minded individuals are asked). Overall, Blair has grown in strength since coming to DWP. Following a massive culture shock from leaving the army, he is enthusiastic in the work he carries out and draws from his own life experiences to help others around him.”

– Portfolio Manager for Digital Delivery for Shared Platforms (DDSP)


Jake Laver

Software Developer, IHS Markit, UK

University of St Andrews: Mathematics and Physics

I’ve really enjoyed my time at IHS Markit. I’ve had the opportunity and freedom to use some very interesting technology for a wide range of applications, and have been trusted with a lot of responsibilities, making me feel a valued and integral member of the team. I’d like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to work in an industry I love with some amazing people, and I hope I can continue to make everyone proud. I’ve been with FDM for two years now and have been offered the perfect opportunity to get into the development industry; especially as somebody with no concrete prior experience in development. The training offered an entry into the industry, and my placement at IHS Markit has allowed me to launch my career. The best thing about my time at FDM has been the ability to learn. From the in-house training in a wide range of subjects to educate and prepare consultants for the workplace, to the ability to work in the given industry and pick up a huge range of new skills. The culture at FDM is incredibly driven; everyone I trained with has excelled due to the motivation they possess. Everybody is excited by new challenges and will embrace them rather than shy away from them. FDM is the perfect way to get into the technology industry, and it has an incredibly healthy culture that helps cultivate your passion.

“Jake has shown considerable resolve and immense ingenuity in mastering our technology landscape and has been a highly productive member of the team since joining. Jake is among the top 90% most productive developers in a global team of senior developers. He has picked up the latest technologies in a very short space of time, and has used them successfully to make exemplary progress on his tasks and the overall project. He has gone way beyond the expectations from a junior developer and has made a place for himself as a peer of senior and experienced developers. Above all, he has elevated the impression of FDM in the team and in IHS Markit. Jake has turned every challenge facing him into an opportunity, not just for himself but also for his other team members. I would recommend FDM simply because of the support network they provide to their contractors. Seeking and starting work immediately after graduating is a daunting experience, which takes a toll even on the very best. FDM not only equips them with the core knowledge that they need but also supports them through their early career years with a focus on them being successful professionals. In doing so, FDM not only provides a service to its clients but also to the wider technology industry and community.”

-Associate Director, IHS Markit

If you’re ready to jump-start your career as a business or IT consultant, apply to join FDM today

Read about previous Consultant of the Month winners below: