Find out what it is really like to work as an FDM Consultant representing us on prestigious client sites across the globe by reading these career stories:
Project Management - Leanne
Leanne’s Career in PMO
What skills did you learn at FDM that have been essential to your career?
I think the two key skills that stick out for me are communication and accountability. Communication mainly because at FDM they make being at the academy – your kind of forced to interact with a diverse range of people from different walks of life, different ages, different backgrounds… So that really was a great help to me coming into UBS working with people from Asia, people from the States, people from Europe, but also working with a lot of the senior managers in the company in a more comfortable position. And I said I think accountability because it really encouraged me to take accountability for my actions, the decisions that I made, and also I believe it is a skill that I employ every day.
When did you know FDM was the right decision?
I would say probably the day I got my first interview was the day I realised that this was the best decision. I always kind of went through thinking that this was too good to be true, but going through the process and being trained up in the various different skills and training programmes that FDM has to offer, and then also actually being taken to the interview stage and being accepted was the turning point for me which marked the start of my career.
See the rest of Leanne’s interview in the video above!
Business Analyst - Mira
Mira’s Career as a Business Analyst
“After graduating from Brunel University with a degree in Financial Accounting I soon realised I wanted to pursue a career in the financial industry with a focus on data analysis. Shortly after graduating I joined FDM Group’s Graduate Programme. Their industry standard training provides the solution to the catch-22 of employers wanting to hire candidates with commercial experience.
I gained a range of skills from the training including SQL, extracting information from databases and VBA, which all led to me successfully completing my final project in data organisation. Once I completed the training, my main goal was to secure a role where I could further develop the skills and knowledge acquired through my degree and FDM.
I was soon placed at RBS UK as a Business Analyst where I worked with the Change Management team on a Strategic Documentation System. The role allowed me to gain exposure to the financial industry and stakeholders allowing me to enhance my skills and utilise the training FDM had provided me with. My day-to-day activities included writing job specifications for any implemented changes to the system and liaising with stakeholders to ensure their requests were feasible. Alongside this I also communicated with the team of Developers to work out time-frames for the changes. This allowed me to prioritise the tasks and ensure they were completed alongside User Acceptance Testing in time for monthly release date. After completing over a year at RBS I have now been offered a role with Lloyds Banking Group within ADM in Operations Support. This will be a very challenging and exciting role where I will be travelling around a lot. I am looking forward to this new and exciting experience.
FDM is a company that provides prospects; I would highly recommend them to graduates seeking employment because the end result speaks for itself. It would have taken me many years to reach my current position if it had not have been for FDM’s superb training that adds value to an individual. The experiences I have gained on-site will inevitably enhance my career opportunities in the future.”
Developer - Yassir
Yassir’s career as an FDM Java Developer
“I first found out about FDM through a graduate fair at university and what initially attracted me was the company’s impressive blue-chip client base. After I graduated, I realised that holding a degree was not enough to kick-start a career in IT as I was lacking skills currently being used in industry, and this is exactly what the training at FDM provided me with. The environment was very professional and there were trainers ready to help me with anything from exams to holding practice interviews for upcoming roles. Some of the technologies I was taught include:
- UNIX and BASH scripting
- Java SE and EE
- Junit Testing
- Spring Framework
FDM also gave me soft skills so that I could master interview techniques and transition smoothly into the ‘working world’. After training, FDM placed me with Barclays in Canary Wharf. My role here involves:
- Software development for SAP systems
- Web DynPro component design
- Master Data Management
I really enjoy working in one of the most developed financial districts and that too for one of the biggest banks in the world. All in all, I came to kick-start a career in IT and got exactly that, thanks to FDM!”
Software Tester - Sandeep
Sandeep’s career as a Software Test Analyst
“Before joining the FDM Graduate Programme I studied Computer Science at Nottingham Trent University. I chose an IT related degree as I had good background knowledge from previous education, and also the career prospects were promising. I chose to apply to FDM as it seemed like an exciting opportunity, which it certainly was.
Once I had completed six weeks of training in testing and passed my ISEB, I was placed as a Software Tester for Barclays working on the popular Barclays Pingit App which to date has won numerous awards. Once I had carried out three months of testing I was chosen for a promotion in which I became an Onshore Lead/Defect manager for the Barclaycard project, which is currently popular in the App stores. I was given the opportunity to start working on this project from day one. It was certainly challenging at times as I had limited testing experience at this point and I was being told to lead the team, however it was a great opportunity which would be extremely difficult to come by if it was not for FDM. I stayed on the Barclaycard project for two releases; the first release is always the most demanding which lasted four months. After release two my hard work was recognised and I was again promoted, this time I was given the opportunity to be a full Test Lead for Barclays Pingit.
Working as Test Lead on one of Barclay’s biggest projects, Pingit whilst having only one and a half years of testing experience has been a really fantastic opportunity. Without FDM, positions like this would usually be very difficult to come by with such little experience. My day-to-day role includes: finding out how to test scenarios which in some cases need technical involvement such as SQL Injection and Configuration File Manipulation, managing and delegating tasks to a Test team, liaising with Project Managers and Stakeholders on the progress of a release and making sure all Testing has been carried out without any gaps.
My role is certainly challenging and involves working under pressure, however it is never boring and I can certainly say I enjoy what I do. I am thankful to my education and FDM Group for providing me with the opportunity to progress in a career that I am so passionate about.”
MX.3 Support Analyst - Joan
Joan’s career as an MX.3 Support Analyst
“Two years ago, I was on track to become a scientist. At the time, I was in graduate school for a Physics degree, and first became introduced to serious programming as a means to an end: analysing research data, or simulating random systems for coursework. I found that I enjoyed the coding aspect of my work much more than I’d thought I would, so after obtaining my MSc, I joined FDM in 2013.
I will forever appreciate everything FDM has done for me, not only in imparting the knowledge and skills I now find invaluable, but for helping me build the bridge between where I used to be and where I am today.”
Data Analyst - Ella
Ella’s career as an Data Analyst
“Having been graduated for a few years, I was looking for a change in career that allowed me to utilise the analytical skills and keen interest in finance I had gained during my Economics degree; fortunately enough this led me to FDM. As a leading graduate IT employer with strong links to some of the biggest names in IT and finance, I knew they would be a great choice in helping to shape my future career prospects.
The Data Analyst training offered me the chance to build on my professional and technical skills to enable me to effectively operate in a wide variety of data positions. Data analysis is at the heart of all industries. The wide and varied work shapes the decisions that will impact key policy set by decision makers, thus making the work Data Analysts do invaluable to the business.
Shortly after completing my training, I had the opportunity to be placed within the Treasury of Barclays Capital as a Data Test Analyst. I was working on a bank-wide project aimed at building a more unified model to use when hedging their interest-rate risk. It has been an exciting and challenging role where I have been able to build on both my technical and financial knowledge base and have a greater understanding on the major role that technology plays in shaping the future of financial services.
If you feel like you want to be at the forefront of an ever changing and diverse industry such as IT, FDM will help put you on a career path that you may have previously thought was not open to you. FDM also has a strong focus on championing women in IT, which I feel is very important because it shows their commitment to shaping a diverse talent base in an ever-expanding industry.”
Release Manager - Travis
“In recent years, IT has separated itself from its previous association with the notion of being a standalone service; it is now an integral element of everyday life. As such, I believed that getting my foot in the door of the IT industry would be an excellent springboard for my future career. There are countless different components to the industry and I am constantly learning new things. I can see more and more how effective it is to take the transferable skills I previously gained in the Forces, and the new skills I have since developed within my IT role, and apply them to any sector.
I left school in New Zealand early as I couldn’t initially see anything I wanted to do at university. I came across to the UK with the sole intention of joining the Army, more specifically the Parachute Regiment. Throughout my 7 years’ service I was exposed to incredibly challenging and exhilarating experiences including 3 operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. My service also involved working as an interpreter, mediating discussions and commanding multicultural teams. This time gave me experience in all levels of management, liaison and coordination, which I relied on heavily during my transition into civilian life.
After leaving the Forces I started working for an ex-Military recruitment company; I then encountered FDM Group at a networking event. Their ex-Forces model sounded very interesting and soon after I applied for an FDM Insight Day. Attending the Insight Day opened me up to a world of opportunities, and unbeknown to me at the time, was the beginning of my transition from the Forces to Finance.
One week later I had an interview arranged for me through FDM with Lloyds Banking Group for a position as a Release Manager. I knew little about the role initially, and even after significant research I felt very tentative given my lack of experience in IT and the finance industry. The initial interview was very straight forward though, with a discussion about the role, my relevant experience, and an insightful revelation of how the two were actually connected. My second interview was designed to resemble a challenge similar to one that I would be faced with in the role itself. It was at this moment that I knew I could handle it. The evening after my second interview I was offered the job, a mere two weeks after the Insight Day at FDM.
My training at the FDM Academy began soon after, and I was plunged straight into a Financial Industry Awareness course. With no previous experience, it took a day or so to get going but I soon settled in and was fully confident in the material. The next couple of weeks consisted of training in PRINCE2, ITIL and numerous other programs that were relevant for the job at Lloyds. Both of these aforementioned qualifications have come in handy and I intend to continue my education in both programs during my time with FDM.
Once placed at Lloyds I soon discovered that the learning curve on site is a steep one. As a Manager, I was inclined to learn the mechanics behind the technical work in an effort to fully understand the ability of the assets involved. My team on site are largely former FDMers themselves and have been extremely approachable, openly offering to lend a helping hand and even teach me anything that I felt I was lacking knowledge in. Six weeks in and I’m starting to really get into the swing of things.
The role of Release Manager itself sits between Service Transition, Project Management and Change Management. Necessary changes to the bank’s systems and platforms require in-depth planning and de-confliction. At any one time, there are a number of different moving parts that require attention and it is my job to ensure this all runs smoothly, implementing best practice where possible.
The career progression opportunities from this role are excellent. As of yet, I am unsure which route I plan to take; Project Management perhaps, or maybe a continuation of my experience as a Release Manager. Luckily I have plenty of time to decide and both FDM and Lloyds have shown great interest in supporting me and helping me grow into any role I choose.”
Business Relationship Manager and Former Royal Air Force Sgt - Duncan Hutchings
Duncan’s Career as a Business Relationship Manager
“I completed 26 years in the Royal Air Force as an ICT Technician. During this time I spent four years working on a mobile communications unit deploying at short notice to locations all around the world and managing a variety of service management helpdesks. This included three and a half years providing support for the Remotely Piloted Air Systems based outside of Las Vegas. I spent my last 18 months in the RAF in a service delivery role at the Global Operations Security Control Centre, ordering satellite bandwidth for all three Services both on exercises and operations.
Col Sharman (Head of FDM Ex-Forces Programme), who was working in the same location as me as I was preparing to leave the RAF, introduced me to FDM. After carrying out some research I knew FDM would be an excellent company to start a new career with away from the military.
My role is to manage a group of 18 FDM Consultants who are carrying out 24/7 application support in the live environment for a major banking client. FDM recognised the management and leadership skills that I had acquired throughout my military career and placed me straight with the client.
On-site no two days are ever the same. Typically a day will involve allocating resources for live proving tasks, taking part in various stakeholder meetings plus the usual watch keeping administration issues that go hand-in-hand with managing a 24/7 team. I am also the FDM focal point for the 90+ FDM Consultants that are on-site.
What I enjoy the most is working with my team of FDM Consultants, who are very enthusiastic and hard working. I also enjoy taking part in the recruitment opportunities for the Ex-Forces Programme. I had a seamless transition from the military to civilian life thanks to FDM and I hope I can help do the same for other ex-Forces personnel.”