MSc Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems: London School of Economics
Specialist degree, Information Management: State University of Management, Moscow
- First: Trading Systems Development, Technology
- Second: Product Management, UnaVista
- Third: Global Sales, FTSE
I got off to an unexpected start. I had been accepted to the programme and before I began, I received a call asking me if I would go to Milan. I don’t speak Italian – and I had been preparing for life in London. At first I wasn’t sure, but then I thought: hang on, this is an opportunity to stretch myself, explore a new culture and meet new people. The role was a technical one, so it was appropriate for my information systems background, and when I got there I discovered that I was capable of producing good value for the business from day one. People were happy with what I was delivering – which made me feel great.
I’ve learned a lot about international business cultures already. I started out working at home in Russia, then worked in Italy and now in the UK. At some point, I may get a chance to work at LSEG’s base in Sri Lanka and I would love to do that – I want to use my freedom to take opportunities. The business is very supportive as you move to new things, so it’s a great way to gain exposure.
I never wanted to develop my skills in a narrow field and I certainly didn’t want to work in a business where technology is considered a support role. I wanted to use my skill set in a company where technology is integral to functions. That could have been any industry, as you do have a choice when you’re a technologist, but London is a financial hub and the financial services industry is a key driver of the world economy – making it exciting to be a part of. Without technology, this business doesn’t exist. The exchange would stop altogether. That’s how important technology is here, so I know my input is valued.
The rotational programme allows you to get a flavour for the different parts of the business and see how the puzzle fits together. I have learned about the industry here and because of the experience I’ve gained, I have so many options: I can stay with technology, work directly with clients, or take on a role developing the business itself. You experience the variety that LSEG has to offer and then decide where you want to focus your career.
My next rotation will be in FTSE Global Sales, so that’s an opportunity to get out and talk to people in a sales role. I’ve already met one of the executive directors; she did a presentation at our induction and she could sell snow in Siberia – she was the kind of person you want to talk to all day long. So I think I’ll have an opportunity to develop my interpersonal skills in this rotation, but there is also an opportunity to share skills and knowledge. Because FTSE is information services, we are of course starting to identify synergies between their products and other business areas. As a techie, I can see an opportunity for me to work as a facilitator in drawing our capabilities together, and my experience inside different parts of the business will really help me.
To technologists, I would say: don’t be put off by the fact that it’s not an IT company. We work with the infrastructure of global financial services, and you have an opportunity to apply your skills to a particular industry. We have a number of different businesses under the LSEG name, and some of them are like small technology businesses. You’ll see yourself contributing to a product. If you want to specialise, you can. But before you do, you will have every chance to explore which experiences you want to have to build your career.