Murex Profile Series: A Veteran in the Military…and in Finance
Won Youn is an Excelian veteran, with 6 years of Murex consulting under his belt. However, his career didn’t start in financial services – prior to joining Excelian, Won served as a squadron leader in the Korean army. Born in South Korea, he found changing from a “civilian life” to a “military life” a major shock. So, after his two years of service, he went to university in the UK to study economics and chose to follow a career in the financial services industry. That decision led Won to the Murex Academy in 2011.
“I thought, ‘I really want to go into consultancy in a financial area.’ But I didn’t realize it would be IT,” he said. “I don’t come from an IT background. But I was trained through the intensive Excelian program, and now I know my way around Murex. Yes, having a financial or IT background does help, but it’s not a prerequisite – Excelian provides you with all the training you need to succeed.”
Q: What transferrable skills did you already have that helped you succeed at the Murex Academy?
Won: “At a consultancy, you need to be logical. You need to be practical, so you can always be ready with a solution…there’s a problem to solve just about every day. But you just need to take it bit by bit, and add them all up to solve the whole problem.
You also interact with so many different kinds of people, so you need to be really flexible and adaptable, interpersonal skills are a major key. Every client has a new team you have to work with, after all.”
Q: What do you really like about Murex and Excelian?
Won: “What I really like is you’re not just a number. I’ve worked with a company in the past where you’re just another person working in that office, and that’s it. But at Excelian, you have access to all the senior members at any time – just knock on their door to strike up a conversation. It really feels like you’re a part of a family. If you know the people, it really does make life so much easier when you’re working.
Another thing I enjoy are the get-togethers and Christmas parties. I think having social outings with the team really help to bring us closer and work together well. Because we’re a global company, we rarely get to see everyone we’re in contact with face to face, but these gatherings keep us close.”
Q: As you are working in Germany right now, what made you want to work abroad?
Won: “Well I told myself, ‘I did London, so I want to explore other cultures and areas.’ Around 4 years ago, I joined a project team in Germany – and I’m happy to say I actually met my wife in Germany due to that opportunity. Moving around, you also learn a lot. It makes you grow as a person on both professional and personal levels. And I love meeting new people, which comes with the traveling. I’m also in the midst of learning German, which Excelian completely supports.”
Q: How has working at Excelian changed you as a person?
Won: “Again, people are the key. I’ve learned so much. There are a lot of people that support you and nurture you – even your line managers are your mentors.
When I first started, I was a tester, as I really wanted to be a Test Manager and a risk stream lead. Now that I’ve achieved both, I’m looking forward to becoming a Project Manager. You see, people at Excelian plunge you into the deep end and believe in you. They say, ‘Come on, Won. Do it.’ You get to choose your own path, and they advise you along the way.
I also got a lot of qualifications through Excelian. A few years ago, I achieved Agile Project Management certification, and recently passed the Murex 3T certification. Having these helps clients trust your expertise more. I’m always learning, Excelian helps you identify your development needs and supports you through training.
But there’s something I remember when I was on a leadership course with other Excelian colleagues Learning is great, but it is up to you to use what you have learnt on the field. And once mastered, it can benefit your personal life, as well.”
Q: What makes working at Excelian so valuable and special?
Won: “It pushes you to your limits. Project deadlines can be strict, and the work/client can be tough. But you’re always in it together with your team – there’s a certain comradery and pride. We motivate each other to do the best we possibly can.
There are also great travel opportunities, which allows me to experience different cultures. I was able to go to Singapore for four days last November to help a client. The culture is so different between South Korea, the UK, Germany, and places like Singapore, Paris and Dublin – like work ethic and just the way they do things. It’s fascinating. We have to compromise in order to have our eyes meet sometimes, and being at Excelian has taught me how to reason with others – even when we come from two completely different regions.”
Q: Do you have any specific advice for young graduates who aspire for similar careers?
Won: “Don’t say ‘no’ to anything, and keep your options open. If I said ‘no’ to going to Germany, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to know what my real skillsets are. When I came back to the UK, people at Excelian asked if I wanted to try risk management, and I said ‘yes’ – it just opens up more doors.
I’m also not a technical guy. At the initial interview, I was honest and said, ‘These are my skills. I don’t know this thing, but these are my skills, and I can always improve.’ If you want to grow, the opportunity is there – you just need to ask and be honest. And you need to be proactive and work hard once those doors open.”
If you are interested in a career with us, click here to see what opportunities are available at Murex.
Toni is a director within the Vendor Solutions practice of Excelian Financial Services, with responsibility for global staffing and training. In this role, Toni manages the staffing for all Vendor Solutions client delivery projects. In 2010, Toni created the Excelian graduate Murex academy in London which has now grown to be a global programme, offered in London, Warsaw, India and Singapore. Toni is passionate about staff development and manages a global L&D programme for all staff within the practice.