How did you get from learning about Murex to becoming a Murex lead? What was your journey like?
I came on board as part of a large migration project. I was doing business analyst activities and I was offered an opportunity to step into a role that was a bit of a stretch.. From there, I've just been repeating these stretch roles up unto where I am now, leading projects and teams. It's been a fantastic journey, a good learning curve as well. Excelian kept giving me opportunities to step into things where I didn’t always think I was ready, however I was always well supported.
Having the exposure to go an work directly for Murex in Paris was a great opportunity.
What attracted you to Murex in the first place?
I came from a bank, and we had just implemented Murex, so I knew of Excelian beforehand- that they were experts in their field. I was already aware of Murex and interested in learning more about it as a "platform of choice," and then the opportunity came up with Excelian for me to dive in and learn way more than I ever thought possible!
What made you want to join Excelian?
The thing that stood out – and it still stands out – is the people that are involved in the company. I recognized people that were experts, especially in Murex at the time, and obviously, afterward – and I'm still learning from these people. I've been with Excelian for almost six years now, and I'm still finding out new things. It is a very collaborative approach. I've been on many projects now where it might have been very hard, but it's been very rewarding, thanks to the team that we have and the people that have been able to support each other.
How has working at Excelian changed you as a person?
I've been with the company for five years now, so I think, going through the amount of professional change that you're exposed to here, you can't help but be changed. Even if it is a little change, it will have a positive impact on who you are on a personal level.
What kind of support did Excelian provide for you?
Access to professional opportunities to work in areas or positions that I might not be able to access otherwise. A big one for me was being able to work at Murex, where I was a stream leader for a major project – I wouldn't have been able to do that if it wasn't for Excelian. I also moved countries twice: originally I'm from Australia and was working in Melbourne. I joined Excelian, and I was doing a project in Sydney, so there was a bit of travel between Melbourne and Sydney. Later I got the opportunity to move from Australia over to London, and I've also been able to go and live in Paris with my family as well. That's been a big benefit, for sure.
Are there any differences in attitudes towards work between the UK, France, and Australia?
Australians, in general, get to start work around 9 and leave at 5:30. When working for Excelian, more is demanded of you because you are expected to be of a certain standard. Working in France was different again, because they start much later in the day, have a longer lunch, but they work later into the evening – especially because they support some of their clients in different time zones. The client that I had was a London-based project, so we would stay at the office until 8 or 9; we'd start later and have an hour or an hour and a half for lunch. It was very different. Nowadays with the rate of change and the scale of projects in the UK, I try to start around 7.30am and leave by 6pm. This allows me to try and stay ahead of the game (while also fitting in a basketball game each lunch).
What makes working at Excelian so valuable and special?
The people that work here are amazing, and the opportunities to get access to a really good support network from the upper management are really good. If you want to achieve or learn something, there is nothing stopping you except yourself. The other thing is I get access to a lot of good mentors here, including people at Director or Managing Director level. I can call them to ask questions, ask them how they would approach a hard situation – that's very valuable to me.
Do you have any advice for those aspiring for a similar career?
I would say, be bold in chasing after what you want. You think something might not be substantial, but that tiny choice you make or that one time you decide to put your hand up and say "Yes, I want to do this" or "I want to try this" – that could change your direction. All the best times that I've had is where I was sort of thrust in the process and said "I don't know how this is going to work, but I'm going to figure it out and be supported enough to be able to do it." It's worked very well for me so far.
What kind of support did you have?
We’ve had some really tough projects, and I've been able to go to my manager and say that I'm struggling with something, so they were able to recognize that maybe something needs to change or someone might need extra support or might need a break. At Excelian, you can always go to your manager and say "Look, this is how it is. I'm really struggling" or "I need some help with this."
Please share your experience of working with people from different countries and cultures.
It's been really awesome. It opens up different ways of working and managing. Being a part of a multicultural team is amazing, because you get exposure from different people from different countries: they tell you about things, and they might think of things differently. One of the best things I've been able to do is getting exposure to language differences, cultural differences, and ideology differences. From a manager standpoint, it is a really great opportunity to say "How do I get the best out of this person despite the differences?"
What qualities are you looking for in a person joining the Murex practice?
It would be attitude and enthusiasm. They could have a general interest in Finance and Technology, but it's more about them being hungry and enthusiastic about having to learn a lot, stepping into uncertainty and being OK with that. I think it's quite obvious when people are very interested, engaged, and enthusiastic about something – even if they don't know too much about it or what it might be.