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Q&A with Matthew


What degree did you study?


What attracted you to the MThree Alumni Graduate programme

Mainly the specific training, any job that gives 4 weeks dedicated training is bound to make starting a role much easier, and in this case it definitely did. Along with the detailed and specific training, the chance to work for a tier 1 investment bank, and get my foot in the door in an industry that attracts the brightest and the best was also a big attraction.

What area within the bank do you sit and what is your role? / Can you describe a typical day?

My role is a very technical one, it’s almost a developer role. I work within the bank's Ultra Low Latency team, which provides full solutions to the bank’s wider teams across all divisions, FX, rates & credit and equities. With that, we handle a lot of infrastructure issues and less of the end user queries from the business.

A typical day would involve:

  • Arrive to my desk at 07:30 – make a bit of porridge and a coffee.
  • Spend the first hour or so going through overnight emails and reading up on issues that happened overnight, we support mainly the FX business, which is live 24x7. I will take the handover from APAC around 09:00, at this point all new issues that come in must be dealt with by the UK team.
  • Until 16:00 I will spend most of my day handling new issues that come in, until I handover again to the US team. Issues in my area can vary from trades missing from booking, market data not being delivered from a specific exchange, network problems causing trading connections to go down or many different problems. 18 months on and I still encounter new and varied issues every day.
  • Once I have handover to the US – I have a little bit of time to myself to work on scripting tasks.
  • Home time at 17:00 woo!!

How has MThree training equipped you for work in the Financial Markets?

I had zero Linux or SQL knowledge when I started at MThree. But I had an aptitude for coding and technology so picked it up fast. Without the training before I started at the bank, I would have found the first few months even more of an emotional rollercoaster. Just simple things that you don’t need to ask your busy colleagues on day 1.

What do you love most about your role?

What I love most about the role is the satisfaction from fixing problems. It’s a really good role for a problem solver – and coming from a maths background, I find this particularly rewarding.

Working within technology in Financial Services is exciting because…

The high pressure environment gives you a real buzz. There’s always a new or different issue to resolve and the variety of what you have to do, makes the days fly past.

What do you enjoy most by being part of the MThree Alumni programme?

Ther best part of the Alumni programme has got to be the atmosphere and benefit you gain from all the other grads. Through all the monthly events and Christmas / Summer parties you have the ability to get to know a largely like-minded group people all in the same boat as yourself. This can be a really useful support network, because everyone completely understands the ups and downs of working in such an exciting environment, like no one else can.

Do you see much of the other Alumni Associates?

I see most of the other grads at the events and parties – but I still keep in touch with many that I started the journey with, going for lunch on daily basis with some of them.

Did you have to relocate to take the opportunity to join the programme and, if you did, how have you found it?

I didn’t have to relocate, but I spent the first year commuting about 1:15hrs each way. Eventually, I gave up on this and moved into London. I found this transition no problem at all, it helped I had been working for a year and was settled in.

What are the people like that you are working with?

Everyone is very friendly and keen for you to do well. They set up an environment in which you can learn and develop for yourself, nothing will be handed to you on a plate. But hard work and motivation will see you quickly becoming a respected member of any team at the bank!

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to yourself if you were just starting now?

Relax and don’t panic! Especially within your first 3 months. To start, you will feel useless and that you are adding no value, and to be honest, you aren’t! But don’t let this get you down, you just need to get your head down and learn as much as you can. Take notes down on everything you can, don’t find yourself asking the same questions again and again because you keep forgetting the answer. After a few months, you will slowly start to feel more comfortable and that’s when you can really start changing the world!