My Global Tech Career in Bournemouth
J.P. Morgan's Re-Entry program helped Vicky Halliden find her footing and increase her confidence after a long career break.
When Vicky Halliden wanted to return to the corporate world after a 8-year career break, she was thrilled to discover J.P. Morgan offered its Re-Entry program at the Bournemouth Global Technology Centre just minutes from her South Coast home.
“I don't think I would've come back for the Re-Entry program if it wasn't for Bournemouth being an option," Vicky said. “I'm proud of coming back after a long career break, finding my footing, increasing my confidence and taking on more responsibility with everything else going on. I wanted to inspire my children as well - work hard and find that drive in life."
Today, Vicky is a Vice President in J.P. Morgan's Corporate & Investment Bank, working as a Transformation Program Project Manager to help the firm streamline its operations to do business more efficiently. With the firm investing $12 billion annually in technology, the opportunities are vast for the Bournemouth team to build excitng careers around innovative banking products and services, applying modern practices and advancing skills.
J.P. Morgan is the biggest private sector employer in Bournemouth, supporting clients in 100 markets across the globe. In addition to the Re-Entry program, the Bournemouth office is participating in J.P. Morgan's groundbreaking UK apprenticeship scheme. The first of its kind, this scheme offers aspiring investment bankers the opportunity to participate in a four-year program that provides both on-the-job training and the ability to gain a degree in applied finance.
For Vicky, every day at the Bournemouth office provides opportunities for career development and growth.
“I like to find as much time to train as I possibly can, and there is a plethora of training possibilities available, whether it's about building confidence or improving my technical knowledge," she said. “I am also a mentor and a mentee, so regular check-ins are essential."
A day in the life
Vicky earned a business degree with an emphasis on engineering but followed a different path into programming. She began a graduate scheme at another global tech company, where she ended up working in tech infrastructure support for 8-9 years before coming to J.P. Morgan.
During her first stretch of time at J.P. Morgan, Vicky started working within her familiar field of global technology infrastructure, connecting the common threads of support across the firm – networks, servers, managing the centralized platforms and providers. Now she's trying something new, working on a long-term transformation program by decommissioning a third-party system and replacing it with a streamlined process and new in-house technology.
A typical workday involves collaborating with teams around the globe. There are early morning calls with teams in India and Singapore and afternoon check-ins with partners in the United States. Each connection provides an opportunity to not only catch up on the status of each project, but to strengthen relationships. Relationship building, Vicky said, is just as important in tech as programming.
“A strong balance of skills helps us succeed - those who love programming and the finer details of technology, and those who can craft the process of getting from A to B and bringing large scale innovation to life," Vicky said. “I see it like a jigsaw puzzle where my skills connect to other people's skills."
Opportunity to grow
Earlier in her career, Vicky experienced the long commute to London. Now she's just closer by to her workplace, and she enjoys the atmosphere there.
“It feels like everyone’s in one place, everyone knows everyone," she said. “It's got a great community spirit, culture groups - it's a village in a building. There are so many inspirational people whose brilliance and capability are awe-inspiring. There's so many people like that in the Bournemouth team."
In-person collaboration has been on hold during the pandemic, and the team has had to adjust to conducting business virtually while managing the demands of home. She's proud that her team has met every project deadline during the pandemic.
“Work for a company that you like the look of," Vicky said. “There's so much potential to move around and discover so much at a firm like J.P. Morgan. Impressive companies have impressive people within them – that's definitely the case here and I love being inspired by them."