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Work location: Glasgow, UK
Major: Computer Science
University: Landmark University and Glasgow University
Favorite breakfast food: Nigerian Pap and Akara (beans cake)
Top travel destination: Cambridge and Oxford, UK
Languages spoken: English, Yoruba, and Pidgin English
Favorite ice cream flavor: Vanilla
Favorite coffee beverage: Cappuccino
Favorite book: Mindset by Carol Dweck
Favorite hobby: Playing the piano and going for walks
Job in a nutshell: I currently help build and maintain features for an application that stores the taxonomy of millions of documents in Wealth Management
Software Engineer, Asset Management Technology
Samuel Agbede's life and career has taken him halfway around the world...and it's only just beginning.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Samuel studied at University of Glasgow, where he got a full scholarship as he pursued a Master's in Computer Science. Not long after graduation, he was hired by JPMorgan Chase at the Glasgow offices. Then the pandemic hit.
Samuel was quickly sent home to work—a disappointing development for someone who was just beginning to learn his way around a new job. Luckily, he had family around him to make the transition easier: Working from his sister's home, Samuel lived with his young nephew and niece, who "worked" with him during Zoom meetings.
Somewhere in there, Samuel got married in Nigeria to his wife, Blessing, and moved into their own place. Now he's back in the office...and the adventure continues!
What convinced you to choose JPMorgan Chase?
I had three job offers—one was with JPMorgan Chase. I had prayed and done my research on the company and read reviews from people who worked there. They linked me up with a Vice President at JPMorgan Chase, and that really helped. I asked him a lot of questions, and the work culture seemed to be really chill. And, of course, it's a global economy with offices in different parts of the world—which gives me a chance to grow and literally go places.
What was your first impression of JPMorgan Chase?
Really, how relaxed people were. I remember my first week in the office, I was there an hour or two after work hours, and my manager came in and asked, "Why are you staying late? You can get work done tomorrow." And I thought, “Really? My goodness." And when I took off work to plan my wedding, my team was so supportive. I traveled back home to Nigeria, and while I worked remotely, I also took a lot of time off. They were all so amazing, and I think that was a positive shock.
What is your favorite thing about interacting with your managers, co-workers or team?
It's a combination of the culture and the people who work here. People here are driven, and if you want to go far, there are multiple opportunities to do that.
What was the moment you knew you'd made the right decision to work at JPMorgan Chase?
There have been a few moments. I've had some wonderful mentors, and they've always been willing to take time out of their busy schedules to help me. During the wedding—that was quite a stressful period!— my team was so understanding. And about two years ago, a friend of mine asked me why JPMorgan Chase doesn't recruit more employees from Africa. So my colleague and I alongside a few other colleagues spoke to some people in upper management, and we were talking about it, and they actually ended up recruiting four people from Nigeria to our offices as a ripple effect from those conversations. There's an inclusive culture at JPMorgan Chase. It isn't just talk.
What do you think would surprise people about being a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase?
In certain areas, there isn't a rigid code that you have to always follow. A couple weeks ago, I had a small project to work on and asked if I could work on Kotlin, and I was told, “Go for it." That may not sound like much if you aren't a software engineer, but I think that might be a shock to some of my peers. It may be a giant corporation, but it isn't necessarily a stuffy one. Depending on the team, as long as the tools don't provide a security risk, the company has gotten better at adapting new and modern technology.
If you could talk to your younger self about their job search— and, especially, about going to work at JPMorgan Chase—what advice would you give?
I had a mentor who stressed how important it is to prioritize mental health and happiness. I would remind my younger self of that. It's so easy to get caught up in the big stuff that you don't have time to enjoy the journey or think about whether you're happy or not. Life is complicated, and there are bills to pay, and we're all busy, but it's really important to nurture your relationships with people, especially your family and friends.