Virtual First Day
Four of our newest team members share how it's been to start their careers at J.P. Morgan virtually.
The first day of work at J.P. Morgan typically involves a whirlwind of meetings, greetings and introductions as teams welcome their newest members to the fold. But what happens when your first day of work takes place through remote working technology and you meet your new colleagues by webcam?
That's exactly how Rueben, Seema, Justin and Martina – four of our newest team members – started their careers at J.P. Morgan. All around the world we are adapting to virtual ways of working, and these new team members share how it's been to transition from in-person interviewing in the months before the global coronavirus pandemic to starting a job working from home.
Rueben | Software Engineer, Bournemouth (currently in Cornwall)
Rueben was invited to complete multiple in-person interviews and one virtual interview in mid-February. He said he found the virtual interview less intimidating and he felt more confident in asking questions of his future colleagues in an online format. That experience served as a preview of his immediate future – one week before his start date, he learned he'd be starting his role virtually due to government lockdowns.
“It was a bit different than what I expected but it didn't detract from my excitement about a new job," Rueben said. “J.P. Morgan made sure I had all bases covered for my working from home technology and said to let them know if I needed anything. I used a downloadable guide to help set up all the apps and systems I needed so I was ready to go on day one. My manager also checked in with me in the lead up to my first day."
Rueben's first day was filled with Zoom chat meetings and check-ins from supervisors. He also had some onboarding sessions to learn more about the project and the team.
“Every day was a little more exciting than the next as I learned more and more," he said. “I felt positive about my team dynamic as well having at least one peer-to-peer chat every day. The atmosphere between me and my co-workers has been good. I'm excited to contribute as a team member."
Rueben said their interactions have ranged from daily scrums to discussions on social distancing cooking efforts. In some ways, the lockdown hasn't made a difference in his interactions – with team members across London and India, they'd all be working together virtually anyway.
Rueben encourages anyone interested in careers with J.P. Morgan to apply. “Go for it. Show that you're interested in tech and be enthusiastic. Right now, I'm still figuring things out, but I'm looking forward to transitioning from 'the new person' to team player very soon!"
Seema | Software Engineer, Payment Systems, Bournemouth
Seema's road to J.P. Morgan started with a telephone interview. On Feb. 13, she was invited to a software engineering event for a face-to-face interview. There, she interviewed for two roles and had the privilege of picking the one that excited her the most. Those were the days before social distancing, of course, and by the time she was ready to start onboarding, the country was on lockdown.
“The technology set-up when working remotely is excellent so there were no hiccups," Seema said. “The onboarding team kept in contact with me via email. As the pandemic was escalating, I was concerned about job security, but the HR team reassured me there was no need to worry."
Seema completed a walkthrough to set up her devices for working from home and was able to talk to her manager before her first day of work. She also met a few team members on the first day.
“With a team meeting every morning it was easy to feel immediately connected - I know all their faces now," she said. “I got all of my training done in the first week, so I had a good idea of JPMorgan Chase at large and how the firm works together. I'm really enjoying learning the ways of working we use and the advanced tech we get to work on. It's still in the early days [for me] - I learn something new every day."
Seema said she “100% recommends" applying for a role at J.P. Morgan. “The interview and onboarding process were smooth, I had great communication with HR, and I haven't experienced an interview process like this one before - I got to choose one of the teams who interviewed me!"
Justin | Senior Business Analyst, Payments Team, London
Justin's three interviews for J.P. Morgan all took place in person. Then the world changed.
“There was a bit of lag between the final interview and the official announcement that I would be starting remotely because it was at the time when new government advice (about the pandemic) was being announced daily," he said.
After an initial disconnect between his team and the onboarding team in confirming a start date, Justin was ready to go. He received a call from his line manager in advance of his first day and said the technology set-up was seamless. While Justin admitted it felt strange to not be able to go to an office and meet people in person, he felt everyone was welcoming and made time to get to know him.
“My first impression was that people were adapting to the circumstances really well – using new technology and solutions to get on with things in a positive way," Justin said. “It also helps that I'm used to working from home, so it felt normal."
He felt “pretty settled in" by the end of the first week, with “complete support" from his team. He said he learned names and faces and was pleased that everyone made time for him during that week.
“It was clear to me that J.P. Morgan is operating with humanity and empathy rather than saying just 'crack on,'" Justin said. “We've had plenty of virtual coffee catch-ups, open forums, introducing our pets and wider team quizzes – they're all happening."
Justin's start date coincided with the halfway point of a project, but he's excited to be starting a new project soon.
“That's definitely the most exciting thing for me as I'll be able to be a part of it and influence the work from day one," he said. “Be patient - they are thorough with you as they welcome you into the firm so be prepared for it to take some time. Be yourself as much as possible - my interviews weren't just about the skills, they were also around cultural fit which I really appreciate. They want people to support and uplift the culture."
Martina | Treasury and Deposit Analyst, Asset & Wealth Management, Luxembourg
Martina's first in-person interview took place in Luxembourg with an eventual team associate. She then had two video interviews with her future manager. Martina remembers how construction noise during one of those video sessions proved to be a bit distracting, but they just laughed and carried on with the interview.
That experience might have been foreshadowing for future interactions with her team. Her start date was delayed due to the global pandemic, and by the time Martina reached the onboarding stage, her workplace had gone virtual. During this process, Martina received information as soon as it was available, including text messages from her onboarding contact to make sure she was all set up.
“This is my first full-time job ever, so it was strange to start in a virtual world," Martina said. “I was expecting a first day to include meeting a lot of people and trying to remember names. It was still a great first day - all the members of my team had contacted me by phone and WhatsApp so I felt the team spirit even before day one."
Her first day proved to be typical in many other ways. Martina recalls attending one meeting after another, and her manager taking the time to introduce her during each one.
“It was definitely a friendly experience," she said. “Everyone was really mindful of me being new. There was a lot to process in my first week like any new job, but everyone was keen to share their point of view. I'm looking forward to really getting to know my role as I'm still learning all our ways of working."
Martina stays connected with the team through biweekly calls with her manager and regular catch-up sessions. The experience has left her with a positive outlook on J.P. Morgan
“I would advise anyone thinking of applying for a role to definitely go for it," she said. “J.P. Morgan is a global institution and you chat with people from Europe, America and Asia every day. I would encourage a lot of effort in the recruitment process, because if you are offered a role at J.P. Morgan you will learn and grow from it."