BNP Paribas was one of the few companies that were willing to take a risk in me. I have a non-traditional background compared to the majority of New Graduate program candidates – I studied something unrelated to IT; I had already completed my bachelor degree a year prior to my application, and I did my degree overseas with limited experience in Japan. That they believed in my potential and let me to continue the interview process demonstrated to me that it is a company that shows understanding for its employees and is welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds. In addition, I studied French in university, so on a personal level I thought it would be a logical way to maintain contact with a culture that I had spent some time with.
What keep you attracting in BNP Paribas
When I joined, I felt that the overall environment is very welcoming and open for feedback. Even a new graduate like me has many opportunities to interact and share my professional opinions with senior managers.
I also appreciate that the overall culture valuing the efficiency and work-life balance, and respects that people have different ways of working. I was given a lot of independence on how to manage my time and how to approach my assigned tasks. I always appreciate that my managers notice and show a great deal of understanding to staff, who have personal emergencies. There is always a direction to improve our working conditions in a reasonable and fair way.
Your job in IT Division
I’m part of the Global Markets IT team doing Front Office application support, focusing on fixed income and derivative trading. We are the first-line support and the main contact point for business users like traders and operations when they encounter IT issues. We work alongside our business to navigate new business opportunities, create competitive technical edge, and ensure fast, reliable processes.
My daily responsibilities involve monitoring system status, configuring trading applications to meet business expectations, troubleshooting technical issues, as well as following up on more medium-to-long term IT projects.
Although I’m part of the support team in Tokyo, I am also a member of a larger regional support team with counterparts in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK. We collaborate closely together to ensure platform stability and deliver IT solutions that improve our business.
What you enjoy and be motivated most in your job
Through my job I was able to learn about the technical practicalities that make electronic trading possible, and be an active participant in the push for the digitalization in banking. Exposure to this specialized knowledge, as well as more general knowledge on how the world works, is very exciting for me. For example, before I joined, I had no idea that there are submarine cables deep under the sea that facilitate telephone and data traffic across continents. I was very embarrassed.
Another key part that makes me happy on the job is I like helping people, fixing things, and feeling useful. People come to me with their IT problems and it is always a pleasure to be able to deliver what they needed so they can do their job at their best.
Your future Career Plan
After acquiring more product specific knowledge and improving my soft skills, I hope I could take on roles that involve designing new IT work flows.
I have found that there is a strong sense that working together towards a common goal of serving our business. People are very willing to lend their expertise and jump in to help resolve issues, even when it is not strictly within their scope of responsibilities.
The IT department is one of the most diverse departments at BNP Paribas Tokyo office in terms of nationality. Many colleagues in my department are cycling enthusiasts and participate in the annual charity cycle ride sponsored by BNP Paribas to Tohoku region to raise funds for a children’s charity.
Message for students, who will join the industry soon.
I joined the bank with very few expectations about what my first job was going to be like. This has helped me handle the transition to being a working professional. So I would recommend graduating students to be open-minded and positive, and not be too stressed if something does not work out the way you wanted or the right away. Things will probably get better, or you can always make a different choice later down the road.