Alberto L.

Senior Software Engineer, Tech Lead
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Alberto L.
Engineering Management
Taught Postgraduate

My employment

Senior Software Engineer, Tech Lead
Monzo Bank
United Kingdom
Digital and IT services
Large business (250+ employees)

More about Alberto

Mature student

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A day in the life of a Senior Software Engineer, Tech Lead in the United Kingdom

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

Monzo is a digital bank founded 5 years ago. Costumers would interact with the bank via the native mobile apps. The app allows for intuitive handling of money and offers plenty of budgeting tools. It offers great incentives for those frequent travellers as it comes with no fees for international transactions and free cash withdrawals.
The bank is run as tech company with Engineering people working in every single area of the company. There's a big emphasis on automation so employes can focus on resolving problems rather than wasting time on admin tasks. Good culture of helping people achieving goals, good work life balance and great and smart people.

What do you do?

New to the company. I started at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. I am currently focusing on Senior Software Engineering tasks and started working on department-wide initiatives. There's loads of learning at the moment, as many of the technologies the company uses I have not used before. Once things stabilise I expect to use half of my time on writing up pieces of code to solve problems and the other half on driving/leading technical changes.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I studied a BSc in Telecommunications/Electronics Engineering and a MSc in Engineering Management. I then got an IT grad scheme at Ford. Ford payed for lots of external technical training. I then joined Metro Bank as Technical Manger, being the technical owner of all the digital platforms. Finally, I joined Monzo.
In terms of job search, for my first job I narrowed my search on IT grad schemes only. I applied to those that interested me. I had a couple of unsuccessful assessment centers and then I got into my last open option, Ford, which then happened to be great as it offered me amazing opportunities. For the next job searches I used LinkedIn and the careers page of the companies I was interested into. My trick for succes is huge amounts of preparation and learning from previous unsuccessful attempts. Storytelling is super important too, even when not obvious!

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

I didn't have a clear picture of what I would exactly like doing. I knew what my skills were so I applied to companies/jobs that would fit my skillset. Also, I have always been very flexible and liked doing different thing. I am very adaptable, which makes thinks easier when comes to job search.

Describe your most memorable day at work

After convincing my boss about it, I formed and led a team of 6 engineers into the journey of building a new web portal that would allow costoumers to check and serve their car loans. After 3-4 months of work and having had to intensively work with the business to streamline and define the product and work with the technical team to resolve the technical issues, we were able to release our first market on time.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

My current challenges are more due to my lack of understanding as being new. There's a lot to learn. This is how I am approaching it:
- Booking one hour of my time every day to go through videos/documentation about the company's systems and technologies
-30min every day of 1:1s with different people from the company
-50% of my time on helping the team achieve its weekly goals by working on enhancing our systems
-50% of my time on driving long-term initiatives

What’s your work environment and culture like?

All the company is currently working from home. In normal circumstances most of the people would work from the office but being flexible. There's also many remote workers. The company is organised in squads, which are small teams with everyone needed to accomplish the weekly goals. Work-life-balance is good, standard. Company's culture is very good. There's lots of autonomy for people to work on what they like. There's no dress code.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I used to be the GSA Vice-president Community. It was a rewarding experience that gave lots of useful experiences for future jobs.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I would like to take on more cross-team technical challenges to help the company grow sustainably.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Current situation is very uncertain but there's always opportunities out there. I would give the following advice:
- Need to understand what one really wants to do or in which sector to work. Very important to narrow down the options.
- Stand-out. Why would a company hire you and not your friend?
Focus on what you can help them with, what your skills can do for them.
- If knowing which sector one wants to work in, get a list of companies on that sector and find out if they got open vacancies. Alternatively, search for junior/grad positions on what you wan to do/start as career.
- If big companies are difficult due to their long and tedious hiring processes, go for smaller companies. Be proactive and go to them!
- Super important: Resilience! Try again and again, learn along the process and something will come.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?


Next steps...

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