Working in technology in finance

We spoke to Morgan Stanley about the roles for technologists in finance and the kind of work you could be doing

What does a technology graduate at Morgan Stanley do?

Yan Tordoff, Executive Director in Technology at Morgan Stanley describes the type of role you're likely to go into when you start at the bank:

The majority of graduates start their careers at Morgan Stanley in some kind of development role. You could be programming and writing actual lines of code, or you could be helping out with design, or requirements capture, or testing, or a combination of all of these. You could also be making sure an application is rolled out and supported in a working environment.

Whatever you're doing, you can expect to be interacting with users to make sure what you're delivering is what they need and writing lots of code.

Going into an application development role is a good way for graduates to add value while learning about the business domain as well. Once you've got to grips with that, you could start to develop your career towards roles such as business analyst or project manager.

What roles are there in technology in finance?

Business unit-aligned roles

Those in business unit-aligned roles will be involved with developing applications used only in certain parts of the bank. Application developers work closely with groups such as Sales and Trading, Operations and Finance.

Roles here are very interactive as you'll often be working with end-users (technologists often refer to end-users as "clients"), such as traders, and you can expect to have regular meetings with them.

These are also very focused roles, because you'll have the chance to develop deep knowledge of a particular business unit - equities trading, for example.

Enterprise-wide roles

Enterprise-wide (or infrastructure) roles involve developing cutting-edge systems that respond to the wider needs of a bank.

Departments are divided up according to their function, such as managing systems risk, data management, and technology compatibility.

Roles here are focused around developing the underlying technology that will be used by application developers in the bank. Hence you'll often be working with the business unit-aligned groups to solve technology problems.

How could you fit in at Morgan Stanley?

Morgan Stanley has a structured training programme for all new graduate hires working in technology.

Over three months, you'll be given a refresher course on programming languages and other fundamental techniques that you'll need while working in technology here. You'll also become familiar with the structure of the bank and the different roles available to you.

Hires are placed into a technology department during the recruitment process based on their background and interests, and are then placed into specific roles at the end of the graduate training programme through a "matching process", taking into account individual preferences and business needs.

Technology at Morgan Stanley is also flexible and if you think an area is right for you but later change your mind, there's generally some degree of flexibility for you to move into a role in a different area of technology.

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