When I was younger I enjoyed the creativity of writing and thought I would become a writer despite also loving mathematics. I found that my creativity could be applied to developing creative solutions to complex problems. Discovering solutions ended up being a key reason I became an engineer. Now, I love tinkering around with data and algorithms and looking for ways to discover what the data I use means, where it is from, what processes and transformations it has already been through.
Engineering in finance attracted me because solutions require the collaboration of Engineering and business teams. As a spring intern on the FICC Engineering team, I worked on a project to redesign a trading alert dashboard used by engineers on the team to quickly and effectively detect issues in the workflow before they impact critical trading processes. During my summer internship in the Prime Services Risk Engineering team, I worked on an algorithm for migration checks to make sure that for any given code change in our complex system, the risk measures generated are still sensible and any isolated changes do not impact the wider system. My current team within Prime Services Risk Engineering provides the tools and analytics enabling data-driven decisions based on stress scenarios and models which quantify risk. To achieve this, we work together with strategists to collate the necessary data to represent different scenarios, and then with risk managers to ensure the data we are providing can be effectively analyzed based on their requirements.
My team strives to deliver intuitive risk management analytics to our risk managers by providing them with the most comprehensive view of risk daily. More specifically, we work with big data to collate all the results of our transparent risk methodologies, as well as upstream referential data from other internal systems. Our flagship product is a dashboard used by risk managers to monitor and manage risk, which was recently updated with a new set of data for these risk managers to analyze synthetic products.
At Goldman Sachs, engineering is about having thorough technical discussions, debating designs and collaboratively implementing solutions. Engineers at the firm are given the responsibility to make change from the first day we hit our desks. We are trusted to develop solutions for the firm while also being given the support needed to put the best quality code in production. Seniority lines are blurred and collaboration between different levels is also encouraged. Most importantly, diversity of thought is highly respected. I found it refreshing to have colleagues listen to my pitches, take them onboard and incorporate them into the final solution.
Since joining the firm as an intern, I have been a member of the LGBT Affinity Network. Being part of this organization has helped me widen my professional and personal network. After organizing events and participating in the network’s recruitment efforts for my first two years with the firm, I am now a part of the steering committee where I aid in implementing strategy for the network.
Outside of the office, cooking has always relaxed me. I find the creativity of it refreshing yet similar to the creativity I require in my daily role as an engineer – although I am much sloppier while chopping vegetables than while coding. I also love traveling and seeing new places, but I especially enjoy the planning aspect of each trip.
My advice to engineers at the start of their careers – begin your career by exploring, and then dive into what captures your interest. Absorb the breadth of knowledge while you are still in school and see what part of the engineering ecosystem you enjoy the most. When you feel like you are beginning to plateau, do not be scared to change your path.