[Career Advice #1] Eduardo Litonjua on being proactive and positive at the beginning of your career
Today, Highre is very excited to introduce you to Eduardo Litonjua! Eduardo is an aspiring Project Manager at Data Spartan, a company that specializes in consulting within the financial industry with particular expertise in Big Data and Machine Learning.
He is originally from the Philippines, but he got his undergraduate degree from University of Cambridge (Mathematics) and did his masters at UCL (Computer Science and Machine Learning). We know that you are very busy, so we’ve summarized the video interview here:
- Can you explain your daily life as the Project Manager?
My main responsibility is to interact and liaise with the clients to meet their requirements and to work with our new hirers to matchmake them.
2. You also worked as the Project Manager at UCL. What did your work consist of?
I was helping run the internship program within the UCL masters degree. To bring the clients and the students together. So essentially the same job as I have now, but much more UCL-focused.
3. What’s the main difference between working with companies and universities?
Working at a company, you meet different types of clients: more demanding, lenient, concerned about costs…etc. On the other hand, with the students, it’s more engaging because I feel like I can provide the opportunities to them through the contracts we have with the clients.
4. Do you have any internship experiences? How did they help you narrow down your career options?
My first internship was with HSBC in the Philippines on a trading floor and after that I did an internship with Credit Suisse in London. Also worked with a start-up company called Slow Voice (Almanis), which basically does prediction of market using crowdsourced collected data.
I didn’t really enjoy the large environment as much as I like the start-up environment. I value that freedom more, even though the start-ups paid less.
5. Can you tell us more about your academic background? Is your degree relevant to your work?
I think Mathematics is a good degree, but I thought I needed to find a way to apply that. Then I chose Computer Science and Machine Learning, because Machine Learning was becoming a more relevant topic and Computer Science enabled you to build things. So the logic I got from Mathematics and the knowledge I got from Computer Science, they all combined in a subtle way.
6. How do you balance your work and personal life?
People will have different concerns, but I care about my health and free time. If you are more work-oriented, this may be a less of an issue, but I like spending time with friends, family and girlfriend. And it’s important not to neglect that fact. Try to make actions towards it.
All your boss wants is to grow the business, but to keep the employees happy. If you can prove your worth at the start, then it’s much easier for you to negotiate with things that you want.
7. What kind of advice do you have for students willing to get into finance?
In terms of getting into finance, I think it’s important to have some internship experience. To add on to that point, the amount of data is growing at an exponential pace and to keep up with that, you need to learn how to manipulate that data. If there is one action that you can take that will really improve your market value, is to learn a programming language.
8. Any other advice?
Keep trying. As long as you feel like you are going to the right direction, that’s the best thing you could do. Don’t be too picky with your first job, but use your first job as the platform to really find out who you are and what you like. It’s a constant journey, don’t be intimidated if you don’t know what you want to do from the start.
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