BA Business Management - James Giorgiou
How was business management at UEA and what did you like best about it?
I really enjoyed studying Business Management at the University of East Anglia. It gave me the skills that I now use on a day-to-day basis at Salesforce.
I found the lectures extremely relevant and timely in terms of current industry trends. I often refer back to a lot of the modules and business frameworks I learnt at university which has given allowed to me a unique viewpoint on opportunities I work on which is great.
Looking back, do you think the course gave you any skills and knowledge that use in your current career?
Having regular seminars where we had to work in groups really helped foster team collaboration and was something that I really appreciated.
In the business that I work in, it is so important to work as part of project teams. A lot of the skills that I picked up in terms of group work really helped me in my day-to-day role now and was something I played on in my interview to get a graduate role at HP.
When you're going for an interview, sometimes you might not have as much work experience as you probably would like, so you must draw on experiences that you get from university, and I actively referred back to some of the group presentations and how we worked to a achieve a collective output.
Do you have any enduring memories of UEA?
UEA offers such a wide variety of activities for you to get involved in, I was a keen football player, so I played for UEA's football team which allowed me to meet a wide diverse set of individuals, many of whom I am still friends with today.
At the beginning of each year, there is an activity fair where you get to see all the different societies that you can join. Also, because UEA is campus based it's easy to find friends and meet on campus to do any of the passions and activities that you're into.
We’re lucky we have a state-of-the-art gym on campus too. I took advantage of this by playing tennis, badminton, and going to the gym because everything was within walking distance from the university accommodation.
Was there any particular module, course or lecturer that inspired you?
I really enjoyed strategic brand management. I found the course to be extremely interesting, whilst it also allowed me to start thinking with a more a strategic mindset, which is something that I need in my role now.
I work with some of the world’s leading banks and fintech’s, so for me to go into these conversations with senior leaders with an understanding on how to look at things from a strategic level has really helped me.
How did you prepare for your career ahead of graduation?
The key thing in this modern day and age is to be proactive.
During the Christmas break I would use LinkedIn and use my network to speak to business leaders to see if I could get work experience or an internship for the summer. I was fortunate enough to do a couple of summer internships within the financial services sector which was a great experience. I completed work experience at NatWest and also at a stockbrokers during the summer break.
These experiences really helped in the graduate scheme interviews I was having. That was one of the one of the key things that allowed me to get into the graduate program at HP. I only found out about the graduate programme at HP because I signed up to receive alerts of job opportunities through the UEA careers service.
Did you have a clear idea on what you want to do before you graduate?
I always thought I'd work for a financial services organization, but I've ended up at a leading technology company that works with financial institutions.
So my career hasn't necessarily planned out exactly where I thought it would be, but I'm very happy because technology is something that I really enjoy and the customers I work with are great. Technology is changing the way we live our lives so to be part of this rapid rate of innovation is extremely exciting especially in the financial services space where we are seeing new entrants challenge the status quo often!
What was your first job? And what has been your career to date?
My first job after graduating was a two-year graduate program at Hewlett Packard (HP).
I think getting on a graduate programme is a great way to build your skills and capability due to the dedicated training and learning opportunities that you get on a graduate role. I experienced various roles within the Pre-Sales function which allowed me to build my skills and confidence.
After HP I took a job at one of the world’s leading fintech companies in America called Fiserv. I was responsible for pre-sales for our digital banking and mobile banking solutions. It allowed me to travel to places such as Egypt, Poland, Greece, and a variety of other countries to talk about our technology.
I then had the opportunity to join Salesforce which is a global cloud computing company. And again, my time at Salesforce so far has been a great experience. I have also managed to travel by going to to San Francisco and a variety of other places. Having the opportunity to see the world yet also talk to amazing our customers is something that I enjoy.
Could you tell me about your job at Salesforce?
I'm a lead solution engineer focusing on strategic fintech accounts.
I help FinTech’s and banks on their next stage of growth. I try to understand where they want to be in the next few years, what resources they need, and ultimately what technology they need to get them to meet their strategic goals.
I will then build a solution and a point of view that hopefully allows them to meet their goals and aspirations. It’s great to work with such innovative companies who are transforming the financial services industry!
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