This article is sponsored by Deutsche Bank.
A major in Computer Science and a minor in Creative Writing is not the typical background of someone who works in financial services. But for Jok Asiyo from Washington & Lee University, finding a career where he could put his diverse skills to use in an innovative, evolving environment was exactly what he wanted. He is currently in his second rotation with the Deutsche Bank Graduate Program – Technology, supporting the Global Markets division at Deutsche Bank and is discovering the essential role technology plays in every facet of the financial services industry.
We spoke with Jok about his journey to Deutsche Bank, his experiences since joining and any advice he could offer technology students on why a career in financial services could be right for them.
Tell us a bit about your background and why you chose to work at Deutsche Bank over a traditional technology company?
Jok Asiyo: I’ve always been an innovation driven learner. I majored in computer science because I saw the future leaning on its continual development. Creative writing was a passion I discovered mid-way through college. It’s obviously incredibly different than my major but I’ve found them both to be invaluable when it came to forging a career in technology. Creative writing has helped me look at things in other ways and has really boosted my communication skills – something that is always important.
My journey with Deutsche Bank started with their eight-week dbAchieve program. I was then accepted for a second internship with Deutsche Bank where I learned that by working at a bank, I’m able to explore so many facets of the industry and create systems that touch every part of the business. This is extremely important to me since my ideal career includes multiple roles and experiences. I want to learn all about the different aspects of banking while broadening my network and improving my technology skills. This internship secured my interest in pursuing technology with Deutsche Bank and ultimately led to me accepting a position with the graduate rotational program.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
JA: Since the Technology graduate program is rotational, I get to see many different areas of the bank. I recently started my second six-month rotation, this time supporting the Global Markets division. The project I’ll be working on is a complete revamp of the current user interface for an EMDS support application. This application provides data to other applications which traders and risk managers use to pull information to support them in their daily tasks. I’m really excited to get involved with a big project at the ground floor. I’ll be exposed to so many different elements and will gain some really interesting insights.
What is the best part of your experience at Deutsche Bank and why?
JA: During my first rotation, I really enjoyed having a direct manager and team leader. There was always someone to turn to when I had a question. Whether I was working on a new software, on self-improvement or learning something new, they encouraged me to take advantage of their various opportunities and were supportive in helping me reach my goals. In my current rotation, I’m enjoying taking ownership of the project I’m working on. I’m able to put the skills I’m learning to the test and feel like I have real responsibility. I get to work alongside the best minds in the business and take on more and more tasks that are of real value and continuously gives me a sense of purpose.
What is the culture like in the Technology division at Deutsche Bank?
JA: We’re always looking for new ways to tackle the challenges our clients face, while also improving our internal processes and systems. The technology center in Cary, North Carolina where I’m located is relaxed and collaborative with a start-up feel. And there’s a constant culture of improvement, which I think should be the basis of any company wanting to stay competitive.
From your experience, why would someone want to work for a bank versus a traditional tech firm?
JA: The opportunity to explore how technology plays a role across different sectors of the bank has been invaluable to me. Technologically, banks are often viewed as a little behind start-ups and traditional tech firms. But with the rise of FinTechs, organizations like Deutsche Bank are investing heavily in developments that benefit the customer and employee alike. From digital transformation to technological innovation at DB Labs, I’m excited about playing a role in shaping the future direction of tech at Deutsche Bank.
If someone was interested in pursuing the position you currently have, what would be your advice to them?
JA: There are three things that I’d suggest:
- If you decide to major in computer science, then use those early years to stay connected to the computer science industry. But don’t be afraid to try new things and explore different avenues. I minored in creative writing which couldn’t be further from computer science, but it’s been so beneficial to me. You might not see the immediate advantage of branching out, but it can offer you fresh perspectives that you hadn’t even considered.
- If you’re concerned that you don’t have relevant experience, don’t worry. You can start with career services and use your own network to explore the industry. When employers visit your campus, be sure to check them out. There are so many paths to building a career in the financial services industry – you just have to be prepared to put the work in.
- Finally, don’t get too hung up on finding a job right away. You need to learn what your priorities are first. And college isn’t just about finding a job at the end of it. The life skills you learn will prove just as valuable when the time comes.
If you like to use creativity and intellectual curiosity to solve complex problems, you’ll find lots of opportunities to transform Deutsche Bank’s business. Discover a career to look forward to by visiting db.com/careers/technology.