NAME: Alex James
TITLE: Business Analyst
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH IMP AND WHERE WERE YOU PRIOR TO JOINING?
I’ve been with IMP for less than a year (as of time of interview). Prior to IMP, I was a Market Data Analyst at a leading retirement provider of financial services.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO COLLEGE AND WHAT DID YOU STUDY?
University of Massachusetts at Amherst. My degree is in research economics and I have a minor in Information Technology.
WHICH TYPES OF PROJECTS HAVE YOU BEEN PART OF AT IMP?
My first project was at a smaller-sized investment management firm based in Baltimore, Maryland. Initially we went in to perform a data mapping exercise focusing on the security master system, but the project ended up spanning project management, vendor negotiation and a lot of work with their 3rd party development team. This was a quick turn-around project. During the course of this project, I sat with their operations teams, ranging from analysts, to senior directors and developers. When speaking with the developers, the goal was to translate business needs into business logic, so the development team could write and implement code for a new application they were building out for the operations teams. My project manager and I scoped the project together, but I had a lot of autonomy on this project. She gave me great support and ensured that I was on the right path. I also turned to other more seasoned IMP colleagues when I had questions.
My second (and current) project is for a medium-sized investment management firm based in New York City. On my previous project, I was working with middle office ops teams. For this project, I am working with business technology and their equity admin team. We were hired to help upgrade their Order Management System (OMS) and build out a spec for their new MiFID (regulatory) requirements. On this project, I am working along-side IMP’s President and Founder, which has obviously been a very cool opportunity. I have been conducting interviews, learning the ins-and-outs of the PM’s strategies, their trading processes, and the back-end technology. Due to the complexity, we need to test every button, every function, every trading action.
ADVICE FOR APPLICANTS?
Be ready to ask questions. Also, be hungry to learn. If you are interested in finance and technology, this is the right place for you. You will gain a fundamental understanding of how an asset management firm works. I’m self-driven and the best way to thrive and excel in this environment is to take initiative, and to do research outside of your day-to-day.
WHY CONSULTING AND WHY DID YOU JOIN IMP?
I chose consulting because I want to constantly be challenged with new projects — and own my accomplishments or failures. What appealed to me, was the direct access to the senior management team and the subject matter expertise that IMP has. Working in a smaller, boutique consultancy, I have had a chance to rise up to the challenges that I’ve been presented with and have been assigned more and more challenging work at a quick pace. I feel that I’m learning at an accelerated rate.
FUNNY IMP STORY
IMP’s approach to projects is extremely in depth, and we are huge advocate of documentation. A lot of people keep things in their head, but we need to be able to extract that information. One of the client team members that I was working with didn’t know if she should laugh or cry when I told her we needed to do 1,000 test cases that needed to be listed out and organized in Excel. A lot of times, folks don’t realize the amount of work that we put into to testing.