Diana Ramchandani is a Senior Developer in Loans Technology part of the Corporate and Post-Trade Technology division at Morgan Stanley.
Born and brought up in Madrid, she came to London in 2005 to undertake further studies and graduated with a Master of Engineering degree from Imperial College London in 2009.
She is a Careers City Rising Star following her being nominated by Morgan Stanley.
Tell us a little bit about a day in the life of a developer?
This may sound unconventional when compared to other jobs, but in my current role I do not have a typical “day in the life of”. I started my career at Morgan Stanley as an Application Developer in Loans Technology, but over the past 3 years my role has evolved considerably into more of a hybrid… To the extent that I myself find it hard to give it an appropriate name!
I work in a global team spanning London, New York, India, and Montreal, and we look after a range of different systems used for commercial and residential lending. In terms of my specific role, I am more focused on supporting and deploying enhancements related to our loans servicing tool called Loan IQ. This involves gathering requirements from our users in Loan Operations and Financial Controllers to ensure the system delivers what is expected of it in order to facilitate day-to-day processing of loan positions. In addition we aim to adopt some of the industry-wide initiatives being undertaken in this space, and currently I am the Technical Lead for one such project.
Recently I have also taken on the responsibility of managing our offshore team in India who, amongst other projects, cover the majority of the reporting and internal feed requests that we receive for the various systems.
What did you study or what experience did you obtain in order to get in to your current role (eg as above)?
I graduated from Imperial College London in 2009 with a degree in MEng Computing. During this time period, I undertook both a Summer Internship at Morgan Stanley (within the Prime Brokerage division) and an Industrial Placement with my current team.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
One of the aspects about my current role which deserves a special mention is the versatility it offers. Sometimes a single day provides me with the opportunity to be involved in application development, production support, vendor management, training (both receiving and delivering), project management… The list goes on. In addition, I make time to contribute to other areas within the Firm – such as the Campus Recruitment initiatives and Diversity and Inclusion efforts that Morgan Stanley heavily invests in.
Can you tell us a little bit about what is great about working at Morgan Stanley?
Without a shadow of a doubt, for me it’s about the culture. Not only am I surrounded by really talented individuals who are easily approachable and ready to share their knowledge no matter where they are located geographically, but I also feel like I am in an environment which recognizes the need for one to maintain an appropriate work-life balance
Do you network either internal or externally?
I am currently on the Steering Committee for Net SouthAsia (one of the Employee Networks at the Firm), and an active member of some of the other internal groups such as the Women’s Business Alliance. Both of these provide a platform to meet people in other areas of the Firm who I may not have a regular interaction with otherwise, thus enabling me to expand my network and acquire some invaluable skills.
Externally, I attend some of the events organized by the City Hindus Network which gives me the opportunity to network with individuals who I share common interests with, as well as professional talks offered by specific networks for females in Technology such as CWIN (City Women’s IT Network) that prove to be useful in areas such as career development and management.
One vital realization that I have had with my career so far is that one needs to be open to and ready to accept challenges.
Tell us about your own career aspirations?
This is always a tough question! I can’t say I know exactly what I will be doing 5-10 years from now, however I do aim to enhance my professional skills whilst I work towards advancing my current role by taking on more responsibility. As an ambitious individual, I want to be in a stimulating and challenging role where I can learn and develop under the guidance of those who are specialized in the field, so that I can become an expert myself.
What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in your profession?
One vital realization that I have had with my career so far is that one needs to be open to and ready to accept challenges. Technology is a rapidly-changing environment, and when applied to a sector such as Investment Banking you can certainly expect to be stretched out of your comfort zone, which should be seen as an opportunity to grow. Having technical skills is very useful in the current climate, however it is equally important to combine it with appropriate industry knowledge and be well rounded as it will help to go a long way. At the same time you need to be passionate about the work you do – we spend most of our “awake time” working, so we need to enjoy it, and be motivated and inspired by it in order to excel.