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Case Study: Anastasios Anastasiou

Personal details
Degree:MSc Advanced Computer Science Profile picture
School(s): School of Computer Science
Year of Graduation:Jan-2010
LinkedIn:http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/anastasios-anastasiou/1a/878/9
National of: Greece
Employment details
Organisation: Barclays Capital
Job title: Fixed Income Rates - eMarkets Application Support
Occupational Sector: IT/Computer Programming
What has been your route to getting your current position?

I noticed an IT consultancy agency on the Careers Centre website.  I signed up with the agency as I wanted to pursue a career in the IT sector.  Coming from a foreign country with no previous working experience in the UK, this opportunity appeared as a portal to some of the leading names in IT and Finance, as well as the means to expand on my skills and develop the necessary qualities to pursue a successful career. I decided to follow the application support stream because it would allow me to combine my technical skills with my organizational skills while actively assisting people. I believe that the role of the support analyst provides an excellent opportunity for a long term career in the IT sector as it is always at the edge of technology and innovation, thus keeping myself abreast of the new and startling developments in the IT community to ensure my full exposure to the potential of the medium. I was placed with some of their high profile clients in the banking sector and after two years I was privileged to be offered a permanent contract with Barclays Capital.

What does your job involve ?
I am the first point of contact for technology requirements that traders have with their bespoke electronic trading systems. I provide timely, accurate, and tailored solutions to our traders needs by fixing problems straight away or by effectively coordinating with other teams. Furthermore, it is my responsibility to provide technical direction following the integration of varied new and existing technology. Finally, I advocate for our traders within Barclays Capital and direct our clients to appropriate sources of information and assistance.
What are the best bits of your job ?
I am currently working in the heart of the financial sector in the UK alongside one of the most successful rates trading desks in the world, providing on site support of their production systems. The long hours and the sometimes stressful and hectic environment are well compensated by the invaluable experience, constant exposure to new technologies, as well as, the prospect of a successful career.
Why were you successful?

Hard work, long hours, determination and of course the University of St Andrews Career Centre helped a lot through soft skill workshops and job fairs.

What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
I use most of the technical knowledge I gained at St Andrews on a daily basis, but I would say handling pressure and effective time management were two particularly valuable skills I acquired through my post-graduate degree.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Application Support in the banking sector has been an enlightening experience, helping me focus on my goals and providing me with the opportunity to develop the required skills in a demanding and ever-growing field. I would not hesitate to recommend this path to anyone seeking their way into the IT sector.