I Started Out As An Accountant, And Now I’m A Developer (And Other Non-Traditional Paths Into Finance & Tech) was originally published on WayUp.
Not every story in the fintech world is the same. Even though most people who work in finance roles generally studied something like accounting, economics, or business, it doesn’t mean everyone did. In fact, some of the best people in the field are polymaths, with interests in both finance and technology.
Prudential—a financial services leader and a household name in the insurance industry—is full of stories like these. Their CEO and Chairman Charles Lowrey actually started his career as an architect. And that kind of intellectual diversity and entrepreneurial spirit is what makes Prudential so successful.
Here are a few stories of people who broke away from what they studied in college and found a new path for themselves—and their passions—at Prudential.
Bernardine: From Accountant To Developer
Bernardine started as an accounting major, but found that one of her favorite parts of the craft was the growing number of ways to organize and analyze data with digital tools. When she took an internship with Prudential, she found the perfect way to make this into a career.
“As someone with a non-tech background working in technology, I feel that the best thing I did was start at Prudential with an internship,” she says. “During this time I learned Tableau, the data visualization application for which I’m now a developer. I sat down with my mentor multiple times per week and learned a lot that way. I’m very grateful for that.”
This combination of informal and formal learning—through classes and training tools—allowed her to become a full-fledged technologist. Now, she works as a Tableau Developer on one of Prudential’s innovative Agile teams.
“Just knowing that my skills can span different parts of this business and that I can aid customers, customer service reps, wholesalers alike by displaying data insights in a visually creative way is really exciting,” Bernardine says.
And none of that would have been possible without the open and supportive culture she found during her internship.
Shannon: From Economics To Tech Talent Development
“When I attended Villanova University, I wasn’t someone who went into college knowing exactly what I wanted to do,” Shannon, who’s been at Prudential for almost three years now, tells us. And while she didn’t know exactly where her career would go, she knew what she wanted it to look like.
“I knew that I wanted to make a difference and serve as a resource to people. I ended up majoring in Economics and minoring in Communication. I thought this combination would prepare me well for working in the ‘business world,’” she explains.
While it wasn’t necessarily the “business world,” Prudential gave her an opportunity to do just what she set out to. After an internship in the Office of the CIO at Prudential, she found that she actually had a passion for technology talent development. Thanks to her supportive team, she was able to hone the skills involved and secure a full-time job offer.
Her current role puts her on the frontlines of talent development, where she places aspiring technologists into the right roles in the company’s summer internship program. Now, she’s a resource to both others and the business as a whole.
Abhinai: From Mechanical Engineering To Project Management
Abhinai did start on the tech side of things, but that’s not exactly where he ended up.
He studied Mechanical Engineering during college and planned on pursuing a career in the field. However, after a few internships across industries, he found that his interest in business was just as strong as his passion for technology. As you might be able to guess by now, Prudential gave him an opportunity to combine these and turn them into a career.
Abhinai now works on the business side of tech, implementing and managing new technologies that make life easier for his colleagues and the work they do more effective.
“I work on improving the employee experience by introducing and implementing new technologies,” he explains. “So this includes everything from building chatbots to help employees find information quicker or implementing the right survey tool to measure the employee experience.”
Despite his experience with business and tech, moving up on the Project Management team took a lot of learning on his part. But Prudential had his back the whole time.
“A major reason I decided to stay with Prudential was the supportive culture. My team and manager took the time to mentor and coach me. I took training and development courses offered to all employees, but the guidance from people I worked with helped me learn much more than I could have on my own,” he says.
Prudential Culture Is Built For Learners, Growers, And Doers
It’s no accident that Prudential is packed with stories like these. They seek top talent—not a predetermined list of skills and experience—especially when it comes to interns and early-career folks. And that’s a sentiment that goes all the way to the top.
Want to carve your own path at an innovative fintech firm? Check out open opportunities at Prudential on WayUp!
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