Interview with Alfred, a Production Support Engineer
Alfred graduated with a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2017. A year later he joined mthree as a Production Support Engineer at a leading investment bank. He successfully completed his placement and was taken on by the client as a permanent employee. We caught up with Alfred to find out more about his mthree experience and what he’s up to now.
Why did you want to work for an investment bank?
"Everyone in Hong Kong wants to work at a bank, it’s a prestigious industry and you’re paid very competitively. It’s also one of the best places to start a tech career. The company I work for is well-known as an excellent bank so that also drew me to work there."
What happened once you joined mthree?
"They flew me to London for a month to do training. They booked an Airbnb and paid me while I was being trained.
The training gave me a good introduction to production support taught me the tools I’ll be using, and prepared me for the first few months in my role. It was a really awesome experience especially as I’ve never been to London before!"
Why did you decide to join a bank through mthree?
"It would be much more difficult, perhaps even impossible, for my application to be seen because of the amount the investment banks receive. Because mthree has strong connections with the banks, it’s much easier to get a role through mthree. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door.
I feel super lucky that Olivia from mthree found me and that I’ve landed a job at such an established investment bank. Honestly from the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate mthree’s help. I wouldn’t be here without mthree."
What was it like when you first started your role?
"It was great working with organized, sophisticated systems. They use a lot of resources to maintain the IT. Sometimes when you face an issue you don't know who you should contact but with their system, it’s easy – this was especially useful when I was new."
How would you describe what production support is to someone who's never heard of it?
"When people hear that I work in support they think I fix monitors. However, my role is very different to that. I’m more of an investigator.
When I explain to my friend what I do, I use the analogy of video games. When we’re playing on our PlayStation, usually everything works fine. But sometimes when you've played for a long time, the game starts to lag or slows down. You don't know who to ask to fix it, but because it’s a video game it’s not that important so you just restart it or leave it.
However, in the financial world, billions of dollars are being traded. So if the applications start to lag, that’s a serious issue. It’s my team’s responsibility to look into any issues and make sure applications are working as best as they can."
What’s an example issue you’ve fixed?
"Today, a client said he’s not receiving emails. As the Production Support Engineer, you don't know what happened and so you have to investigate all the possible causes until you find the right one.
Another example is that an order is taking five seconds to send and we’re being asked why. So then I have to go through every possibility. I went through the whole process and checked every system and finally found the one that was causing the delay."
How was the process of converting from an Alumni to a permanent employee with the bank?
"It was super easy. I didn't do anything! mthree handled everything for me, all I had to do was sign the contract. Before I was even told I was going to be kept on as a permanent employee, I was really happy with mthree’s service."
What benefits did you receive from mthree?
"The main benefit that I’ve found the most useful was the insurance. mthree paid 75% of the insurance fee and so the remaining HK$700 I paid in monthly instalments of around US$90.
The insurance covered everything, it even gave me US$500 to buy glasses every year! In fact, it’s even better than the insurance than the one I’m currently on."
What would you say to other graduates who are thinking about joining mthree?
"You have to join it! It’s a very good way to help you get in the investment banking industry.
Production support varies so much that whether you’re highly technical or not, you can find an area that works. It’s a really fun role and I’ve enjoyed working in it."