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Bank of New Zealand

  • #1 in Banking and financial services
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Shaam Prakash

Make time for yourself. Your own happiness and wellbeing should come first and foremost. Always make time to relax and do something you enjoy no matter how busy you are.

What's your job about?

The BNZ Global Data Warehouse (GDW) team is responsible for managing the databases that contain crucial BNZ Customer data. My current responsibilities involve handling all documentation for GDW and aiding with troubleshooting and maintenance jobs for our databases.

Customers are the core of GDW; everything exists in GDW as customer-centric: generating transactions, using ATMs, opening new accounts, etc. We have a wide array of jobs that run automatically which could load, extract or do maintenance on data among many other things. One of my daily tasks is ensuring these jobs have completed successfully. If they fail it could impact customers. Going into the GDW systems, troubleshooting and liaising with different teams is all part of some of my daily tasks.

After that, I will work on any job requests that have been allocated to me. Every week we have a stand-up meeting to allocate these tasks to each member of the team. These tasks could range from maintenance jobs on GDW or job requests from other teams such as loading and extracting data or helping solve a problem. This week I am working on decommissioning some old programs that are no longer used on GDW to ensure everything runs smoothly is doesn’t get clogged up.

Every week we have a meeting with all the teams in Data Management to share what is going on in the wider ecosystem of Data management and BNZ. On Fridays, we have social drinks to end the week on a high note. Part of BNZ’s culture is placing a high priority on mental and physical wellbeing.

What's your background?

I was born in New Zealand and grew up here spending all my life in Auckland until taking the leap to move down to windy Wellington for my new role in BNZ. I grew up in a time when having a computer at home was becoming more common which sparked my interest in computers quite early on. With the introduction of the internet and the evolution of technology, there was an explosion of people using different technology and it was almost scary what companies could do with the data that was generated by everyone. All of this led me wanting to learn more, eventually resulting in graduating with a Conjoint Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Commerce (Computer Science and Information Systems).

A big influence for me was all the people in my life. Friends and family shaped who I am today, supporting me in my ventures and building my character. However, the one that stands out to me is a lesson my granddad taught me, to treat everyone with genuine kindness and a smile, the best thing about it is that I’m not the only one who benefits from this advice, the person on the other end gets to feel the same happiness.

After graduating in 2018, I spent a year contracting as a junior design analyst working with an array of architects and developers and was exposed to an array of new technologies and ideas. I then began my grad journey at BNZ at the start of 2020 which has been an amazing experience so far. The graduate program works on a rotation basis which means you can experience different teams and get a feel for what you enjoy doing.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes! You don’t need to have a large IT background to do this role. Having a growth mindset, however, is crucial. My first month was packed with learning everything there is to do with BNZ and data management and I’m still learning every day. A lot of the things I learnt in University are helpful, however, a lot of things are brand new to me here in BNZ. In the IT industry, which is always changing, training and upskilling will become a normal part of your career so having a growth mindset and willingness to learn is essential.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

As part of the BNZ GDW (Global Data Warehouse) team, our databases make up the part of the backbone for a lot of different systems in BNZ which results in working with a wide range of teams and departments around BNZ to help solve their problem. It is this problem solving that I love most about my job, it could be a data-related problem or could be something deeper, some problems could be dealing with very large amounts of money and could affect a lot of customers which makes solving it all the more gratifying.

What are the limitations of your job?

For the GDW team, we need to provide support around the clock since the bank never sleeps. This means sometimes having to go on a call and respond to issues after work hours, however, having a roster means the workload is shared among the team. With issues dealing with customers and large quantities of money there is a sense of urgency and risk involved and making a mistake could cost the bank a lot of money, for a new graduate or someone entering the workforce this could feel like a large amount of responsibility, and it is but the team is always around to support each other which makes it all the easier.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort circle, try something new. Join a new club, sit in a new seat in a lecture and say hi to someone else. Taking small steps to widen your circle will give rise to new experience and allow you to meet new people.
  2. Make time for yourself. Your own happiness and wellbeing should come first and foremost. Always make time to relax and do something you enjoy no matter how busy you are.
  3. Meet as many people as you can. University is the best time to expand your network, take the first step and say hi.