Features - Alum of the Month
Nicholas Siconolfi MBA
August 2013 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Bachelor of Business Administration at Loyola University Maryland.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
When I applied for Mountbatten I had been working in operations for an investment bank in NY for 4 years. Over that time I had become fatigued and somewhat jaded by the monotony of the role I was doing and the direction (or lack thereof) of my career to that point. Mountbatten offered an opportunity to shake things up and set myself on a different career path.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
During my time at Mountbatten I worked for Morgan Stanley as a member of the FX Change the Bank Team. The team was responsible for managing all projects within the UK Foreign Exchange Operations area of the bank. Over the course of the year I focused on two separate projects, one to decommission a legacy software system used by the FX Ops team and the second to ensure compliance with the then new European Markets Infrastructure Regulation. My role on the team was to act as a Business Analyst and Assistant Project Manager, supporting the other PMs in gathering requirements and monitoring project progress to ensure deliverables were met on time.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
The highlight of the year work-wise was the day before the EMIR Regulation went live. At that point everyone on the team had been working long hours for several months to make sure all of our deliverables had been met. The last day before go live of the Regulation was a huge relief to know that our work had payed off and that we could return to some level of normalcy going forward.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
The best social moment of the year for me was easily graduation day in Bangkok. After working so hard for a year and a half both at our work placements and on our dissertations, it felt great to be rewarded and enjoy the time with each other as well as many of our family members who flew out to Bangkok to celebrate with us.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Don't let opportunities pass you by. I think every person you meet and every opportunity you are given is a chance to better yourself. These moments happen for a reason, what we choose to do with them is our own. Wise people make the most of those opportunities.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I'm not sure that I would change anything. Not to say that it was the perfect role. But it was the right job at the right time that allowed me to accomplish what I sought out to achieve when I applied for Mountbatten. What more could I ask for?
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
After completing the Mountbatten Programme I returned home to New York to enjoy the holidays with my family and friends and then began looking for a role in consulting. I knew I wanted to continue working as a Project Manager so I looked mostly at smaller consultancies that could help me to further my career to that end. I very happily landed with Prospect 33, a boutique consultancy firm who was then focused on delivering Regulatory Projects within the Financial Services sector, something that I was very familiar with from my time at Mountbatten.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
Currently I am still with Prospect 33, but have since relocated back to London to support our firm's UK client base. After spending two years working on delivering various facets of the Volcker Rule at a major bank, I have now moved on to a new client as a lead Project Manager in a strategic infrastructure project. My goal is to deliver the Equities Front Office Risk system as part of a front to back programme to redefine how trades flow through the bank from execution to settlement in line with the bank's overall strategy for data management.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
While I generally prefer to keep an open mind and allow opportunities to come to me, I will say that I always plan to keep challenging myself in new ways to further advance my career. Currently that means studying to acquire my Professional Project Manager (PMP) certification and taking courses to learn the basics of big data and blockchain technologies as I expect these are the next big trends to shape the finance (and many other) industries. I'd also like to try my hand at managing projects outside of the financial sector. On the more personal side, I hope to move back to the States again in a few years time, but I will always continue looking to travel to new and exciting places. There is also the not so small endeavor of starting a family with my girlfriend sometime soon...
Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
I think you've covered it all!