Vlad (11)

Demographic and biographical Characteristics

Vlad is a young man of 23 years old, borne in Bucharest. He graduated in 2005 a very famous high school in Bucharest and in 2009 he finished the university in the field of financial assurance, banks and stock exchange.

He is now employed in a private pension division of one of the most important bank in Romania (foreign capital and management). He had a previous job experience in the same field - 9 months during his university studies in a financial company.

Job description and responsibilities

Vlad starts his work at 9.00 and finishes at 18, theoretically, because actually he left the work place when he finishes his duties, meaning earlier or often later than 18.00 a clock.

The main responsibilities at the workplace are: analyses of the opportunities on the stock market, financial risk analyses, financial forecast.

He is working in team with his boss and he is happy to have the feeling of understanding and familiarity in this team. Unfortunately, he consider himself and his boss a kind of island in the company, because very often he doesn’t share the same values and behaviours that are valued in the company.  What is making him most anxious is actually the company culture that, according to his description, is based on a totalitarian approach, lack of ethics and following the principle “divide and impera”. Even so, he is struggling to cope with this situation.

The role of fresh information in the daily activity

He learned that in his job, new information are vital: If you want to perform in this field, you have to be very well informed, on daily bases. Otherwise, you are on contra time. You must be always on top and to understand what is going on. It is in the nature of this job to be always dynamic and well informed. If out miss something or something doesn’t mach that means you loose an opportunity. If you don’t achieve the standards, your name is at stake and your low performances are on everybody’s lips.

Daily use of technology

Using technology is a part of his daily activity. Apart of specialized software that he is using, he developed himself an application that helped him to merge different information gathered form different sources. Apart of this, he is using regularly Google Finance, Bloomberg.

What did he learn at the workplace?

Philosophically speaking, Vlad confess that he learned so far important life lessons. He learned that such job environment might be very tough sometime  and you have to know how to deal in a very hostile situation, how to resolve a problem under very high time pressure.  He thinks that those lessons cant be learned in university, but only at the workplace when you are challenged every day. The most important learning experience for him was facilitated by the opportunity to work close with very good professionals in the field. He also learned a lot about company culture, that is very often very different that the Romanian way of doing things.

Another things that he learned at the workplace and he didn’t have the chance to learn this in university are connected to the qualities that you need for such a job: pragmatism, realism, patience, analytical thinking. He also think that in his profession you need native qualities like diplomacy or intuition. Also, you should learn how to lose or how to take risks.

Relationship with colleagues. Integration at the workplace.

First 6 months at the workplace were very difficult for him. He felt that actually anybody helps him to integrate. He even thought that maybe this job was a mistake for him. Anyway, he stayed here only because didn’t have any other alternatives. Even his boss was seen like a good learning recourse, actually Vlad sad that took a long time to start the communication with him, only because his boss is rather introvert it person. The integration become a reality only after a time when he proved that he has performances at the work place. 

He think that his integration was difficult also because of the company culture. According to Vlad sayings, the main challenge is that most of his colleagues are not proactive. When a problem appears, every body is looking for the guilty one and run out of responsibility, instead of looking for active solutions.

The value of university education – 5-8%

Vlad: The university as is organised at the moment is only an oportunity to introduce you in a very general term or notion. That means that when you finish university and get a job, the language that is spoken there is not really a foreign one. Bu the first contacts with the real professional word brigs you the feeling that you are lost in space. According to my opinion, only 5-8% from what we learn in university are used at the workplace, the rest you need to learn on the job. Generally speaking, our university is purely theoretical and also totally unpractical, at least in my field.   

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to attend any of the training courses organized by the company because the effects of the crisis were  already visible in cutting the training budget. Anyway the most valuable training was for him thinks that he learned form his boss on the daily base.

Another important part is self learning, consisting in readings or applications that he explore by himself.

Job perception

Vlad thinks that his job is a necessary evil. He thinks that the general atmosphere might be better only if the general approach of the company, but also people and colleagues would be more opened, more client oriented, more focused on resolving the problems, not only on the problems in itself.

Asked if the financial motivation is important for him, Vlad sad that it is difficult to make a border out of the financial and professional motivation. He thinks that those 3 years were  very intense for him, professionally speaking  and he felt that actually the job is everything for him. He thinks that one day might live this job because of kind of feeling of alienation, but he thinks he will always stay interested on the stock market phenomenon.

Transition period

Vlad thinks that he is a lucky person because he didn’t run much for his job. The fact that was connected to the real world and has a good network of friends that already have a job in the field helped him a lot. First job during his university studies was offered by a friend that was employed. This friends was going to go to study abroad and the company obliged him to find a replacement. Vlad was his choice.  The first contact with his job was for Vlad like a shock. The main issue was that actually didn’t take the job from financial reasons, but at the work place he learned a lot about value of money and their importance.

After his first job, he send some CV-s around. The fortune was that a former colleague change his job and asked Vlad he wants to follow him. He accepted. The selection procedure at the company asked a CV and also 4 recruitment interviews. He was chosen out of 9 other candidates.

He doesn’t think that have difficulties in obtaining this job because he thinks he is an extroverted person, without fear to express his opinion: I always consider my interviewers as equal, even I am a junior and they are directors. I think is vital to be honest first with yourself and than with others. Of course is ok to tell others about your qualities, but in general I avoided to tell untruthful things about my experience. What helped me maybe is the tone of my voice, the mimic, gestures, eye contact etc.  

What I regret now looking back is the fact that I wasn’t more incisive in negotiation regarding the salary or other benefits. This is because what is temporary tends to remain definitive. I think I could be more bold and negotiate harder. But this means you know yourself and you know what your expectations are.

Information and Communication Technologies

For CV, Vlad downloaded the EUROPASS from the Internet. This is considered now a mistake only because the format was printed very bad, and the general appearance of his CV was not very good.  Before the interview he informed himself about the company and about the field in general, by the INTERNET.  Those information didn’t helped him during the interview because the questions were objective and punctual.