In the first week of 2006, I got my first project after I joined the company for one month. I thought I was joining a project team to give a hand on project, but surprisingly it was my own project.

I was asked to assist an auditor from a major global bank to check whether internal controls and workflows in their back offices comply with the US regulation SOX. It was interesting for me to sit in its London office and to work for a major European bank to read through a lot of documents provided by its overseas branches mainly in the Far East including my home country Taiwan. It gave me a real chance to see how small the global village is at this century.
It was not difficult for me to look into their workflows in the back offices, but I did not have enough training for their trading and settlement system Murex. Hence, I was unable to answer many questions about functions and controls in the system. On the third day of this five days project, the client told me that his supervisor was coming to review our progress in the project on the next day. I knew that it was the time to escalate the issues and problems of the project to my manager. I listed about 20 questions which I could not solve for the auditor, and sent an email to asked my supervisor to help. I said “We may need more experts and experienced people to assist with the problems. I don’t want to risk the project.”

A system expert came to help me later. We sat down in front of my question list and the system to sort out all problems for five hours from 15:30 to 20:30 without any break and dinner time. It is not common to work overtime in London. It was also the first time for me to see how a British works very hard.

The project was finished on time with many helps from my colleagues, but I still have no idea why the company sent me alone in this small and time limited project. Is it a kind of test or the project not important? The thing I am sure is that I did learn a lot on the job and gained a valuable experience to deal with the client. I believe that I can learn more from joining a project team later especially for a starter in the consultancy firm.

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五色鳥和飛魚的旅英札記

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