Johan Lanzrein

The Pictet graduate programme provides rotations, which are one of the challenges that can take you out of your comfort zone.
The Pictet graduate programme provides rotations, which are one of the challenges that can take you out of your comfort zone.

Graduate journey

I started my journey at Pictet in Geneva in the Cloud Platform team of Tech&Ops. During this time, I was working on the Pictet public cloud platform. My next stop was at the Cybersecurity team where I worked with the Security Operation Center to deploy an application to help them manage their alerts. Afterwards, there was a switch in business line, and I went to PAM Tech. I joined the Analytics and Tools team (ANT) in the DAT Platform. During this time, I worked on the End User Computing solution developed internally for PAM users. I did another rotation at Tech&Ops in the Hosting Platforms team where I worked on the internal Kubernetes cluster and learned how servers are managed inside the datacentre. 

Finally, I went back to Cloud Platform and have been there since then. I am currently a Cloud Devops Engineer. 

What inspired you to pursue a career within tech in the financial services industry, and why did you choose Pictet ?

Nowadays, we hear the word "FinTech", which means finance and technology, and we increasingly see that tech has become a critical component of financial services. As financial technology deals with sensitive personal and financial information, data security has never been more important in protecting sensitive data. 

What have been some of the most exciting projects or initiatives you've participated in since joining Pictet? 

There is one which I'm still working on today, the cloud platform, where we provide a platform for end-users, a very interesting side of the projects as we have different challenges in securing the platform. This entails discussing with stakeholders and doing design sessions with them for new applications. There’s really an architectural part of it which is very interesting. We also get to experience many new technologies, such as everything to do with containers and the coding of small applications. Another exciting aspect is being able to work with Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration system for automating software deployment, scaling, and management. 

I was given a chance to do a rotation in PAM Tech. I luckily arrived at an ideal moment as the teams started working on their end-user computing, a platform where users have the ability to code on their own and as easily as possible.  

Can you describe the company culture and what it's like to work in this environment? 

For Tech & Ops, I would say teamwork is very important; you really work, communicate, and talk with your team members and also communicate often with the stakeholders with the perks of getting feedback often. So, I would say teamwork and communication are two very important parts which I really enjoy.  

I feel the company culture is healthy because we're challenged every day, and we get new opportunities, but we still have a very good work-life balance. I feel very good coming to work, and I know that even if I have lots of deadlines, I can work through them, and my colleagues and my manager will support me.  

What advice do you have for someone just starting their career in tech sector of the financial services industry?  

What I would say is when they arrive, they shouldn't be scared of not knowing anything because when you start, you don't know anything. Always take every opportunity as a chance to learn something new. If there's something you don't know or a concept you're not familiar with, ask questions. Take this as a chance to learn something new.   

How has the Pictet graduate programme challenged and stretched you so far, and what have you learned from these experiences? 

The Pictet graduate programme provides rotations, which are one of the challenges that can take you out of your comfort zone. You spend six months in a team, and just when you begin to feel comfortable, you move on to a new team and start over again. These rotations help you become accustomed to being challenged, stepping out of your comfort zone, and working with diverse teams in different styles. I learned that it is okay not to know everything and that it is okay to feel overwhelmed at first. The key is to ask questions and remain committed. 

How does the Pictet graduate programme support your professional development and growth? 

The programme encourages us to pursue further education and training, such as certifications or courses. Most individuals in financial services choose to take the CFA, but other options are also available. Personally, I completed the CFA Foundation, which provided me with an overview of the financial industry. Additionally, I obtained technical certifications in areas such as AWS. The Pictet graduate programme has been instrumental in my professional development and growth. 

What specific skills did you develop from the Pictet graduate programme and how did it prepare you for this current step in your career? 

The programme provided training in both technical and soft skills. Regarding technical skills, I developed my abilities in working on AWS, coding, and structuring my thoughts. On the other hand, soft skills were also emphasised, with communication skills being a primary focus. The programme taught me how to listen to others actively and how to convey my thoughts to different audiences. 

For instance, when conversing with a technical person, I learned to maintain a technical level of discussion. However, when communicating with someone higher up in the organisation, I learned how to synthesise my ideas to convey them more effectively. Additionally, the programme helped me gain self-confidence. Initially, I lacked confidence, considering myself inexperienced as a recent graduate. However, the programme instilled in me the belief that I could contribute valuable insights and opinions. These skills have all been beneficial in my current career.  

How has the Pictet graduate programme encouraged innovation, creativity, and collaboration amongst its participants, and what impact have these experiences had on your personal and professional life? 

Regarding innovation and creativity, the Pictet graduate programme provided us with a team-based graduate project. We were assigned a coach and a general topic, such as "Bringing innovation to thematic equity funds and attracting newer generations." We were then given the freedom to work on the project, which taught us valuable skills like working in a team, making concessions, and time optimisation. 

Another noteworthy aspect of the programme was the collaboration with alumni. The buddy program pairs each graduate with an alumni buddy who has already completed the programme. This relationship allowed for frequent communication and trust-building, with the alumni providing guidance and assistance on issues that may arise. I still see my buddy regularly and have even become a buddy for another person, which has had a positive impact on my personal and professional life.

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