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Got my first job! Working as a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Cesar Villa Garcia

Got my first job! Working as a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Cesar Villa Garcia has works at the headquarters of the multinational investment bank.

October 9, 2020 at 12:00am


Name: Cesar Villa Garcia

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Degree/major: Bachelor of science in computer science

Where are you working? Title? JPMorgan Chase & Co., software engineer

How did you get your job? I learned about opportunities at JPMorgan Chase & Co. at an informational session hosted on-campus by Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), FIU’s largest technology organization. I interviewed and received an offer to participate in an internship program as a software engineering at their Chicago office. After completing the internship in summer of 2018, I received an offer to return to the company as a full-time software engineer. I now work out of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s headquarters in New York City.

What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it? Not having in-depth knowledge of the financial industry and how the company’s products and services operate in this space. Thankfully, the firm did an amazing job onboarding me and providing the necessary training. It gave me the confidence to take on new challenges and work with different stakeholders.

What surprised you the most about your first job? How technology-driven JPMorgan Chase & Co. is, and how much the company invests in building and supporting its technologies. This has provided me with many opportunities to leverage my skills and make a significant impact as a software engineer. I was also impressed by how international our teams are. For example, my current team is made up of software engineers working from all over the globe - the United States, United Kingdom, India and Hong Kong. We communicate every day and work together to develop applications used by clients worldwide.

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Get involved in related activities and organizations at FIU. There is no better place than UPE to learn about job opportunities in the field of software engineering, product management, data science and other related roles. UPE and its programs empower students to succeed by helping them build their resume, gain new skills, build projects, network with top industry recruiters, practice for technical interviews, find a mentor and more.

What does a day on the job look like? As a software engineer, over the past year, I have worked on every stage involved in the development of an application. This involves tasks such as gathering requirements, coding solutions, testing implementations, deploying services and support. Most of my time, however, is spent coding using technologies such as Java, JavaScript, React and Python. I also work in an agile environment, meeting with stakeholders on a regular basis to ensure our applications meet their needs.

How does your job connect back to your coursework? My coursework was very important in setting the foundation for the coding and problem-solving skills I presently employ on the job. Courses like Programming and Data Structures equipped me with the ability to evaluate challenging technical problems and implement efficient solutions. Other courses like Software Engineering and Senior Project exposed me to the application lifecycle, and my experience as president of UPE helped me gain the leadership and communication skills needed to work with a variety of stakeholders in the business world.

How has your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time? It was smooth. I took some time after graduation to prepare for my move to NYC. Before starting the position, I took a week to explore the city and find the ideal apartment. Since joining the company, I have been able to keep a great work schedule that promotes life balance and allows me plenty of time to enjoy the city. This was before we went into quarantine due to COVID-19.

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? Working on applications that make a big impact. Asset management is a very valuable yet volatile business, with traders and portfolio managers requiring applications that provide the most accurate and up-to-date information daily. While this high-stakes environment adds more pressure, it’s also extremely rewarding to know that my work is helping them make smart investments and preserve JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s place as a leader in the financial world. I feel very lucky to be part of this team and look forward to learning and innovating more in this space.