CareerBox: Edward Kimani,Senior Technical Consultant, Banking Applications, NLS Banking Solutions


GeneAfrique: Position and Name of Company? 
EK:  I am a Senior Technical Consultant, Banking Applications, at NLS Banking Solutions (K) Limited.

GeneAfrique: what is your educational background?
EK: I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, with additional certificates in networking (CCNA). I am currently registered to start my MBA in Management Information Systems in May this year.

GeneAfrique: How long have you been with Company?
EK: I started working at NLS since July of 2011, and therefore will be three years in the company by July this year.

GeneAfrique: What does your job entail?
EK: My work revolves around resolving banking application problems for various banks by providing solutions that work to improve their service to their customer. This involves analysis of the current systems they use, and developing/providing an application that either interfaces with it or developing a completely new application that addresses the current issue being faced.

GeneAfrique: Please describe your career timeline till date?
EK: My first job was as an intern building web sites and creating an online presence for about 6 months, then I got an opportunity to work for TATA Consultancy services in Chennai, India for one and half years as a Junior applications systems engineer, thereafter I came back to Nairobi and joined NLS as a software developer, where I have managed to grow to my current position.

GeneAfrique: how did you end up on this career path, is this what you saw yourself while studying?
EK: I would say even in my formative primary years, I knew I would end up in IT. I have always had this pull towards technology that was very strong and still is. My father encouraged me towards it and making decisions on which courses to take and areas to concentrate was easier as I already had an end goal in mind.

GeneAfrique: What is your typical day like?
EK: My work days are mostly based at client sites, where I would be implementing one application or another that we would have developed for the bank. There is a fair number of late nights involved. With meetings occasionally with various stakeholders. I also work on resolving any issues arising from earlier implemented applications and products.

GeneAfrique: Most challenging aspect of job and why?
EK: I would say managing client expectations, and making a client understand what is possible and workable in regards to their requirements and timelines given. The client always wants everything ready as of ‘yesterday’, it can get quite exasperating.

GeneAfrique: What is it biggest misconception people have about your job?
EK: That working with banking applications is very complex and is reserved for certain people. It has its challenges, yes, but like any other job, with patience and commitment, all is possible.

GeneAfrique: Favorite aspect of job?
EK: My team and my boss. They create an environment where coming to work every day is a worthy experience that can be looked forward to over and over. And I do love the way a banks customer would comment in passing how a certain service has improved either online or in a conversation, without knowing particulars, and I know I had a big part to play in it. It makes it all worthwhile.

GeneAfrique: Are there any least favorite/downsides of your job? 
EK: My least favorite is having to keep very late hours sometimes, especially on Saturdays, and if the late hours are many in a week, it can make for a very sleepy weekend!

GeneAfrique: What is the most important part about a career to you?(Good work, money, security, life balance)
EK: Life Balance – No mistaking it, I want to get as successful as I can be, but in the end, for successful living, all aspects of one’s life must work in harmony.

GeneAfrique: what would be your ultimate career achievement?
EK: Being my own man, being the boss. Either through shares acquisition where I am, or one day starting my own IT consultancy firm. I want to sit at the decision making table.

GeneAfrique: Have you had any mentors during the course of your career or anyone who specifically inspires you?
EK: There have been a wide range of individuals that have influenced me positively and nudged me in the right direction, but my father stands out, he had the vision early and I adopted it.  He inspired me to work hard for a better life and my future family just as he did with his family.

GeneAfrique: Any advice, tips, you would like to share with anyone interested in your career line?
EK: Have a vision, have a plan, have an idea of where you want to go and start working on it, step by step. Becoming a consultant requires patience and commitment. Start early.

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