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Project Manager : Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee is a project manager who works with a small company. He has worked there for 2 years but has worked in this field for about 20 years.
What do you do?
I work in a small company that speculates in financial futures ranging from oil to US government debt to stock indices. We also have created a program that works with the iphone.
What is the best part of your job?
In comparison to a big bank, we can do things a lot faster, without much red tape. Ideas can be explored, evaluated, accepted or rejected quickly.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
Thinking through a series of events and ideas and seeing the market behave as expected. For example, we try to anticipate for how long the Federal Reserve will keep its interests low.
How did you come to do this?
After 20 years in a bank, I decided it was time to put my skills to work for myself. I work with several colleagues from my old job.
What is the most boring part?
Many times, from experience, we know exactly what we need, but it still takes significant effort to create and test software. We may create a program and then find that it has several issues that require us to go back into the programming and reprogram several areas. However, when a program is finished and working properly, it is very fulfilling.
What is you work environment like?
We work from 6.30 am to 2 pm. This allows for a very good work-life balance. I am able to come home earlier than I would working for a large bank. I work in a room at a table with several other people. I do spend most of my time staring at a computer screen though.
What education or background is needed to have this job?
We have a team of people with very different skills and education. We have a physicist, a software guru, a trader and a person to get everyone to work together. I worked in a bank for several years and have a large knowledge of computer language such as Java. I also frequently work with programming and spreadsheets. As a teen, the idea of programming machines excited me. I started learning about programming without actually having seen a computer.
Is your career affected positively or negatively by the economic slump?
Trading isn't affected by the economic cycle. But the credit crunch made the markets more unstable and thus gives rise to more opportunities.
Have you ever considered changing jobs?
No. I am very content with my job as it has good hours and decent pay. Also, for my specific career, there are not many offers as of now. Also, my workplace is close to my house so the commute is easier than having a job with a large bank which would require me to commute to Chicago by train.
How long have you had this job?
I have been in this job for 2 years, but in the 20 years before that, I worked in many different roles that prepared me for it.