Edwin Lamptey, Capability Lead (IT Manager) at Schroders Investment Management, tells ROK about his career journey so far and why good role models are key to supporting young BAME people to achieve.

What is your current job title?
Capability Lead (IT Manager) at Schroders Investment Management.

What does your job entail on a day-to-day basis?
I manage a Rapid Application Development (RAD) team at an asset management
firm. The focus of RAD software development is more tactical in nature i.e. shorter projects. My team provides governance advice, provides subject matter expertise, supports existing software, facilitates training, manages an intranet site, and of course, develops software. Our clients are internal and mainly in the front office i.e. fund managers and those working closely with them. My team is made up of a bunch of people to whom I provide coaching and guidance, but ultimately we function very well as a team.

How did you get involved in the IT industry?
My first job after university was working as a healthcare IT consultant. A big part of my role was to act as a middleman to help my firm’s clients in configuring off-the-shelf software they bought from us. I quickly found that I could deliver far more value to clients by developing applications directly for them when there were shortcomings or gaps in the functionality in the software we gave them. I stumbled upon a perfect role, mainly found in Financial Services, where it was recognised that sometimes you need developers who could work quickly to provide just-in-time, robust, and scalable software until a more strategic solution can be found. It was a no-brainer, I had to switch industries.

I enjoyed working in this role especially because it was a young fun company where I made a lot of good friends. I also gained tremendous confidence in myself as a professional because there was a lot of training, support and autonomy.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you want to be doing career-wise?
I would almost definitely be a teacher! As a physics-student tutor in my final year of study at King’s College London, as part of a module, I helped out in a girl’s sixth form with remedial classes and taught Fluorescence as a special course. It was such a rewarding feeling when a student has that light bulb moment.

In terms of educational/career attainment, what are the main challenges facing BAME young people today and what do you think can/should be done to overcome them?
I feel BAME young people need to know their career options and have good role models to help them see how attainable their ambitions are. Good mentors can help them expand their horizons to ensure that they know what career options are out there. Corporate social responsibility of larger firms should focus some attention on helping introduce BAME young people to professional environments. This could come in the shape of insight days, work placements, or sponsoring business mentorships. Any exposure to professionals from different fields increases the chances of BAME young people in getting into great careers

If you could give one piece of advice to a young person who wants to work in your industry, what would it be?
There is nothing you cannot do if you’re prepared to work for it.