Meet Victoria Conry, Director, Senior Technology Manager at Bank of America

Victoria is a Director, Senior Technology Manager at Bank of America. She has worked for Bank of America in Chester for 9 years having moved from a stockbrokers in Dublin where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I have worked for Bank of America in Chester for 9 years having moved from a stockbrokers in Dublin where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant. My main focus in the bank has been around Risk (either financial or operational), Process Excellence and People Management. My current role is leading the Chester Technology Command Center Incident Management team – all significant technology incidents are escalated to the Command Center for engagement, escalation and ultimately to facilitate resolution.

On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?

I usually wake at 6 with a strong cup of coffee – my team are on shift from 7am so I check my emails to see what the morning may bring / if we need to be prepared from the handover from APAC. This will usually shape my day – there is a possibility that I need to log in from home if there is a significant incident. This coincides with getting my children ready and fed for school, along with cat and dog duties.

My day ends dependent on energy levels – a run or swim, some music, a book or simply mindless internet surfing.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Since my dreams of being a vet were dashed – absolutely not. I studied Genetics in Cardiff University, followed by temping and working in multiple different jobs for a few years. I had no idea what I wanted to do long term until I was 26 and had perform some bookkeeping – I absolutely adored the structure and purity of accounting and so pursued that path within Financial Institutions.

What do you love about working for Bank of America?

The expanse of knowledge that is stored in peoples heads / in procedure documents / in process flows – it really is a whole world of knowledge to be gained and also the potential to harness the knowledge through both people and technology.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you overcome these challenges?

I would say my biggest challenge was to navigate the “Networking” aspect of my role. Being a natural introvert, my initial thoughts about “Networking” was to shrink away from it – the thought of  walking into a room full of unknown people that I had to socialise with alone drained and scared me. I overcame it by reformulating what I thought “Networking” meant – Networking to me now is a natural, organic interaction, the taking of opportunities to meet people with a common topic.

Once you have a common topic – it could be a question, a proposal or gaining feedback then the conversation flows.

Once I reframed my definition of Networking, it is now a natural part of my day.

Have you benefited from coaching, mentoring or the sponsorship of others?

I have been a mentor for most of my career at the Bank. The benefit of mentoring is that you can gain a lot of perspective by understanding what challenges individuals face and how certain situations are interpreted by others. By sharing thoughts in a safe environment, topics can be discussed with no fear of reprisal and getting that alternative view is extremely useful in then seeing things from others view point that may be different from your own.

Do you believe in the power of networking? If so, where do you network?

See previous question – absolutely I do. My networking happens through my day to day work mainly eg. Reaching out to subject matter experts that may help to explain in further detail about an item. Also one of my most useful networking experiences was as Co-Chair of Women in Technology and Operations in Chester – I quickly got involved in organising events / inviting speakers to talk – this gave me a purpose and a great platform to talk to Senior Leaders that I otherwise would have no “common topic” with.

What advice would you give to those who aspire to a career in tech?

Try to understand “How” you like to work rather than a particular job title or division. What do you like doing – what are your skill sets and how are they best suited. Is it operational process related and therefore organisational skills / executive skills are well suited – is it as a technology specialist or with a specific skill set such as coding. My advice would be to search for roles based on the skills required rather than the job title. Technology provides so much opportunity for people with all skillsets that you should not feel limited whether you are a “technical” person or not.

What does the future hold for you?

Definitely to remain in the Bank. There are so many opportunities, so much interesting work being done and so many interesting people to talk to and connect with from across the globe. Working for a global organisation is absolutely fascinating – both from a People, Process and Technology point of view.