Nigeria’s Becky George-David’s journey as a Software Engineer breaking into Investment Banking

Nigeria’s Becky George-David’s journey as a Software Engineer breaking into Investment Banking
6 min read

Engineering is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding careers, but for many good reasons.

Over the years, the skill-sets that this discipline encompasses have assisted many engineers to successfully make a smooth transition into the world of finance; specifically in investment banking.

Investment banking is a highly enterprising environment, sensitive to the delivery and management of information and data processing. Technology plays a major role in managing all aspects of investment banking; which includes trading, security or research. One of the benefits any business in the investment banking industry can have is faster access to information.This is where Software Engineering can provide a competitive advantage for businesses in this field.

In this month’s edition of Women of Impact, we interviewed Nigerian-born and raised Becky George-David, as she opens up her experience as a Software Engineer with one of the world’s leading financial institutions – the Royal Bank of Scotland. Becky is also co-founder of TheBusyBodi, an online platform that seeks to tap into the informal economy by creating a market place for service providers (sellers) and customers (buyers), particularly in the blue-collar job market.

Becky George-David

“Post my primary education, I attended two schools in my junior secondary years before my dad identified that I’d be better suited at a science-only school for my senior secondary education. I spent the final three years of secondary school with the sole aim of becoming a doctor, as I’d been brought up to believe was my career of choice. I loved Physics, Mathematics, Biology and Literature (surprisingly), but just struggled to find love with Chemistry.  In all, I’m a STEM girl by upbringing, but most importantly, by passion!”

  • What inspired your transition to the world of investment banking?

“When I decided to pursue a degree in Computing, I knew the range of career options would be wide. However, I did not anticipate, nor fully comprehend, the many applications of technology. In my first year at the University of East London, I began investigating internships to tie in my theoretical knowledge to real world applications. I got paired with a mentor who worked for Barclays Capital at the time, and that’s how my curiosity and career within the financial markets, in the financial capital of the world, was birthed. I’ve spent a better part of my career as a Software Engineer with a global team spanning the US, Europe and Asia – building bespoke front end automated electronic trading applications for both trading with clients (brokers, other banking institutions) and exchanges such as LSE, NYSE etc.”

  • Tell us about the project you are currently working on?

“I currently work at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as a Technical Delivery Manager where I manage and ensure the end to end delivery of mobile banking products and services to our 6.2 million customers.  In this fin tech era, customers expect to have a hassle-free mobile experience that enables them to manage their finances on the go. I work alongside Product Owners, Developers, Testers and a change team to ensure that our customers have an app that is personalised to them, enables full control of their finances and provides all these services at their fingertips 24/7.”

  • Tell us about TheBusyBodi. What was the motivation behind this?

“I came around this idea whilst discussing the frustration of a typical Nigerian undergraduate or graduate student trying to find a placement or job. We realised that in Nigeria, a lot of people relied not just on their ‘9 to 5’ but also on their ‘5 to 9’ AKA the ‘side hustle’. These side hustles in some cases, were even worth more than a ‘full time job’. We sought to solve this problem by creating a platform for these service providers to engage with a wider customer base, and for consumers of this services to receive competitive prices and verified services alike. My co-founder and I are currently exploring new ways of solving the challenge of capturing/on-boarding service providers who happen to mostly be offline.”

  • Do you have any plans of transferring your expertise to Nigeria?

“My passion is and always will be seeing Africa’s economy finally emerge. I’ve wanted to return home ever since I graduated. But I understand that I need to learn from my current environment, through the opportunities that I’ve been fortunate to have. It’s particularly important that I spend my time here in the UK tech space, curating a tailored experience that leans on the exploration of successes and pitfalls, and the real-world impact and role that technology is playing in disrupting various industries. Within the next 5 years, I should have a solid experience, as well as strategic, technical and tactical expertise to go back home and be part of our success story.”

  • What’s your advice for young girls who wish to take up STEM roles, particularly in Software Engineering?

“Be intentional with your time and with activities that you lend yourself to. Have an ‘idea’ of what you want and why. I’m a firm believer in the ability of a strong ‘why’ to propel you through tough times when your ‘what’ becomes more difficult to pursue. This is applicable when as a software engineer, you hit a code block that even stack overflow can’t help you get over.  I believe that it is also applicable in all other areas of one’s life for one to become a well-rounded individual.”