Get to Know Mehdi Zouhairi Bernoussi, Network engineer for SG Canada
Learn about Mehdi Zouhairi Bernoussi, one of our IT experts, as he shares his career path within SG.
Please introduce yourself.
I am Mehdi, a network engineer for the network team within the IT infrastructure department of Societe Generale Canada.
Walk us through your career path at SG.
I started my career at SG in Paris as an applicative support specialist for the investment bank division, which offers banking services for large corporate and institutional clients. My role was to provide technical and functional support on applications that settle and deliver securities, meaning shares and bonds. My role was midway between a business analyst and an operations engineer. I had to translate functional requests from the back office and find adequate technical solutions, manage incidents with different stakeholders, and set up technical and functional monitoring to prevent incidents. After three years, I had a good understanding of the back-office processes as well as solid tech skills in the programming languages Linux and SQL. I also developed crucial soft skills such as good communication and adaptability to a fast paced environment with frequent context switching.
In 2010 I began a new chapter in my professional and personal life by moving to Canada, and joining the Montreal Solution Center (MSC), a new SG entity created to support our businesses in the US. For the next several years, I held support team roles supporting back office applications. In 2015, SG bought out Credit Agricole’s 50 percent stake in Newedge, a leading Prime Broker in Equities, Fixed Income, Listed and OTC products. I was tasked with integrating Newedge production practices within the SG framework for the Americas, During the nine-month span of this project, I had the chance to transform processes and help talented teams integrate new tools and practices. It was challenging, but it is rewarding to look back at what we accomplished in a relatively short time.
Following this project, I led a production team on the prime broker perimeter and was appointed global chapter manager for the client reporting perimeter. As a chapter manager I was focused on the team’s development and performance cycle as well as mentoring the chapter for mastery of the production practices. In parallel, I also held a Development Operations (DevOps) manager hat for a development team providing services for clients in NY, London and Paris. I fell in love with DevOps and was amazed at how Continuous Integration and Development (CI/CD) tools, containerization and infrastructure automation was empowering companies to deliver faster and safer and therefore build a substantial competitive advantage.
I decided I wanted to fully focus on my technical skills, so I moved to an individual contributor role and am now part of the infrastructure department as a DevOps developer for our network team.
As you moved through your career, how were you supported?
First, I am grateful to be part of such a large organization.The breath of careers within SocGen is incredible. Although primarily a bank, our technology platform is top notch. Opportunities are naturally created in this environment, either relocating geographically or changing career paths. I was able to raise my hand when I wanted to be involved in an interesting project. Moreover, my management was always supportive. For example, when I decided to move back to a technical role, I had several discussions with the local CIO and CTO that provided me with the guidance I needed.
Tell us about some of the skills have you developed?
During my career, I have developed a diverse set of soft and hard skills. Coming from an applicative support background, I learned how to put the client at the center of everything. I also developed communication and analytical skills that I acquired from managing several crisis situations. The last four years of my career have been more technical, and I am now focus on my development skills. In order to enhance my technical skills, I took two of the CCNA certifications, which is focused on networking technologies, as well as the CKA for Kubernetes certification, which is becoming the standard tool for managing cloud-based container workloads.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I am a perpetual learner. Either I am an expert on a topic or a rookie; the learning never ends! SG provides a great environment to learn, either by networking with talented professionals or by building products to enhance our platform.
Any career advice for your peers?
Follow your passion, make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t be afraid of change. A successful career path doesn’t have to be a straight line. Finally, seek feedback and mentorship from your peers and managers.