Ciaran Lang:

ciaran_langYour name?

Ciaran Lang

Your job title?

Operations analyst at Virtu Financial

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Carry out back office tasks and write code to improve daily processes

Describe a typical day?

Tie out our brokerage accounts, report our trades to the central bank of Ireland, calculate our daily profit and loss.

What do you find most interesting ?

Writing code (python, VBA) to improve daily tasks and make general tasks quicker and easier.

What’s not so cool? What are the main challenges?

The late hours, getting stuck on problems,

How do you use mathematics within your job?

Mathematics plays a large part in the codes I write and is essential for most back office tasks.

What type of mathematics do you use to solve problems?

Anything from simple addition and multiplication to linear algebra and matrices.

Who or what has most influenced your career direction?

Family and friends suggestions and the chance to travel with my work to other countries.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Yes, there are a large number of activities provided by my company during the week and weekend trips are quite common. There is also quite a lot of holiday time to set aside for personal goals.

What subjects did you take (and why did you take them?) in school and did they influence your career path?

Maths/physics and design and communication graphics were my favorite subjects and they played a large part in my career path as they made me realise I enjoy working with numerical and logical problems.

What is your education to date?

I went to Sutton Park Secondary School, followed up by an undergraduate in astrophysics in Trinity College Dublin and finally a masters in robotics in Kings College London. I chose this path as it was a mix of topics I found interesting and a focus on maths and coding.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Any coding I did was very relevant and the fact I was able to handle complex topics such as nano science and thermodynamics showed I was comfortable with difficult tasks.

Did you like maths at school?

I at first found maths difficult until 5th year when I fund a good teacher that made maths clear and simple to me.

What aspects of the mathematics curriculum or mathematics courses have proven most important for your job?

I would say that ability to not just solve a problem, but to understand the logic behind it and applying it to more difficult problems. For particular topics I would say algebra and calculus would be most relevant to my job.

What other skills do you think someone should obtain if they wanted to pursue your career?

I would say coding is a very important skill to learn as it can be applied to a wide variety of careers.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

I would suggest working on personal projects that you find interesting. Being able to demonstrate a problem you had, how you figured out what needed to be done to fix it and how you carried out the solution.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

For this role I don’t believe there is any particular experience that will make a potential hire stick out more than others. Having anything that shows you are an outgoing, interesting, passionate person is great. Be that travelling for a period of time, being involved in music or simply working on personal projects such as writing, coding or art is more than enough.