This interview was conducted with Wendy Duckrey, Delaware Hub Recruiting Lead at JPMorgan Chase by Erica Freedman, Content Marketing and Client Service Specialist at SwitchUp.
JPMorgan Chase regularly hires graduates from Zip Code Wilmington in Wilmington, Delaware. Since inception, JPMorgan Chase has partnered with Zip Code Wilmington to hire graduates into software engineering roles. The students that graduate from the Zip Code program have served as strong employees at JPMorgan Chase, proving themselves as hard working individuals with a passion to learn and drive to succeed. See how JPMorgan Chase has developed a hiring partner relationship with Zip Code that goes deeper than the jobs, serving each individual student as they set out to accomplish their career goals.
Tell us about JPMorgan Chase. What does the company do specifically in banking, and what is your role there?
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small business, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. When you work at JPMorgan Chase & Co., you’re not just working at a global financial institution. You’re an integral part of one of the world’s biggest tech companies. In 14 technology hubs worldwide, our team of 40,000+ technologists design, build and deploy everything from enterprise technology initiatives to big data and mobile solutions, as well as innovations in electronic payments, cybersecurity, machine learning, and cloud development. Our $9.5B+ annual investment in technology enables us to hire people to create innovative solutions that will not only transform the financial services industry, but also change the world. Currently, I am the Delaware Hub Recruiting Lead and support the hub on all technology recruiting efforts. My focus is to build strategic initiatives to bring top tech talent into the firm.
How did you start working with Zip Code Wilmington?
As part of the Tech Hire Initiative, JPMorgan Chase was invited to participate in the development of Zip Code Wilmington alongside several local Delaware employers, government officials and non-profit organizations. Michael Zbranak and Gary Moyer, both Managing Directors at JPMorgan Chase, sit on the Zip Code advisory board and steering committee that helped develop the Zip Code Wilmington curriculum. JPMorgan Chase has hired and mentored the Zip Code Wilmington students. The partnership has made a huge impact on changing lives and helping navigate careers.
You’ve hired a number of Zip Code Wilmington graduates over the past few years. What roles have Zip Code Wilmington grads filled at JPMorgan?
The majority of program graduates that have been hired into JPMorgan Chase are Software Engineers. A small population have also joined us as Quality Assurance Analysts or Business Analysts.
Why do you think Zip Code Wilmington grads are a good fit for your team?
Delaware is a strategic technology hub for JPMorgan Chase. As we continue to grow, it’s important to have a reliable, local pipeline of strong technology talent. It is exciting to partner with an organization such as Zip Code Wilmington whose graduates have a passion for learning and are eager to use their new skillset. Most are coming from backgrounds and education outside of technology and are bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to the teams they are joining. JPMorgan Chase is a committed partner that values the incredible talent of the Zip Code graduates.
Bootcamps are a newer form of education. Did you have any reservations about hiring from a boot camp?
I think you always have reservations about trying something new, however, we believe in thinking outside the box to bring top talent into the firm. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to partner with Zip Code Wilmington in their founding stages which gave us a better understanding of the candidate quality and rigorous curriculum that graduates would need to successfully complete.
What is most exciting about working with Zip Code Wilmington?
The interaction with the students and seeing them graduate the program. When you see how excited they are about being accepted in the program, it gives you a sense of accomplishment once the students are placed.
After seeing Zip Code Wilmington’s success, we also approached them about delivering training for an internal program we run called Tech Connect. Similar to their model, Tech Connect is for those who demonstrate a passion for coding, but have minimal exposure to software engineering or experience in a technology organization. The goal is to increase diversity by extending recruiting efforts beyond core schools and traditional candidate profiles. Zip Code Wilmington has done an excellent job of preparing the participants to launch their careers here at JPMorgan Chase.
It has also been rewarding to see them expand their training to other populations through partnerships with organizations such as Year Up. It is evident that they are committed to growing the Delaware technology pipeline.
What are you looking for in a new hire?
We always need good people. Financial services is a dynamic industry that continues to be powered by technology, and that requires a large talent pool. We’re looking for people to create smart solutions that will transform financial services. The key traits are a passion for technology and coding and an openness to learn.
Will you hire from Zip Code Wilmington in the future? Why or why not?
Yes. The program has shown true value and we have been successful in our retention rate hiring from the program. The talent continues to exceed our expectations and we look forward to continuing a strong relationship with Zip Code Wilmington.
What should other employers keep in mind if they wish to hire from a bootcamp?
Make sure you are involved in the development of the person you hire. Zip Code Wilmington does a great job preparing them but it is up to the managers that hire them to continue strengthening their skillset.