Parisa Jalili Marandi, Director Data Engineering, BlackRock


Alumni Service

13 December 2021

In order to help current students and recent graduates to find their way in the working world, many of our alumni shared their career story. Here the story of Parisa Jalili Marandi, Director Data Engineering at BlackRock in London (UK). USI Degree: PhD in Informatics, 2014.

How did you start your career?

After graduating from USI in September 2014 I joined a 2-year Postdoc program in the system's team at Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK, and upon its completion in 2016 joined Microsoft's Engineering team as an applied researcher. In June 2019 I took an engineering lead role at team Athena of JPMorgan Chase & CO, and then in May 2021 joined BlackRock, where I am currently employed at.

Why did you choose a career at BlackRock?

The amount and scale of technical challenges in the project I interviewed for, the vibrant energy of the interview panel, and the high reputation of BlackRock cross wall street in treating their employees, were among my main reasons.

What is your current role/duties?

I spend my time switching between design, planning, coding, communication, operation and support. But as the lead of a software engineering team, my top must duty is to empower the team and set the members and projects up for success.

In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in BlackRock?

Besides having a strong desire to take on new challenges, to learn and grow as an individual and as a team, the willingness to go an extra mile when needed and having a sense of ownership and responsibility, and possessing high working ethics and integrity are among the necessary qualities.

What positive aspects and qualities meant most to you during the study programme you attended?

USI and its faculty has a high standard for quality in education and research, and has a remarkably supportive atmosphere. Studying and researching in such an environment meant most to me.

What competences and/or skills acquired in your USI Study Program have been useful/are useful to your professional career?

In all the positions I have taken so far I have used most of the technical knowledge I learnt during my PhD studies. Systems are systems after all, and although there is a large variety of them and they look different on the surface, the underlying principals are the same. I learnt a lot from my PhD advisor Prof Fernando Pedone on how to tackle systems, design, and implement them, and most importantly how to troubleshoot and debug them, which can be very challenging even after laying out proper tests and controls.

What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?

With the competitive job market and the complex interview processes, it might seem daunting when someone enters the market for the first time, and gets a few rejections. But you are actually growing through any single interview, as you are learning new skills, in that you are becoming better at fast-thinking and problem solving, and interacting with interviewees.