Stuart Thomas provides strategic investment and portfolio management advice to high net worth individuals, trusts, charities and businesses across the South Island.
People Focus: Shikha Mishra
Shikha works in Jarden Digital as part of the DevOps team, using cloud-based technology and automation to support the continuous improvement of digital platforms. Her goal is to enable Jarden's digital teams to deliver business value faster by removing bottlenecks, adding feedback loops and promoting an environment of continuous learning.
Born and raised in India, Shikha has a BTech degree in computer science from the United College of Engineering & Research. She joined Jarden in 2019, after six years in the banking world specialising in automation engineering. A keen dancer, Shikha is also a qualified Zumba instructor and a leader for young women in the Buddhist association, SGI-NZ.
How did you get started in fintech?
I began my career as a graduate android developer for Infosys, a multinational company based in Pune, India. I’m a fast learner and I was constantly asking for the next challenge, so within a year the company offered me a secondment to New Zealand.
In Wellington I joined Westpac, and later moved to BNZ, where I specialised in automation. Slowly, I grew to love New Zealand and the culture, and this is now my home.
Tell us about your first role at Jarden
I joined Jarden as a senior automation engineer. Jarden’s digital platform is made up of a number of apps, databases and software systems that all have to work together seamlessly. Any new feature must be tested properly, so I focused on automating our testing procedures so that we could build, test and deliver a good quality product.
How did you move into DevOps?
My managers knew that I was interested in focusing on making the Jarden platform better and moving into DevOps, so they helped me begin to make the change. At the time, we were starting the transition to the AWS cloud, and we had to figure out how to make the shift as seamless as possible.
Now we have a set pattern and deployment pipeline, so our focus is on continuous improvement of those processes. I work in the Alchemists team and a lot of my work involves using cloud-based technology to automate the deployment of new features. When our colleagues build new features for Jarden’s clients, we help them roll out those features in a secure, fast and streamlined way, ensuring the client has a great experience.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
DevOps is very challenging and the work we do is often pioneering. If we don’t know how to do something, we have to research, figure out whether a solution will fit our needs and then implement. We use spikes and test multiple options, deliver the best option to the team and continue to monitor, learn and improve.
We get to work with all development teams, who come to us when a process isn’t working as well as it could. Plus there are a lot of opportunities for innovation and improvement, so I am constantly learning.
What would you say to recent graduates considering a career in fintech?
You don’t need to know everything to apply for a job, it all comes down to your attitude. Technology is changing every day, so be prepared to push yourself and learn as much as you can, even in your own time. That’s why it’s so important that you enjoy what you are doing, so you feel motivated to continue learning.
How would you describe the working environment at Jarden?
It’s an awesome place to work and the best environment, which promotes growth and creativity. Everyone is motivated to do their best and is supportive of one another. Jarden provides a lot of learning opportunities and if you want to develop your career, you’ll be supported.
We also have social evenings and people really care about each other. I have a lot of gratitude for Jarden and especially for my Alchemists team mates. I feel blessed to be working with really nice, supportive and down to earth human beings.
As head of client solutions, Alana is tasked with building and strengthening relationships with corporate clients across Jarden. She provides investor relations advice, supporting listed companies to connect and engage with potential investors from around the world. She also works with teams across Jarden to develop customised and innovative solutions to client needs.
Aaron Shields Wealth Management Adviser Nelson Aaron Shields works with high net worth individuals and trusts to manage, grow and protect their wealth through diversified investments.