Navigating Internal Mobility? Here's What Worked for These BlackRock Leaders
Check out advice from five BlackRock leaders on how they've navigated internal mobility to grow their careers.
Meet Eve Devine, a Vice President within the Command Center & Control team as part of the Aladdin Product Group. Learn more about Eve’s career journey, her advice to women in tech and why her favorite part of the Edinburgh office is the people.
You’ve been at BlackRock since 2016. What inspired you to join the company?
I visited the BlackRock London office in 2013 as part of a London Finance Tour hosted by my university. Of all the companies we met with that week, BlackRock stood out to me as the only firm that emphasized the importance of technology and identified themselves as a fintech company. I had a desire to work as a technologist within the financial sector but also wanted to be at the forefront of new technology and innovation. BlackRock seemed like the perfect fit.
I joined BlackRock through the Analyst Program, which has been one of my greatest experiences at BlackRock to date. I not only had the privilege of traveling to New York and hearing directly from the most senior leaders of the firm, but I also made lifelong friends. The program provides you with an immediate network of talented and brilliant individuals across every business area and geographical location. I wish I could do it all over again!
Can you tell us a bit about your journey at BlackRock since then?
As part of the Aladdin Product Group (APG) Analyst Program, I was able to rotate among different teams that work with Aladdin, BlackRock’s tech platform that unifies the investment management process – it’s everything you need to manage money, from portfolio construction through to compliance, reporting, operations and risk. Aladdin is both used internally at the firm and leveraged externally by clients, providing them access to the same technology we use to manage their investments day to day. Each rotation exposed me to different aspects of Aladdin, including how integral it is to delivering success for our clients. I ultimately chose the Command Center & Control team for my full-time placement as I knew it would allow me to develop my technical skillset while exposing me to the client business – helping me understand how clients interact with Aladdin and how the platform is constantly evolving to meet and anticipate client needs.
What is it like to be part of the Command Center?
My role within the team is as an Incident Manager, which means I’m responsible for the ongoing management of the Command Center, handling the triage of incidents and mitigating impact to our clients. The Command Center runs 24/7, and it’s a focal point in ensuring resilience, scale and performance across Aladdin. We also anticipate and prepare the Aladdin platform in response to some of the largest and most significant market events. Alongside our partner groups, we have a playbook of actions that are carried out in the lead-up to an event that enables our clients to respond seamlessly.
My favorite part of the role is that no two days are the same; you never know what kind of incident you’ll have to respond to. In the most challenging times, our team rallies together and we operate with a One BlackRock mentality, collaborating closely with our partner teams to deliver the best service for our clients. Our team operates with a flat structure – ideas are listened to and encouraged – which provides each of us the freedom and opportunity to drive real change within the team and beyond.
How have you felt supported in your career growth at BlackRock?
I’ve been very fortunate to have managers who have not only supported my personal goals but also pushed me to aim higher. I have very open dialogue with my manager about my career aspirations. He goes above and beyond to create opportunities for me and continually pushes me to think longer term and approach situations from different perspectives. As I have become a people manager myself, I operate with the mindset that your manager needs to work with you and help you achieve what you set out to do.
The Edinburgh office also runs a mentorship program, which helped me connect with one of my first mentors, who has been an excellent ear and guide for me throughout my time at BlackRock. Through other mentor relationships, I’ve gotten amazing opportunities to host external events, interview senior leaders of the firm and become more involved in areas that matter to me most. Mentorship has been one of the biggest investments I’ve made in myself – building relationships and leaning on my mentors throughout my career.
What do you enjoy most about the culture in the Edinburgh office?
The people! I may be biased, but the culture in the Edinburgh office is second to none. There’s excellent connectivity across teams and the wider office, and we host many fun activities with a philanthropic focus throughout the year, including volunteer days, tree-planting days with the Green Team, sponsored cycles and row-a-thons, the annual charity ball and Christmas jumper competitions – just to name a few! These are a great way to connect with colleagues from other teams and meet new people.
You’re greatly involved in BlackRock’s Women’s Initiative & Allies Network (WIN), co-chairing the WIN Edinburgh chapter and co-leading WIN’s Elevate development program in EMEA. What motivates you to invest in and support fellow female colleagues?
I knew quite early on that I wanted to pursue a career in tech. Throughout school and university, I was often second-guessed and undermined, which was mainly a result of my gender. I constantly felt I had to prove myself. Women are underrepresented not only in tech but also in finance, and when I first joined the firm in 2016, I was acutely aware of the lack of female representation. Everyone should be able to look around and see others who look like them and feel like they can be their true selves, including at work.
Thankfully, numbers are increasing, and I believe that great things happen when women support women. I am dedicated to ensuring female colleagues – and young women even outside of BlackRock – feel supported and encouraged to excel and realize their full potential so they can go on to do great things. Plus, the more we can tell girls and young women early on in their careers that nothing is out of reach, the more women we will see in the industry overall, and the smaller the gender pay gap will be.
What advice do you have for women looking to break into the tech industry?
If someone tells you that you can’t do something, ignore them. You’re in the driving seat of your career, and the best investment you can make is in yourself. Continually develop your skills, push yourself out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to ask for help.