Yelu Executive Director/Vice President, Securities Division Data Services Technology Division, Hong Kong
Joined GS: Internship, 2009; Full time 2010
Studied: Software Engineering at Nanjing University/Peking University
Hobbies: Traveling and Painting
Engineering is not about trying fancy things or the latest technologies for their own sake; it’s about using the most appropriate technology in the proper way.
I graduated from Nanjing University with a degree in software engineering and attended Peking University for my Master’s degree. I joined Goldman Sachs for an internship in 2009 as a systems analyst, where I worked on the storage team and the Microsoft Windows team. I joined the firm full time in 2010 as a member of the portal team, which is responsible for external client websites.
After three years with the portal team, the group was reorganized into my current team—Sec Div Data Services—which develops mission-critical platforms for storing and managing client reference data and client-facing activities to support sales and trading functions across the Securities Division. The technologies we use include relational databases, large scale in-memory caches, big data platforms and high performance query engines.
Before I joined the firm, I had no idea Goldman Sachs did so much with technology. Coming out of school my interest was software engineering and how a platform, program, or system can be leveraged to help people with their business objectives. I quickly saw how committed Goldman Sachs was to its engineers and the work that they do, which spurred my interest in applying for an internship.
One of my current projects is a centralized data service called IDHub that supports contact management and provisioning, including the authentication and authorization necessary to onboard various systems and applications. We’re building up a platform with automated processes to help our business users, the sales team and clients with greater efficiency.
I focus on a number of things in a typical day. One involves work relating to system support. The second is system maintenance and reengineering, for example, checking with users on their business requirements to see what can be improved in our system, and best practices for performance tuning. The others relate to working on committee efforts. I’m involved in three committees in Asia: Campus Recruiting, Asia Pacific Women in Technology and ConnectAsia. We organize various events to assist recruiting, to help women understand the keys to success, and to provide networking opportunities within Asia Pacific Technology.
Students often ask how the bank uses technology in the trading flow since we operate across different regions with regional regulatory requirements. They are interested in how technology can pull everything together in a unified platform to support trading and to eliminate latency. We also get a lot of questions about the data side because of the popularity of big data and the volumes that financial firms have to sift through in order to identify trends and better serve clients.
As an engineer, the most interesting part of every day is how many new things I get to work on, even though I’ve been working in the same area for five years now. Engineering is not about trying fancy things or the latest technologies for their own sake; it’s about using the most appropriate technology in the proper way. I think Goldman Sachs is constantly trying to improve how things are engineered and how we leverage technology to help clients do business.
I’m a big fan of painting. I actually design the holiday card for our team to send out. Last year I painted the 26 English language characters by representing each with a seasonal figure, like a snowman for ‘S’. These special holiday characters were used instead of the plain one when our team sent the emails.
I also love to travel. When I go on a trip, I want to experience the culture and meet new people. My husband and I went on a safari in Kenya a few years ago, where we saw a wildebeest migration. More recently we traveled to Brazil to watch the World Cup. This summer, we climbed Mount Fuji, and we have plans to bike around Taiwan.