Karimah Z. Moore
“Focus and determination drive success. Position yourself for where you want to be today. Opportunities do not always present themselves.” Such is the advice of Karimah Z. Moore, 29-year-old business risk and control manager at HSBC. Currently working in the bank’s retail banking wealth management department, Moore was recipient of HSBC’s Recruit Extraordinary People (REP) Award upon graduating from high school in 2004, and has had a relationship with the company ever since. Extolling the diversity of experiences in her position and the opportunity to utilise several skill sets, she praises the multi-faceted nature of her role. “I am provided opportunities to work with customer-facing staff, middle office staff, and back office staff, giving me a wide range of touch points and experiences.”
While Moore aims to obtain various risk designations and certifications to advance her career in the short term, her greatest ambition is to work her way to the top of her company. “I aspire to take advantage of the international work experience opportunities that HSBC has to offer as I work towards my goal of attaining the position of head of retail banking wealth management,” she says.
She notes, however, that achieving her goals has not come without its challenges. “My road has not been easy, but my accomplishments have made it all worthwhile.”
“In working with people, I can honestly say that each and every day is different, and I really enjoy the variety and challenge that this career path offers,” says 28-year-old Risa Hunter of her role as human capital manager at PwC. Acknowledging the challenges of managing the inter-personal aspects of her company while simultaneously protecting its employees, Hunter explains that while her field can be fun and rewarding, it’s ultimately very demanding, and not for the faint of heart. Given things like tough conversations and performance concerns, she adds, the not-so-fun aspects of the job require her to be able to “make the right call” in challenging situations.
Hunter has been with PwC since 2010, and as a generalist, aspires to advance her knowledge by exploring different human resources experiences, such as learning/development and recruitment. “I have my Professional Human Resources (PHR) certification, but I would like to take the Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) certificate as well to further my professional development,” she declares, explaining that her decision to stay in Bermuda as opposed to joining a US firm has afforded her access to field exposure that she wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. “I’ve been fortunate to work with top professionals within human capital who have created many learning opportunities for me. I also have had great mentors outside of the HC team who have been extremely impactful in terms of my development. Without their guidance and support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
“The one aspect of my career that I love the most is that no two days as a network engineer are the same,” says 25-year-old Tiffany Samuels of her position at Logic Communications. Originally inspired to join the information technology industry after taking part in a Logic co-op programme during her high school years, Samuels appreciates the broad range of tasks associated with her job. “I may start my day working on SPAM cases or troubleshooting long distance issues and by the end of my day I could be provisioning a new Internet service for a corporate customer. Knowing that I go to work everyday with no guarantee of what task I will be addressing excites me,” she says, adding that her role as a support engineer during October’s America’s Cup event was particularly rewarding.
Crediting her Logic colleagues for inspiring to get her where she is today, Samuels reveals that her greatest ambition is to eventually become a senior network engineer. “I would be tasked with the responsibility of planning, designing, provisioning, and supporting more complex networks that support different protocols and customer services,” she states. “This would also include working closely with upstream providers to enhance our network which in turn will improve the services we provide customers.” In the meantime, she plans to obtain her Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching certification, which will give her the skills to support more complex network solutions.
For 25-year-old architectural assistant Kevin Simmons (RIBA Part II), entering into his chosen field was a no-brainer with openended possibilities. “Architecture is possibly one of the most flexible degrees you could have,” Simmons says. “Not only can it open many doors in a design career, but it also provides you with the skills, discipline and holistic thinking suitable for any career.”
Having originally started his architectural journey as a summer student working for the Public Works Department, he is now employed at Botelho Wood Architects, and offers sage advice for young people starting out in the local industry. “The architectural community in Bermuda is small, so it’s wise to start making connections early in your career and to leave a great impression!”
Simmons dreams of one day opening a multi-functional design firm that not only practises architecture, but also offers related services such as furniture design, set design and art direction. As for what stimulates him most about his career, he cites the ability to see his drawings come to life.
“It’s so exciting to feel that sense of accomplishment as a young person,” he states. “When I get older I also look forward to seeing how projects have settled over the years.” While he admits that he initially found his lack of experience to be intimidating, he credits his willingness to learn as being a consistently positive step towards advancement.
“Learning from past mistakes, asking for help, looking at other’s work and most of all, believing in myself has helped me get to where I am today.”