Akua Opong

Senior Analyst, Service Management

London Stock Exchange Group

LSEG is more than a diversified global financial markets infrastructure and data business. We are dedicated, open-access partners with a commitment to excellence in delivering the services our customers expect from us. With extensive experience, deep knowledge, and worldwide presence across financial markets, we enable businesses and economies around the world to fund innovation, manage risk and create jobs. It’s how we’ve contributed to supporting the financial stability and growth of communities and economies globally for more than 300 years. I work in Corporate Technology, supporting colleagues with their hardware and applications and providing second line support on a daily basis. I am very process-driven and enjoy creating technical documentation. I have a methodical and analytical approach to problem-solving and am dedicated to maintaining the highest of standards. I am passionate about technology and can learn new technology and adapt to different operating environments.

My role is client-facing, which allows me to meet new people across the business, collaborating and resolving their technical issues. I learn about new technology and the most effective way to use it every day. There are continually new processes and enhancements in technology, so my role also involves reading up on the latest technology advancements, attending webinars and networking. Knowledge is power. You need to be team orientated, analytical, enjoy collaborating, react to changes and follow the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is a library of volumes describing a framework of best practices for delivering IT services.

Each day is different! I like to plan my day using the Pomodoro technique, where I focus on the hard tasks first then work on the simple tasks. Sometimes, I use Timeboxing (a project planning technique) instead. A day can involve providing support to new starters with their IT setup, assisting a user with application queries, providing access to applications, remote or desk-side assistance pre-Covid. I sometimes work on the tech bar which includes resolving technical queries, mobile device setup, configuring IT hardware such as laptops or responding to ‘help how do I…’ queries. My key responsibility is providing second line support, acting as a point of escalation for queries that cannot be resolved in the first instance by the Service Desk team.

Growing up, I wanted to be a pediatrician, a branch of medicine providing care to infants, children, and adolescents. I then considered working for the Army in emergency response with an IT intelligence role. (This is because I really enjoyed learning First Aid training and completed a few courses with St John Ambulance.) I went to university and studied Business along with Sociology and Religious Studies/Philosophy. This was followed by a Bachelors of Science (Honours) degree in Computing and IT, with a dissertation project developing a Smart Key Concept. I completed a wonderful work placement with Infrastructure Support for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. I now have over 8 years of experience working in IT in different industries from hospitality, consulting, to financial services.

I am a member of the British Computer Society working towards becoming a Chartered Professional through a Career Development Plan of continuous learning. I want to be involved in project management next and then cybersecurity in the defense industry. I have a big focus on mental health, being a STEM ambassador, plus diversity and inclusion. I enjoy seeing that our generation is challenging the "perfect work/life balance" changing from the norm and speaking against inequality and injustice. For me, I’m striving more for feelings of self-fulfillment. This includes recognising my purpose, my why. Our lives are made up of a lot of small, meaningful, everyday moments, a combination of small versus huge, moments or feelings of joy. I want to keep networking, mentoring, my curiosity by continuous learning, context switching, and challenging myself, as it demonstrates growth and the ability to build my skill set. I am currently working on being a trustee for a women’s charity (Rosa) by 2024 and part of communities that will enhance my knowledge. I want to be a philanthropist/humanitarian where I use technology to drive sustainable development goals and social impact and to raise awareness of neurodiversity and help young girls achieve their goals in STEM through mentorship. I enjoy variety as you learn more about the wider world. Just remember your wellbeing and to use your words for kindness. Also, pivoting and focus on technology being applied ethically. My key reflection is to believe in my own abilities, being prosperous in my work to fulfill a passion that brings me joy and have a confident mind-set everyday where I strive for my best, not perfection. Each day I ensure that I have a good work/life balance.

Outside of my day to day role, I am part of the Women’s Inspired Network, an Accessibility UK lead, a mental health advocate, I assist school children with business skills, and I'm a charity champion for Skills Builder within the Community Action Team. This allows me to focus on my passions for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. My key hobbies and interests are sports and charity volunteering. I advocate for Crohn’s Disease, British Athletics, as well as Netball England with the Team London Diversity and Inclusion Advisory board. I have been assigned a role to work at the upcoming Women’s Euros and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. My volunteering goal on the sports side is to do a full cycle of major events. In my downtime, I love reading a mixture of development, thought-provoking books, from 'Becoming' by Michelle Obama, to 'Untamed' by Glenn Doyle, as well as emotional intelligence and feminist books. I recommend 'She Speaks: The Power of Women’s Voices' by Yvette Cooper. Also, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts and films, visiting historic buildings, traveling, and learning about different cultures. I recommend 'Hidden Figures', as this film focuses on three trailblazing women in STEM. Katherine Johnson, the mathematician who worked for NASA, once said, “I was excited at something new, always liked something new, but give credit to everybody who helped. I didn't do anything alone, but try to go to the root of the question and succeed there."

I have a catalogue of inspirational quotes; this helps me set out my yearly goals and challenges me to do better! The quotes are from Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama, Amanda Gorman, Mother Theresa, and others. I attended Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' book tour at the O2 in London. She is a massive advocate for young girls to be given a chance to succeed, regardless of their backgrounds. "Remember, girls with dreams become women with vision. Dream big and challenge yourself to be the best version of yourself! Each person should have opportunities in a world that is fair and equal. It should be about uplifting and empowering each other, working for each other, for each girl or young woman's voice to be heard. For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end." ~ Michelle Obama from her memoir 'Becoming' “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi