Marcos Diclei Barros
Program and Software Development Manager, American Express Canada (Amex)
Career profile provided by CareerMash
"This job is ideal for people who like change, have a positive attitude and a passion for growth and learning.”
Marcos is always on the look out for the latest, greatest software re-designs and strategies to keep Amex customers happy in more than 25 countries.
As a leader of software developers in Amex’s technology business unit, Marcos manages a system used by customer service centres around the world. The software manages the performance of Amex customer care professionals. Creating the best possible service experience is Marcos’ top priority. He monitors direct feedback from customers as well as statistics on how well the software system helps Amex customer service professionals meet customer needs. He uses the information to improve the system’s design to make it simpler, faster and easier to use for both service agents and other internal customers.
“The business demands we reinvent ourselves all the time. From a professional standpoint, it’s great. This job is ideal for people who like change, have a positive attitude and a passion for growth and learning.”
Marcos started at Amex as a software developer and now leads a team he built from scratch. “Establishing a new software development unit within AMEX is like running a start-up company. We have very high expectations and we are always compared to industry experts, which keep us on our toes. Before I joined there was only one developer and together we created the entire development process, established the required tools, and hired and trained the new staff.”
A day in the life
Marcos works on software and system requests from around the world. He has to factor in each individual country’s requirements and make sure it fits with Amex’s overall vision. “It’s extremely dynamic and fast-paced. We need to be fast and agile but we also need to follow procedures, so that we ensure we do the right things in the right way. We never know what each day will bring.”
When a problem arises, Marcos has to do everything he can to solve it immediately and still stay on track. He also researches the risks, potential challenges and the number of employees he needs to assign or hire for each project. He anticipates problems before they happen and ensures his team is prepared to deal with them. This can include assessment meetings with all kinds of people from business partners to outside vendors.
“It’s also a job which requires you to truly be a leader for serving your team, leveraging their diverse talents and passion. ”
Why this job rocks?
“Change is a constant and opportunities for learning and growth are available to the extent of our aspirations. It’s also a job which requires you to truly be a leader for serving your team, leveraging their diverse talents and passion. ”
Marcos studied computer science at a university in Brazil and later earned an MBA in business management and a certification from the Project Management Institute. He worked in several IT roles at Xerox Brazil including e-learning systems and digital imaging systems. He started at Amex Brazil in 2001 as a senior project leader. In 2006, he moved to Florida as a project manager. A year later, he moved to Toronto to work for Amex Canada. In 2011, he received a Global award for the work done for establishing his new team and for generating millions in savings to the company. In 2012 he started a new role as IT program manager managing all regulatory projects for Canada and Latin America divisions.
Marcos wanted to advance his career at Amex so he accepted a new position in the U.S. and moved his family from Brazil. It was a complete culture shock when Marcos and his family arrived in the U.S. His family members didn’t speak a word of English and all of them had to take courses to learn the language. A year later, Marcos and his family were transferred to Canada.
Tips for success
Marcos frequently hires young talent and has some pointers for internship or co-op bound high school students:
Take the interview seriously: Prepare, know your stuff and talk about your passions and talents! Don’t act like an intern: Attitude is number one. Take full ownership for your assignments, stay open-minded and don’t be afraid to approach people or ask questions. Innovate: We expect interns to show initiative. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions, provide constructive criticism and share your ideas. Have a plan: What do you want to accomplish or learn from your internship? How long do you plan to intern? At the end, it must to be a WIN-WIN to the students and to our company.