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Principal Network Architect

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

What's the role?

This role will be responsible for leading the Network Architecture function at Northwestern Mutual and help drive the strategic design for a variety of networking technologies. To do this, the individual must be in tune with mainstream industry concepts and function as the highest-level technical expert. As part of this role, you will define emerging technologies for the organization to invest in while maintaining a mainstream architecture that is flexible and easy to support. The architect position requires the individual to take concepts and proposals and influence the direction of the overall technology organization so that we are all marching towards the same big picture.

The role is focused on evaluating current architectures across multiple network technologies, creating best practices, industry standards, and an overall homogenous network ecosystem. The leader in this position will be accountable for eliminating technical debt as well as delivering core functions in an improved fashion.

This position is also responsible for managing relationships amongst enterprise peers, organizational teams and vendors to achieve company strategies.  Focus should be placed on risk identification, prioritization, and mitigation planning.  Senior leadership communication of identified risks and plans will be key to this role.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Recognized as an expert within the company and has in-depth expertise in Network Technologies.
  • Ability to solve unique problems that have a broad impact on the business.
  • Ability to anticipate business and technology needs to provide product recommendations and drive improvements.
  • Leads projects with notable risk and complexity; develops the strategy for project execution
  • Solves unique problems with broad impact on the business; requires conceptual and innovative thinking to develop solutions.
  • Communicates complex ideas, anticipates potential objections and persuades others, often at senior levels, to adopt a different point of view
  • Responsible for establishing and providing leadership with the technology strategy and roadmaps as well as product recommendations that enable the business at the enterprise level.
  • Drives change that moves technology and the business forward  to solve complex problems.
  • Responsible for setting architecture standards and practices for engineering domains.
  • Active participant in setting technical vision for a broad set of technology disciplines.
  • Remain hands on to be an effective technical leader and plays an active role in mentoring and coaching other engineers.
  • Develops strategies, writes proposals and pitches them across the enterprise for new architectures, systems and approaches.
  • Applies industry leading and ground-breaking best practices in order to analyze and develop software solutions.
  • Designs, organizes, and executes high impact solutions across the organization.
  • Excellent troubleshooting skills within area of expertise, and in adjacent domains.
  • History of delivering and supporting highly available architectures.
  • Lead and drive architecture for key engineering initiatives leveraging proven design and architecture patterns.
  • Have a history of consistently delivering successful solutions across multiple dimensions, including performance, scalability, and resiliency.
  • Ability to thrive in ambiguous situations without loosing focus on the big picture.
  • Successfully communicate to both technical and non-technical audiences in varying forms and all levels of detail.
  • Influence teams, technology or business leaders on impactful issues and decisions.
  • Responsible to manage the technology life cycle while working with peers across the technology organization.
  • Influence and Endorse quality solutions that are resilient, secure, and scalable.
  • Helps create and apply industry best practices by working with vendors and peers.
  • Ability to collaborate with enterprise architecture, application teams, information security and other infrastructure teams to deliver the best possible product.
  • Produces documentation, artifacts and designs, for technical and non-technical audiences
  • Act as a technical consultant to both internal and external customers and at all levels of the organization.

Experience & Technical Skills:

  • 15+ years of professional IT experience.
  • 10+ years of experience in Network Technologies.
  • Exposure to modern Data Center Networking technologies such as hyper converged infrastructure, Multi Data Center architecture, Software Defined Networks, etc.…
  • Knowledgeable in automation, tools, agile and DevOps philosophies
  • Local Area Network and Campus Network Solutions
  • SD-WAN
  • Wireless
  • Data Center Network Technologies
  • WANs and Internet Connectivity
  • Software Defined Networks
  • Load Balancing and DNS technologies
  • Network Segmentation and Zero Trust Networks
  • Automation & Infrastructure as code
  • Cloud Connectivity

Bring Your Best! What this role needs:

  • Enterprise experience in key technologies such as routing/switching, WAN, DC networks, Applications LBs, DNS, Network Security
  • Experience in communications across peers and Leadership levels
  • Strong relationship skills and ability to handle customer and business escalations.
  • Ability to handle and drive escalations with our partner organizations, Applications, and Security
  • Experience with engineering best practices to include analyzing, designing, developing and supporting software solutions and/or infrastructure implementations/upgrades
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Strong sense of ownership and the ability to work with a limited set of requirements

Beyond base salary, NM offers the following benefits; pension, 401k, comprehensive medical, dental, and vision, FREE lunch, annual bonus opportunity, and much more! 

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W e are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you work or would be working in Colorado or outside of a Corporate location, please click here for information pertaining to compensation and benefits.


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We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.