Kathy Goodwin is a Treasury Analyst at Morgan Stanley. Prior to that, she studied Mathematics BSc with a Diploma in Professional Studies at Loughborough University. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys board gaming, computer gaming, travelling, nail art, reading and rock climbing. MyPlus Students’ Club gets to know Kathy and her experience working with dyslexia at Morgan Stanley in this interview.
First of all, how many applications did you submit for a graduate job? How many interviews did you attend?
I obtained a graduate job offer following an industrial placement at Morgan Stanley. Therefore, I did not need to apply elsewhere. However, for my industrial placement I sent off approximately 10 applications, had 8 interviews and 2 assessment centres. Morgan Stanley was my first choice.
What was the most difficult interview question you have been asked and how did you answer?
How many petrol stations are there in London? I began with the population of London and how many cars are likely to be in London. Then I thought about how often a car might need to refuel and eventually reached an estimate for how many petrol stations there are in London. There’s no expectation that you know the right number, it’s all about demonstrating logical thinking and your thought process.
Were you open about your disability during the application process? What support was provided to you?
I was open about my dyslexia throughout the application process. This meant that the firm arranged for me to have extra time for my online testing as well as extra time at the assessment centre to read through the materials for the group task. It is important to let the firm know if you would like any support ahead of any testing or interviews as this gives the firm the best opportunity to plan appropriately for you and for you to do your best on the day.
What led you to this role? Why did you choose to join Morgan Stanley?
I applied to Morgan Stanley after meeting the Firm’s employees at campus events. Morgan Stanley’s culture for inclusion and doing the right thing stood out to me straight away. The placement students I met on campus spoke so highly of their experiences with the firm that I knew Morgan Stanley was somewhere I wanted to work. Due to my background in mathematics, I wanted a role in which I would be using my numerical and logical thinking skills on a daily basis, as well as broadening my understanding of the world of finance. Morgan Stanley Corporate Treasury seemed the perfect place for me to work. I thoroughly enjoyed my industrial placement and was delighted to secure a position as a Treasury Analyst at the firm.
Tell us a bit about the type of work you’re doing at the moment; what are your day-to-day tasks?
I work in the Liquidity team of Morgan Stanley’s London Corporate Treasury department. I run daily stress tests, analyse variances, create and review reports and work on a number of projects. A key focus of mine during my placement was the management and implementation of a new liquidity regulation (the liquidity coverage ratio) affecting the amount of cash and assets the firm holds on a daily basis in Europe.
How do you manage your disability at work?
I am open about my dyslexia with my team and they are therefore very helpful and understanding when working with me. I double check my emails to look for errors before sending them. I put aside extra time in my day for tasks that I know will take me longer. I sometimes reach out and ask for help with reviewing my work, which my team is always happy to do.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Every day is different. In addition to my regular responsibilities, I work on a variety of projects. Everyone I meet is generous with their time and happy to answer my questions. I am therefore constantly learning- which is great for me as I am just starting my career in finance.
What aspect of the job have you found most difficult to manage? Is this affected by your disability?
I find the wordier tasks most difficult due to my dyslexia. I found it hard initially to write minutes for meetings as I am not a fast writer. I manage this by dialling into the meetings over the phone and typing the minutes rather than writing them by hand. This really helps me to keep up in the meetings and write high quality notes.
What is Morgan Stanley’s approach to disability; how has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
Morgan Stanley is very supportive of applicants with disabilities. My dyslexia was no exception. The firm was keen to make the application process accessible to everyone, and so they went to every effort to support me with my dyslexia throughout the process. Ahead of joining Morgan Stanley, I was contacted by the firm to see if there was anything that would help me during training or joining my desk. They were also very helpful when I mentioned my poor hearing in one ear. My team organised our desks so that I could sit where I can hear everyone.
What has been your proudest achievement since starting work?
Following a colleague leaving the firm, I took on a large amount of extra work, including managing the complex allocation of liquidity costs to the different businesses within Europe. Nearing the end of my placement, the firm asked me to extend my contract for an extra month. During this time, I managed the training of a new team member in Budapest.
Tell us about a personal strength or a valuable plus which you have developed, as a result of your disability. How has it helped you in your career?
I think that due to my dyslexia, I have developed my numerical skills and visual communication skills. Through studying mathematics I have improved my numerical and logical thinking skills. These skills have helped me to perform well in my role. The numerical skills have been hugely beneficial as I run stress tests, analyse variances and calculate ratios and requirements. The visual communication skills have helped me create impactful and effective PowerPoint presentations.
What do you wish you knew when you were at university?
I wish I had known to apply early as companies are often recruiting ahead of the official deadline.
What advice would you give a student with a similar disability, who wants to pursue a career in the field you work in?
Don’t be worried about being open about your disability/illness during the application process. The firm will support you and will not judge you unfairly at all. Being open about your needs will enable you to be assessed on a level playing field. I would also recommend doing your research. There are a lot of different roles within an investment bank. You should read up on the different departments and find a role that really suits you.