From the workplace
Alexander van Holk
How did you get started in your career and what drew you to Morgan Stanley?
As I approached the end of my degree, I applied for an internship within the Morgan Stanley Investment Banking Division. I had several offers for internships, but I felt at the time, and still continue to believe, that Morgan Stanley offers a unique combination of having an industry leading franchise, especially in investment banking, with a very strong, but open and friendly culture. After the summer internship I received a full-time offer for the following year, and I have been with Morgan Stanley ever since.
How do you manage your disability at work?
As a permanent wheelchair user, the most important thing for me is to ensure that everywhere is fully accessible. Thankfully this is the case everywhere around the office. When traveling, which I am regularly required to do as part of my job, I am sometimes faced with having to go to less accessible places. In my five years at Morgan Stanley however, this has never resulted in big problems, and generally clients and counterparties are very accommodating to my needs.
As the office was already fully accessible there were no further adjustments required. The only difference is that I do have a personal parking space in the garage, which normally would not have been available to someone at my level given the limited number of spaces.
How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
The best thing my employer, represented by my superiors, has done, is support me by being flexible wherever possible. For instance, on some days it might be necessary for me to work from home. Unless I have to attend meetings, this is not an issue. This allows me to be as effective as possible and focus on delivering high quality work, even when my disability would make it difficult for me to get to the office, for instance when I have a medical check-up.
How would you describe the culture at Morgan Stanley?
Morgan Stanley has a wonderfully diverse culture, which I would describe as akin to the United Nations. From the moment I started my first training session as an intern, I realised this was by far the most international and culturally diverse organisation I had come across. In addition, I think Morgan Stanley fosters a very open and friendly culture, where people are approachable and willing to support you.