What led you to this role? Why did you choose to join this organisation?
Morgan Stanley has a fantastic reputation in the industry for promoting a people-centric culture which is what really attracted me to the firm over other financial services firms ‘on the street.’ My enjoyment of working in Tech stems from a love of using computers as a child, which was always something I could do easily with my Hemiplegia compared to playing sports or video games.
Were you open about your disability during the application process? What support was provided to you?
Yes – I was completely open about my Hemiplegia and the impact this has on my right arm and leg. In fact, I used my disability to help ‘sell’ myself on my CV as an ‘out of the box’ thinker (excuse the cliché!), referencing my ability to find ways to complete day-to-day activities with just one hand (something I’ve done my whole life) as a useful quality I could bring to the role. I was asked on my application for both the grad scheme and the placement whether I had any specific requirements, and then once I started on both occasions I was contacted by the Occupational Health team who offered me adaptions if I wanted them.
How do you manage your disability at work?
Like most Morgan Stanley employees I meet with my manager regularly for one-to-one ‘catch-ups’ which is a great opportunity for me to bring up any concerns about my disability or tell them about any hospital appointments I need to attend etc. Thankfully my manager has always been very understanding about all aspects of my Hemiplegia, and I’m allowed to work from home on days where I’m feeling more tired than usual and could do with a rest from lots of walking around. Generally, I try to raise any concerns I have about my disability early on when taking on a new project/responsibility to give people as much notice and awareness as possible, even if there’s only a small chance that my disability has an impact.
What is your organisation’s approach to disability; how has your employer helped you to do well in your workplace?
Morgan Stanley has a really positive approach to disabled people and recognises the diverse, and sometimes unique, skillset we can bring to the firm. I’ve received a wireless headset, voice recognition software, and time off from work to attend physiotherapy and hospital appointments, in addition to being able to take work from home on days where needed.
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?
In addition to my ability to find innovative or novel ways to do things one-handed having helped me at work, I think my resilience has been really useful too. Somethings take practice to learn and particularly when working in a support team you have to be resilient as the solution to a problem might not always be obvious, or you might not get it right first time. You also have to be resilient as you learn the role and not let mistakes you make, when you first join, knock your confidence.
What advice would you give a student with a similar disability, who wants to pursue a career in the field you work in?
Be open and honest about your disability, and be realistic about the impact this may have on your work life, and the workload you can take on. Be prepared that some people might want to help, but might not quite know how to broach the subject of your disability with you. So, sometimes you need to take the initiative and ask for help if you need it. If you’re in any doubt about whether your disability may impact a new project or something you’re working on it’s always worth raising your concerns as early as possible so others have as much time as possible to make adjustments or plan around your needs. It also protects you and your reputation with management who may notice that you’re not contributing in the same way as other team members, but may not understand that it’s related to your disability without being made aware of it.