Charlotte Rahn, an Associate in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley, clearly remembers the moment she decided she wanted to work for the bank.
“I was at a career fair and met an analyst from the Morgan Stanley team. He spoke so highly of the firm and its culture as well as working at the company that I was convinced about wanting to join Morgan Stanley as a summer intern.”
She has not been disappointed. From the career development opportunities to its inclusive, supportive culture, the bank has lived up to her expectations.
She says: “For me, it is important that I work in a culture where I am being valued as a team member and not simply looked at as a resource, and where my personal and professional development is a focus for the company. This is something that I have experienced so far at Morgan Stanley, and I think it is rare in this industry.”
Charlotte has been particularly impressed by the breadth of learning and development opportunities Morgan Stanley offers its staff. Her first experience at the bank was as a summer intern in 2014, when she was given an intensive one-week training course to ensure she had a grounding in the basics she would need to do her role.
“Once you start the job a team member is assigned to be your mentor, a colleague who is focused on your development and ensures you are given a variety of tasks from which you can gain a broad experience and grow professionally,” she says.
When she joined the bank as a full-time analyst a year later, she was placed on a six-week training course which covered everything from basic accounting to company valuation to financial products, such as bonds and derivatives. “It really sets the foundation for the knowledge you will gain over the coming years,” she says.
The training offered by Morgan Stanley is not only focused on new joiners. Charlotte explains that when she was promoted to Associate, she was offered another training course, this time focusing more on professional skills, such as communication and presentation techniques, to really help develop the skills required for a client facing role.
She adds that there is also a broad range of learning and development opportunities being offered on a continuous basis across the bank. “There is ongoing training during the course of the year. Sometimes these range from one-day workshops to online courses that you can complete in your own time.”
Another aspect of working at Morgan Stanley that Charlotte values is the mobility opportunities it offers, with the bank encouraging its employees to rotate between different departments. Charlotte started her career in Global Capital Markets, but when she wanted to broaden her knowledge base, and work in the Investment Banking division, her team was very supportive in helping her make the transition.
The bank’s Associate Programme offer staff the opportunity to rotate in their third year, whether that is between different departments or even different geographies. “I have friends who went to New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and a former colleague who is in Sydney. There are no geographical restrictions on where you can go, or which industry focus you can explore,” Charlotte says.
“It gives you the flexibility and reassurance of knowing from the outset that you are not obliged to be focused on one industry for the rest of your career . It takes away the concern that some people have about making decisions so early on in their life.”
Charlotte has also been inspired by how supportive Morgan Stanley’s leadership is in helping individuals develop their careers. “I have always felt very encouraged. My current team is very much focused on the inclusion and development of junior members. At a team level, it includes regular mentoring sessions, and junior members are encouraged to present to the group the projects they are currently working on in weekly team meetings.”
She adds that this practice not only helps junior members of the team develop their presentation skills, but it also enables them to build the interpersonal and professional skills they will need to succeed at a later stage of their careers.
Morgan Stanley also places a high emphasis on diversity, and it has a wide range of initiatives to help promote inclusion, for example a cross-divisional committee focused on female development which is open to all Analysts and Associates.
Charlotte says the inclusive culture at the bank was one of the factors that made her want to work there. “I actually applied to Morgan Stanley primarily because of the culture. At the end of the day, an analyst’s job role can be relatively similar across the investment banking industry, so for me the deciding factor was the culture.”
Overall, Charlotte thinks the encouragement and support Morgan Stanley offers its staff goes significantly beyond that of other banks.
She says: “The training programmes are very well structured, and they give you the fundamental skills you need to really accelerate your career. The bank is very focused on your future, and is the perfect starting point for your career in the city.”