Associate, Fixed Income

Luca, a Morgan Stanley Associate in Budapest, says she and her colleagues work hard but they also have fun together. Learn what it's like to work at Morgan Stanley.

What do you do at the firm?

When Morgan Stanley enters into a financial transaction with a client, we need to know what the risks are and how to mitigate loss if it occurs. I manage documentation that contains all these specifics.

What do you like most about your job?

That it's never boring. Something new always comes up. In my current position, there are so many changes it can be stressful. You have to multitask, but it's satisfying to know you can learn and evolve. There's a real financial impact to my job. What I do is of actual value and really makes a difference. If I do my job right, I'll help the firm not lose money.

How has your career evolved over time?

I joined the firm in 2009, and I started working in institutional securities documentation. When our traders in London and New York City negotiated deals with clients, they would need to open an account. I did this for two years, then I went on maternity leave. Upon my return I became a negotiator responsible for negotiating agreements with hedge funds, asset managers, banks and institutional investors. After two years, I went on my second maternity leave. Upon my return I started in my current position.

What's it like at the firm as a working mother?

I took maternity leave twice, and there was no issue returning to work. I am really lucky I joined a multinational company. I could come back, and it was no problem. Everybody was supportive during my leave and helpful when I returned. There is also a lot of flexibility.

What's a project you're working on?

We are in the midst of a big project that's been caused by new regulations. We're changing our processes and setting up new controls to handle un-cleared margin rules. Basically, everything traded over the counter now needs documentation for each phase of the transaction. Documents have to be renegotiated, and everything must be updated in our system. It's a lot of work, and we're doing it with the same amount of people, so we're using resources as optimally as possible.

What did you major in?

I majored in economics. In high school, I wasn't good at math at first, but I had class every day. After two years, I was better. I like the logic of it. I took finance classes, but I really started learning when I came here to see what happens in practice. It's better than being in school. It's amazing to have access to resources at the firm and to learn from smart people.

Do you volunteer?

I always try to remember that the reason I am fortunate to work at the firm is mostly based on luck and opportunities that I had. This is why I think it's important to give back to those who don't have the same opportunities. I contribute my time and finances to people who are deserving just as much as I am. I think it's important to give back to society.

Is that reflected in the firm's culture, too?

Yes. Here in Budapest we vote on a new partner every year. This year, it's Tuzolto Street a children's clinic right next door to our office. We help them financially and with other volunteer activities, including painting their walls.

The Fixed Income department I work within is a close-knit group. We work hard but we know how to have fun and go out and do fun things such as paintball. I have a good personal relationship with my colleagues. It's not all about numbers and emails.

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