In her second semester at Cornell University, Camille reached a crossroads. Born and raised on the West Coast, she had come east as a pre-medical student, certain that she would fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor. But as she advanced in her coursework, she realized that her love of challenge and analytical rigor was pulling her in a different direction—back to her first intellectual passion, mathematics, and toward an equally demanding discipline: computer science.
Two years later, as a mathematics and computer science major, she found herself facing another difficult choice: Should she pursue a summer internship in financial technology, the backbone of investment banks, or in “pure technology,” found in most startups and software firms? As companies from both camps beckoned, Camille interviewed at Morgan Stanley for an internship in the Equity Derivatives Pre-Trade Pricing and Execution group, where she would help the team develop and enhance pricing applications. Morgan Stanley, it seemed to her, could provide the best of both worlds: a robust business environment that implemented some of the most advanced computer technology available.
Camille’s quandary was solved. And not only was she selected for the internship, but she was also named a Richard B. Fisher Scholar for her exceptional academic achievements.
After graduating the following spring, Camille returned to Morgan Stanley as part of the Technology Analyst Program. After three months of intense training in various firm technologies, she returned to the Equity Derivatives team.
My role has two main components. First, I work on the new initiatives my team is tasked with throughout the year, which include developing new applications that live on our pricing system. Second, I handle user requests that come from our sales and trading teams to maintain and improve our trading and pricing system. While I’m always working on my long-term projects, every day is different in terms of what assignments and challenges arise that require solutions.
The fact that I’m pursuing something that I really love. I approach my work with curiosity and a willingness to learn and embrace new challenges. I also have the benefit of a talented and collaborative group of colleagues. So it’s excitement about the work and a drive to excel, along with the meaningful relationships that I have with colleagues, that truly motivate me.
I also have Ivett Soti, a Vice President with the Equity Derivatives pricing team, as my manager and mentor. She’s a highly skilled technologist and expert project leader who always provides helpful feedback, so the team can improve and deliver stronger solutions with each successive initiative. She also nominated me to be a part of the firm's delegation to the Grace Hopper Celebration, an annual gathering of female technologists, so that’s a real honor.
As a relatively recent graduate and one of the younger members of the tech organization, what do you talk about when you speak with undergraduate candidates?
This is one of my favorite parts about working at Morgan Stanley. As a recent grad, I can absolutely relate to undergraduates and young computer scientists who are trying to figure out where to start their careers, because I was in their position less than two years ago.
Several interns recently asked me to sit down with them and discuss my own career path. They wanted to hear how I chose Morgan Stanley, what my job is all about, and what they can do to prepare for a successful career post-graduation. I think part of the reason so many interns reach out to me is because when I talk about my role, my enthusiasm is evident, so that really piques their interest.
With regard to technology, I tell candidates to always stay current. Technology moves so fast that as computer scientists, we need be as agile as its evolution. It’s easy to pigeonhole yourself into one classification, i.e., a “Java developer” or a “server-side person,” but it’s critical to become the most well-rounded technologist as possible, to constantly pick up new skills and be well-versed in different areas so that you don’t appear outdated.
Lastly, I love talking about the diversity of people I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with at the firm. Coming from a diverse background—my mom is from Costa Rica and my father is from Iran—I frequently participate in Morgan Stanley’s diversity and inclusion efforts. I meet, and identify, with so many undergrads from all over the world who are looking to start their careers at the firm. In turn, Morgan Stanley provides an environment of challenge and opportunity, where different perspectives are not only welcomed, but encouraged.
I would love to do research in cryptography, which stems from my love of math. I find encryption algorithms and their provable security fascinating, and with all the attention on Blockchain, this topic is especially timely.
I’m also drawn to artificial intelligence. Like most computer scientists, I’m always curious about how technology will evolve and affect future generations. If you consider the huge investments that companies and universities are making in AI, I think its effect is going to be enormous. That said, I would love to see how we can use AI to solve some of the world’s most pressing concerns, above and beyond the technology space.