Nora always assumed that she would one day end up at a technology giant, not an investment bank, given her master’s degree in data science from New York University. But she found herself impressed by the depth of technology talent at Morgan Stanley during a recruiting event—and hasn’t looked back.
"Morgan Stanley was recruiting at NYU, my graduate school. I went to an information session, where you could meet people who worked at the firm. The session featured employees with diverse technical expertise and one person in particular who had not only made tremendous contributions to the financial services industry, but to modern technology as a whole." she says. "I was so surprised to learn he worked at Morgan Stanley. That put the firm on the map for me. Over five years later, I’m still impressed with the culture of innovation.”
My division is called Analytics, Intelligence and Data Technology. My specific team supports Wealth Management. I’ve been working in that area since I started out as an intern at Morgan Stanley. The applications we build are designed to provide Financial Advisors with the data they need to support their clients and win over new clients as well. That can include market trends or analysis that helps to explain the performance of a client’s portfolio.
I’m from Syracuse, NY. I played lacrosse growing up and it was always my dream to play lacrosse in college. So, when I got an athletic scholarship to go to the University of Florida, I decided to go, even though it’s so far from home. I studied mathematics and had an awesome experience there.
I worked on an app called Next Best Action, which our Financial Advisors use to prioritize their day. It can be a lot to manage, tracking what’s going on with individual accounts as well as what’s happening in the markets and how that impacts clients. So, we built a recommendation system for that app. It’s similar to what you might see using a social media app, where you view content recommended for you, based on your past activity.
The culture at Morgan Stanley is incredibly collaborative and friendly. People treat others with respect and work as a team; they listen to everyone, regardless of their position. It’s the people who make it fun to work here.
If you look back at your time with Morgan Stanley, any accomplishments that you’re particularly proud of?
In 2018, I won Morgan Stanley’s Women in Tech Rising Star of the Year Award. The award recognizes women in our technology division who show great promise in their understanding of how technology drives business value for the firm. It was an honor and completely unexpected.
I do a lot of mentoring, including participating in programs that expose girls from underrepresented communities to coding. Morgan Stanley gives employees opportunities to participate in a number of philanthropic programs in technology, like Break Through Tech and Girls Who Code.
Last year, I participated in the Strategy Challenge, a 10-week pro bono program that matches nonprofits with a team of people from different areas in Morgan Stanley to address key strategic issues. I was on a team advising a nonprofit called Nest. They help companies certify their supply chain, specifically for goods that are produced by artisans around the globe, most of whom are women working out of their homes. Nest also supports worker wellbeing by ensuring these craftspeople have proper wages and safe working conditions. Helping Nest address key strategic issues was a powerful learning experience.
Morgan Stanley puts a lot of emphasis on innovation. You’re encouraged to have a side project working to solve a problem for the firm that’s not directly related to your day-to-day work.
You can also see the emphasis on innovation and collaboration in the way Morgan Stanley sets up many of its offices. My office is organized in a modern, open-space seating arrangement, where people can readily sit down and collaborate. It looks like you are walking onto a tech company floor. That is not what I would have expected at an investment bank.
I love being at the Finger Lakes area in upstate New York with my family. We hike a lot and go snow skiing and water skiing. We all like similar things and we spend a lot of time together. Both my brothers are computer scientists, and one of them also works for Morgan Stanley, so we definitely have a lot in common!