1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Miwa Da-Silva and I live in the UK and I have been working in financial services for the last 7 years and I specialise in advisory services for Investment banking risk and conduct strategy (essentially i understand how Large investment banks should run their day to day activities, generate revenue in the most efficient/cost effective manner while remaining compliant with regulation) . I am also the founder of SJWT, a community platform, dedicated to changing the narrative for women in their place of work. What I do is educate women across 3 core competencies Financial literacy, Business Development and Career Progression. The core pillars of the program I run are Empowerment, Inspiration, and Impact.
2. What was your first job and how did you get it?
My first official job was a 3 month internship at Goldman Sachs, one of the top investment banks in the world. I was in my second year of University at the time and I (and my parents LOL) had decided quite early on that I wanted a fast paced dynamic and challenging career in financial services.
3. How did you decide and get to your career today?
At the time I decided I would take my chances and apply to the best investment bank in the world. It was a very intense internship that was pretty much a 3-month interview and assessment. Despite my numerous doubts of myself in this process, I was offered a full-time job at the company once I had completed my University degree. That’s pretty much where my career picked up from. I joined the company and after 3 years I decided to challenge myself and pursue a master’s degree.
4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?
I would ask myself time and time again “what is the worst that could happen?” I say this because I battled with imposter syndrome right from the onset and was often afraid to speak up in meetings. I was extremely conscious of how young I was compared to other people on my team or other new joiners as I had resumed my full-time position immediately after university. I actually took a day off work to attend my graduation! I simply couldn’t believe I had this job and this internalization of self-doubt held me back a lot.
I would also tell myself “if you don’t ask you don’t get” and lastly, I would challenge myself to go beyond where I “think” my ability or capacity ends (back to the point on self-doubt). And be fiercely curious and make an effort to create value where it previously did not exist.
5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?
That’s an interesting question, particularly because I recently scheduled a meeting with one of my mentors to discuss this, given I had ticked off all the goals we set 5 years ago and now I need to strategize for the future. I think I am at a turning point in my life, and in my career, because it is at this very point ( shortly after a quarter life crisis- yes this is a thing) that people decided whether they are okay with being good or if they want to go the extra mile and become outstanding. Without a doubt, the only option for me is the latter and I am currently mapping out my way there.
To try and put this in quantifiable terms, I plan to achieve the kind of success that is not just measured by what I did but also who I have helped and the impact I have made along the way.
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