Careers City Rising Star, Katherine Loe is a Vice President Communications Officer within the Technology and Data department at Morgan Stanley, a global investment bank operating in 43 countries worldwide. She joined Morgan Stanley, in 2006 and has worked in a variety of roles within the Firm. Katherine is from East London, married with two young sons and has a passion for music.
Tell us a little bit about a day in the life of a a Vice President Communications Officer at Morgan Stanley
The main reason I enjoy my job is the variety. I very rarely have a typical day.
I start work at 8am which gives me an opportunity to go through my inbox and prioritize my work load for the day. My main responsibilities are to run our Mentoring and Mobility Programmes. These programmes are global so I connect with colleagues from the Asia, North America and other EMEA offices on a daily basis. I create communication plans, rules and procedures, draft senior managers communications, create web portals and host general working group meetings to make sure the programmes are running smoothly.
I also get involved with event management for the Communication Team and run ad-hoc projects when needed. An example of a recent ad-hoc project would be Career Month, which we have just finished. During the month of May we organized 22 sessions that were offered to our employees in London and Glasgow throughout the month, including networking sessions, training courses, informational sessions and panel events.
Another area that I am involved with is working on our diversity agenda. We are currently working on the three most pressing diversity focus areas for the department: Attraction, Retention and Development.
What did you study or what experience did you obtain in order to get in to your current role?
I have recently gradudated from studying a Masters in Internal Communication Mangement. I come from a Performing Arts background so my Internal Communication experience had been learnt on the job over the last seven years. The Masters has give me the academic theory behind the commercial experience I have.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
Working in Internal Communications means that you get to work and advise on lots of different and interesting projects. You never know who is going to call you to pull you into a meeting about a specific project they are working on. One minute you can be pulling metrics from a portal and doing detailed analysis and then you have to switch gears and design a poster for a charity event. I really enjoy the variety my job brings.
Can you tell us a little bit about what is great about working at Morgan Stanley?
I have worked at Morgan Stanley for over nine years now and have enjoyed a range of different roles. I started out on the trade floor and now work in IT. The different roles I have had brings variety to my career, whilst staying at the same Firm. The benefits and flexibility Morgan Stanley has made available to me since having children has been amazing.
I feel very lucky to work for a firm that really care about working mothers and have given me the opportunity to have a flexible working arrangement.
Do you network either internal or externally?
I am currently on the Steering Committee for the Family Network (one of the Employee Networks at the Firm), and an active member of some of the other internal groups such as the Women’s Business Alliance. Both of these provide a platform to meet people in other areas of the Firm who I may not have a regular interaction with otherwise, which enables me to expand my network around the Firm.
Externally, I attend some of the events organized by WeAreTheCity, Women In Technology as well as VMA and Hendron, which gives me the opportunity to network with individuals who I share common interests with, as well as professional talks offered by Internal Communication specialists.
Tell us about your own career aspirations?
Ideally in 5-10 years’ time I would like to be Head of Internal Communication at a Firm level. I currently work as part of a team in an IT department and I know I will want to spread my wings to a different function in a few years’ time.
I would like to experience other departments / industries to be able to bring a well-rounded outlook on Internal Communications.
What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in your profession?
Internal Communications in the Financial Services Industry is fast paced and there is constant change. You need to enjoy working in this type of environment to succeed. It is vital to know your audience, stakeholders and your business to be able to provide effective communications and to maintain employee engagement within the department you work in.
An eye for detail and being able to come up with innovative ideas are key skills for a Communication Officer.