Hello From… Warsaw

23 JUL 2021

Hello From engages with colleagues across EMEA sharing their experiences and insights into life throughout the region. In this edition, meet Marta, vice president in the Securities Trade Processing team in Warsaw.

Marta, you’ve been with the firm since you were an intern. Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

Exactly – I joined the firm as a summer intern in 2015, in the Prime Services Risk Engineering team. I was actually stationed in London to start with, during the internship as well as when I initially joined full time in the Listed Derivatives Clearing space.

I grew up in Poland, just outside of Warsaw, and had always pictured my life here – but had also wanted to work abroad and experience life in a more international environment. So joining the firm in London provided the perfect opportunity to do just this, and when the time came when I wanted to move back home, the firm and my team were very supportive.

In terms of my career day-to-day, I’m a software engineer working on multi-asset, low-latency trade processing systems. These systems are required to process vast volumes of financial transactions reliably and with minimal delays. These requirements make my work both challenging technically, but also very rewarding, as it benefits our clients by providing them best-in-class service and improves the experience of our Operations teams who use these systems on a daily basis.  My typical day is divided between building new functionalities on our new strategic platform and looking after other systems that are yet to be fully re-architected.

How was the process of moving back to Warsaw from London?

The firm could not have been more supportive – so the move itself was incredibly easy. What I did notice however was a shift in the way I needed to communicate with my team. We’re a global team, ranging from seats in the US, Bengaluru and Singapore, to here in Warsaw and London. I noticed that being in a smaller office, I needed to be more proactive about telling my team what I was working on – keeping close connectivity with your global team is so important when you move outside of a larger office.

Interestingly, this was really supported by the remote working environment most of us found ourselves in during the past eighteen months due to the pandemic. It was a real leveller having everyone in the same position working from home, and I think one positive I’d take from it is that it’s really fostered a sense of global connectivity within teams.

You’re a member of the Warsaw Women’s Network (WWN). Can you tell us a bit about your involvement there?

I joined the WWN in 2019 and am now one of the co-heads of our Recruitment and Branding arm. It’s a hugely passionate and inspiring group of women and men, working hard to bring women into the finance and technology industries at every level, from graduate through to experienced hires. As part of our efforts, we organise various events and engage with external organisations to expand our brand as an employer in Poland and attract the best talent possible.

In previous years we’ve been focused on in-person events for recruiting, like the Women in Tech Summit, but during the past year we’ve had to pivot given the remote operating environment. Last year we
launched an office-wide peer mentoring programme leveraging content and resources from the Lean In Foundation. Each peer mentoring circle meets once a month to develop their skills, build strong networks and help each other achieve agreed goals – the passion there is really great to see, and we’ve seen this really foster a sense of community whilst we’ve been away from the office.

What would we find you doing outside of the office?

I’m a bit of a music nerd; I used to study at music school and still love to listen and keep track of new artists and releases. You can sometimes find me writing and editing music-related articles on Wikipedia.

I also love to stay informed on current affairs, read books and I’m learning to roller skate – this is definitely a newer hobby!

Do you have any tips for someone visiting Warsaw for the first time?

Warsaw’s Old Town got almost completely destroyed in the Second World War, but was reconstructed in the early 1950s – it’s really beautiful and shows the nation’s determination to recover from a terrible tragedy.

I would also highly recommend visiting my favourite park, the Royal Baths Park (Łazienki Park), with its Palace on the Isle – the private residence of our last king back in the eighteenth century – and a number of other interesting classicist buildings. The park occupies 76 hectares of Warsaw city centre and is a home to peacocks, swans and squirrels.

Also, fun fact, as a city we’re in the top ten in terms of most vegan-friendly cities in the world. So the food scene is pretty good as well!