A View from…Warsaw: Carolina, Operations Division
Goldman Sachs opened its office in Warsaw in 2010 and has been expanding in the country, and EMEA, ever since. Carolina, a vice president in Operations in Warsaw, has been with the firm for twelve years and talks about her career and experience in Poland since moving to Warsaw last year.
Can you give us a quick snapshot of your career with the firm?
I joined the firm as an analyst in the Operations Division in the Jersey City office in July 2007. Since then I have also worked in our offices in London, New York and Salt Lake City. Along the way, I’ve been raising a family and have had three children—two born in New York and one in Salt Lake City. Warsaw is an incredibly family-friendly city; it’s in the midst of rapid growth and that’s attracting lots of young families, which the city embraces. My children love their experiences here and are learning Polish now!
How would you compare the experiences of working in the different offices?
While the look and feel of Goldman Sachs offices tends to be similar, there are obviously unique local cultures that marry with the firmwide culture of innovation and collaboration. This is true of Warsaw, where that culture of innovation is quite strong and lively—we have lots of people who are tech savvy and starting out in their careers full of energy and ideas. It’s energizing and exciting to be in Warsaw now. Of course being in smaller offices there are differences: global meetings are generally not in person and so we leverage technology to stay connected. That said, we’ve had great support from senior leaders in the firm who travel to Warsaw frequently and host townhalls and roundtables, giving us opportunities for a live interaction.
What’s one thing about the Polish culture that stands out?
The connectivity of culture between Poland and what I grew up with in South America really strikes me as being similar. Here in Poland there is a huge emphasis on gathering for meals and eating in a social setting. It’s definitely frowned upon to eat lunch at your desk!
How has moving around the world during your career impacted you?
Mobility has played an important role in my career progression. It has not only given me professional experience but also perspective which has enabled me to enhance my technical knowledge and be a better manager. Working with people from different countries in various locations around the world has made me more aware of the different perspectives and approaches that individuals bring to the table. That is an asset that I’ve tried to leverage to continue my learning and enhance my management skills. It has gotten me to a point where I have adjusted my approach and changed some methodologies; all in all I’ve become more resilient and aware.
What’s the one place we should make a point to see when we visit Warsaw?
Poland is a great place to visit. It has been really eye-opening for me to explore the country along with my family. My two must-do’s for visitors in Warsaw are Łazienki Park and the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.