In my fifth year studying law in Paris, I decided to specialize in compliance. I knew I wanted to work in business law, ideally in an English-speaking country. Compliance seemed like an interesting way to get there, full of complexity and nuance. In 2014, I had the opportunity to do a six-month internship with the Compliance Division of Goldman Sachs Paris. Afterward, I kept in contact with my manager, who informed me about a new analyst opportunity in 2016 with the same team.
I enjoy my role as associate at Goldman Sachs because it’s a diverse challenge. For one, I get to help many divisions across the firm with many types of tasks. Plus, there’s both a technical and a creative aspect to my job. On the technical side, I do research to understand all parts of a business, including related challenges and risks. Then there’s a second, creative side where I get to plan ahead and try to anticipate future trends. Given this, I often find that every day brings new, interesting challenges such as supporting the firm’s preparations for Brexit.
To be successful in compliance, you need to be inquisitive and collaborative. There’s a lot to learn in this space, so you need to be able to jump in, ask questions, and understand as much as you can, as quickly as you can. Plus, you need to work well with colleagues, both in your office and beyond. It’s important to know exactly who to talk to at the firm if you have a question or need to raise an issue.
In the Paris office, we have a local firm feel—with the resources and reach of a global firm. We have about 150 people here, so we all work closely together. You can reach out to anyone if necessary, including our senior leaders. Plus, we leverage the tools and resources of a global firm. As an example, I work often with my colleagues in London and New York on things like regional legislation.
To maintain a work/life balance, I find it helpful to stay organized. When I arrive in the morning, I check the team’s priorities for the day. This helps me plan my work accordingly and focus on what’s most important. But when you work in compliance, there’s always new work coming in, so it’s important to prioritize time to recharge, too. That’s why I try to play soccer with friends every week. I also send out a newsletter to some of my colleagues with recommendations for places to have a drink in Paris. All based on first-hand experience, of course. You could say I’m a compliance officer by day, beverage influencer by night.