Executive Director/Vice President,
Credit Risk Technology
Silesian University of Technology
I was far from being a computer geek or even a novice programmer when I started my university studies —in fact, I wrote my first line of code in my first programming class! Thanks to a lot of passion and hard work, three years later I was working as a Java developer for a software firm in my town. After a number of years working as a backend Java developer, I was ready for a career change and was looking for an opportunity in project management.
When Goldman Sachs expanded its Technology Division in Warsaw I had already heard a lot about the firm from a friend who interned in London. I had no experience in finance, but my technical skills and passion for what I do helped during the recruiting process and I was hired as one of the first Technology employees in Warsaw. During the recruiting process, I learned that I would get an opportunity to work with various technologies while managing projects and working with different teams. From my first day in the new Warsaw office, I felt like I was a part of a global team. It turns out that you don’t need to sit in an office of 500 Goldman Sachs people to actually experience the firm’s culture.
My job involves a mix of coding and analysis, and requires a deep understanding of the business and communicating with stakeholders. During my early career as a programmer, I was more used to one-on-one work: me and my laptop! Here, people simply talk to each other more. We discuss software designs, technical solutions and production issues, and I have discovered that this collaboration makes problem-solving easier. It’s my favorite part of working at the firm—the fact that you can always get help. You only need to get rid of that voice in your head saying ‘you should have probably known that’ and ask.
Currently I am a technical lead on the Credit Risk Engineering team we focus on developing and maintaining sophisticated software systems and tools which enable our business partners to provide industry-leading Credit Risk Management and Advisory (CRMA) services. These allow our users to assess, set and independently monitor their counterparties and credit risk appetite on an ongoing basis. CRMA's mission is to enhance shareholder value by prudently balancing risk with reward, outperforming expected credit losses and strengthening client relationships.
I primarily work with two different groups: Technology and CRMA Finance team members. Usually I work with the CRMA team when there is a requirement for a new functionality in the system or changes to an existing one. In my role, I help clarify our internal client’s requirements, organize meetings and involve the right people based on their expertise on the business issue and technology. Once we have the scope, my team will start implementing, while maintaining regular communication with local and global technical team members. Collaboration is critical to our success.
Recently I volunteered for the firm’s Community TeamWorks initiative and had the chance to help organize the first Warsaw Business Run, a big charity event held throughout Poland. For me it was a challenge since I had absolutely no experience in organizing large events. I learned that if you do something with passion and a smile on your face, people will want to work with you, even if they are not getting paid.
I am part of the firm’s Warsaw Women’s Network and head of its development pillar. We exchange ideas about how to recruit more women into Goldman Sachs Technology and how to develop various types of skills. We invite guests from throughout the firm and host discussion panels. We try to keep it fun as well with lunches.
In my spare time, I enjoy learning about psychology. My perfect Saturday evening is when I can spend it in a comfortable chair with a cup of hot tea and a new book describing how the human brain works. I find it intriguing that awareness of the causes of our own behaviors can actually help us change them.