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Kate Executive Director/Vice President, International Management Executive Office Division, London

Joined GS: Full time, 2009
Studied: BA (Hons) Business with Law, Oxford Brookes University (UK); MSc International Accounting and Finance, Cass Business School (UK)
Interests: Art galleries, theatre, yoga

You are always encouraged to get out of your comfort zone, try new things and test yourself.

I come from Kazakhstan originally and came to the UK when I was around 16. I didn’t speak English very well when I arrived, so I had to learn it pretty quickly. I then applied for a foundation course which was the equivalent to A-Levels. Following that, I studied Business with Law at Oxford Brookes. During my course I realized that Finance was quite interesting and challenging, so I decided to move to London and follow up with a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance.

I joined Goldman Sachs in 2009. Having attended a number of graduate recruiting fairs, I was attracted to how Goldman Sachs talked about the importance of culture, teamwork, meritocracy and creative thinking.

I hadn’t always wanted to work in finance. In fact, I found the finance courses as part of my degree quite challenging. However, through these courses, I learnt that Finance is actually really interesting and I wanted to understand more about how the investment banking industry fits into the broader economy.

Since joining the firm, I have worked in the International Management team in the Executive Office. Our main function is to support the senior leadership here in the region – our co-CEOs for Goldman Sachs in EMEA. As part of that, we mainly focus on the execution of our key strategic initiatives, analyzing the firm’s performance and developing a client engagement strategy for the co-CEOs. I spend a lot of time on the client engagement work and as my role has evolved I have started working on other projects such as our corporate sponsorship initiatives and our engagement with the firm’s alumni in the region. These responsibilities were not necessarily part of my job description when I started, but that is why I find the role interesting and it’s what keeps me on my toes. You are always encouraged to get out of your comfort zone, try new things and test yourself.

In the Executive Office one really gets to know the firm inside-out. I work very closely with all divisions, for example, with the regional heads and business heads on our client engagement strategy for our co-CEOs regarding which areas and clients they should be focusing on in the different regions. I also liaised very closely with the other divisions when I worked on our sponsorship of the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition at the British Museum as we arranged a number of client events. Another recent project I worked on recently was Global Entrepreneurship Week, where I helped organise a 10,000 Small Businesses street market where we invited more than a dozen of our 10,000 Small Businesses participants into our offices to set up a market.

The fact that people say yes when you need help is one of the things I value most at Goldman Sachs. I feel I work in a very supporting working environment. I also really appreciate being constantly pushed out of my comfort zone. The professional challenges that come your way at the firm are fun challenges, which really make you grow. Unless you are in that environment you don’t always naturally push yourself that hard.

I am part of the LGBT network and Asia Professional Network. I try to take the time to go to their events, such as the Business Insights sessions that the Asia Professional Networks organize.

In my spare time I love going to art galleries - I do that every couple of weeks. I also enjoy yoga classes; I believe in “strong body, strong mind”, so I try to exercise regularly.