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SFW Interview Series @thestyleforwork

Tell us a little bit about you and your background

I work in Investment Banking and my name is Monika, my family are originally from Bangladesh, however I was born and brought up in London, England. I am proud to be a British-Bengali Londoner. I have a BSc. Computer Science & Financial Management.

Tell us about your Instagram profile and how it all started. 

I started my Instagram as a way to share my outfits for work as I was a SAHM for several years when the children were younger, as it was a way in which I could get unbiased feedback from like minded women that were in my age range.


What is your day job and how did you get into it?

As soon as I left university, a friend offered me a job as as a software engineer for a warehouse management company. I had no relevant experience, so i was grateful for the opportunity and seized the job. However, it soon became evident that having to spend time working in warehouses to update software while 75 warehouse pickers waited for me, was not my idea of a dream job!! So after one year, I managed to secure a place on a graduate recruitment scheme for an Investment Bank.

Tell us more about your career journey?

The graduate training program took me to New York for 6 months, the scheme was intensive professional training courses and lectures that culminated in passing a six hour exam for trading the US markets, the pass mark was 70% and if you failed you were fired. Thankfully, I passed and completed the training program and returned to London. I worked in London for  a few years, rotating in different departments, getting exposure to different businesses area and how different technologies were used to deliver  solutions. My boss at the time, relocated back to New York and offered me a role in his team there, so I relocated to New York too and worked there for 3 years.    

What is your day like?

I wake up at 6am, sometimes I pop to the gym before work, but most days I am at my desk by 8am with a coffee and yogurt in hand. I check my emails, and my calendar for the day ahead. I tend to reply to the most urgent emails first, then just read the others. If I am chairing a meeting, then i need to provide the reading materials/presentation on topics to be discussed, and after the meeting follow up with an email to all attendees with meeting notes and/or action items. Most of my day, is meeting based, but when I am not in meetings, I am at my happiest analysing data in Excel. My team writes software to calculate risk, so its important that we all know how numbers are calculated.

What is the one thing you believe has helped you succeed and what advice would you give to someone wanting to do the same job?

Always be intellectually curious, and never be afraid to ask questions. No one really ever knows how to do a job when they start, irrespective of years of experience, you have to be open to learning.

What makes you feel powerful, where do you get your motivation and who inspires you?

I feel empowered when as a team we have deliver solutions to our business partners that they want to use, and make doing their job easier, knowing that they have confidence in the solutions that we have delivered.

What is one (or more than one) book you'd suggest people read?

Competitive Advantages to Nations by Micheal Porter


How would you describe your business style?

Classic dresser with a colourful twist. 

What advice would you give those dressing for a new job? (or for work in general)

Make sure that you know what the dress code is of your new job, if it's casual chic or corporate suits so that you don't stick out like a sore thumb. Always make sure that you are comfortable in what you are wearing, so that it fits and flatters your body, so that it not too tight, or too short. Always make sure that you are happy with your outfit, as when you feel happy with your outfit you will automatically feel confident.  

What trends do you like to wear in the corporate fashion space?

My current favourite is pastel coloured suits


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