Advice 1: On getting work experience prior to deciding on a career path: Karina recommends this 100%. Among other internships, Karina completed internships in Equity Derivatives Sales, in Marketing at a luxury department store in Paris, in traditional Investment Banking and in Equity Research, before starting a full-time role working on the Luxury Goods team in Equity Research. Karina says that while you may have different ideas about what different roles are like, from talking to people who work there and reading about it, you don’t fully understand what it’s like until you go through it yourself. Having many of these experiences allows you to learn more about yourself and to narrow it down and pinpoint what it is about work that drives you. You’ll make a much more informed choice about your first job.
Advice 2: Karina’s advice on trying to move to a new role in a different industry: Karina successfully transferred from working at an investment bank to a finance and strategy role at the Estée Lauder Companies. She spoke to many people and eventually met someone who worked at the company she is currently at. Karina says that while you may not have experience in that specific industry or field, people can feel whether you have passion for that field and that is very important. When trying to meet people in the industry you want to work in, do not be afraid of simply reaching out to them, even if you don’t know them directly. Reach out to your second and third LinkedIn connections, your friends or your family friends, your university alumni networks. People are very open to speaking with you. However, it is important to be persistent – while people are generally very open about speaking and connecting with you, many people are short on time. You can approach these conversations as something that could be helpful to both parties – you find out more about what they do and hopefully teach them something based on your experience. Generally, day-to-day, listen to what people do – they may not be in the industry you want to move to but they may know someone who is. Being open to these meetings is important. Finally, give yourself time to find the job that you really want to do next.
Advice 3: On moving country and adapting to different work cultures: Karina worked for the same firm in both London and New York and noted that the working culture was dramatically different. Karina felt that while in London, generally people avoided confrontation and the working culture was very polite, while in New York, she found the working culture to be relatively more confrontational in that people were happy to have difficult conversations to grow, and more individualistic in that you needed to make your presence felt. Meeting culture in particular was different – in New York, Karina figured out that she always needed to say something at a meeting to ensure that her presence was noted, which did not always come naturally because she had previously worked in places where being quiet wasn’t perceived as a weak quality. Making friends outside of work helped Karina to gain more insights into the working culture in New York and helped her to adapt the way she communicated and delivered things at work. Generally, going through a big change like moving countries pushes you out of your comfort zone, but it also teaches you that there are so many different ways to do things. You can pick up the ways that you like and shape your own approach towards your work and your life.
Details of experience: Karina is currently working in finance and strategy at the Estée Lauder Companies in New York. Previously, she spent time working in equity research, covering the luxury goods sector, both in London and in New York. Prior to starting a full-time job, Karina completed many different internships in London, Paris and New York, including working in Equity Derivatives Sales, traditional Investment Banking, Marketing at a luxury department store and in Equity Research.
What the job is really like: Karina’s team is in the strategy and finance function and works kind of like an internal consulting team for the firm. The team advises the company portfolio of 30 different brands across different regions and functions on strategic initiatives. Karina does analysis on different challenges for the company and comes up with strategic and marketing solutions as well as implementation plans. Her work involves speaking to many different people from different areas of the company like finance, marketing, supply chain and sustainability teams.
This post is written by Experience Share, based on their interview with Karina Klocanas on 15/11/2020 and has been approved by Karina. To listen to the full podcast that covers topics like moving countries and industries, the importance of building relationships, cultural differences, impostor syndrome and much, much more, tune in on: Spotify: link or Apple Podcasts: link