Aarti is an Executive Director in Morgan Stanley's Institutional Securities Technology Division where she develops and designs data aggregation systems to support high-speed trading. She studied technology at the Veermata Jijabai Technical Institute and came to Morgan Stanley in 2006 after graduating from college.
What do you do?
I work in Technology covering our Institutional Equity Division. The firm has a large amount of data, and in this day and age, how you manage data is so important. My team is responsible for making sure that our electronic trading platform is fast, functional and compliant with rules and regulations.
Why is it important to be fast?
Electronic trading is all about speed. We're counting in microseconds and nanoseconds. As a technologist, it's incredibly exciting when you get a tiny bit more performance from your software or hardware. That's what keeps us challenged, and that's what keeps us going. The faster you can execute, the faster you get a response, and the happier your clients are.
How long have you been with the firm?
I have been at Morgan Stanley for over a decade. I never imagined I would work at one place for that long. I joined the firm through our graduate training program. It was intense, but nice because you learn a lot in four months. The reason I've stuck around so long is because of the people around me. I've been blessed to have worked with great managers and smart coworkers. When you're surrounded by intelligent people, you learn something new and become better at your job.
Have you been able to work at different locations?
After three years with Morgan Stanley, I worked for a year as a business analyst in Hong Kong. It was very exciting. I had only ever spoken to my colleagues there on the phone, so it was great to meet them in person. The business exposure I got helped me enhance my skill set. I sat alongside people in the firm, learned what their challenges were, and thought about how I could help. When I came back to India, I started a new project with even more responsibility.
What's a typical day like for you?
I might work on the architecture or design of a product. Or I might be in a brainstorming session learning what we can do to enhance our technology. There's always a lot of discussion going on, especially with our colleagues in London and New York.
What is your team like?
We have a very open and inclusive environment. All ideas are appreciated. Even the younger members who are just a couple years into the workforce are encouraged to contribute. The culture we have on our team allows for it; the most junior members can challenge those who have 20 years of experience. You can just get up and have a discussion with someone. Often, that's where the brightest ideas come from.
What are some challenges your team faces?
We have to follow regulatory guidelines all around the world. Every exchange and every country has its own regulations. We have to understand those rules, work them into our technology and apply them day-to-day without making any mistakes or violations. It's very challenging but not at all boring. It has been exciting.
What do you look for when you're hiring candidates?
Your problem-solving skills should be excellent. You should be hard-working and show that you're willing to go the extra mile. We're also looking for good communication skills. It's important that you're able to express yourself.