Morgan Stanley


Senior Manager, Internal Audit

Elizabeth, a former high school English teacher, never envisioned a role in Internal Audit. In fact, a career in Morgan Stanley’s “third line of defense” never entered her mind. Now eight years and four roles later, Liz is helping others tap their potential through her role overseeing Internal Audit’s campus recruiting efforts, employee recognition, mentorship program, and diversity networks.

While Liz didn’t have a background in finance, the Queens, New York, native says her former teaching experience gave her the skill set needed for her current role. She is particularly proud of her work executing Morgan Stanley Internal Audit’s summer analyst program, and building strong relationships with the class of college students and graduates. "That was a very rewarding experience," says Liz. "It made me feel accomplished that I was able to help guide them through the whole process."

Liz recently talked about her unconventional career path into banking and her varied responsibilities at the firm.

Describe Your Role at the Company

I’ve been with Morgan Stanley’s Internal Audit division for over eight years, seven of which were spent as an auditor. Last year, I officially moved into my current role on the Internal Audit Operations team where I am responsible for managing our full-time and summer analyst programs, new hire onboarding, mentorship, diversity and inclusion efforts, and our recognition programs, which I recently revamped. This role is very different than my previous role as an auditor, but it has given me the opportunity to work with many individuals within the department and the Firm, and has challenged me to think more strategically about how and why we do things. 

How Did You Get Into Internal Audit

I majored in English at Hofstra University with a minor in secondary education, and worked for a short time as a high school teacher. Throughout college, I interned at a large insurance company and I liked the experience of working for a large organization. Through networking and meeting new people, I learned about internal audit, and I was curious. I spoke to a couple of people in Internal Audit at Morgan Stanley and ended up getting a summer internship in 2010. I later came back full-time as part of the analyst program. I've been here since.

My first Internal Audit role was in Credit Risk for 18 months, then I audited the Equities desk for about a year. Prior to my current role, I was auditing Investment Management for almost five years. 

You mentioned you came to Morgan Stanley through the analyst program. How does that program work?

It's a two-and-a-half-year rotational program in which analysts get to work within various areas of Internal Audit. You have the opportunity to experience different groups and learn as much as you can in a short amount of time. It's a really helpful experience, especially for someone straight out of college, because it allows you to get exposure to different groups and figure out where your interests lie.

What skills are important to your job?

The ability to communicate well. We have to be able to clearly and articulately convey to a variety of stakeholders our views on the important risks facing the Firm.

That was one of the main things that drew me here. I knew that my technical knowledge would come with time, but what I learned as a teacher provided the skills needed to succeed in the role.

Do you have to have a specific background to be recruited by the firm?

No. That's something we talk about when we're recruiting, because I get the question a lot. We do list preferred majors in the job requirements, but I use myself as an example all the time. We don’t expect you to come in with extensive technical knowledge, because a lot of the learning really happens when you're here. It's those fundamental skills—the ability to communicate effectively, manage projects and collaborate with others— along with inquisitiveness, that we're looking for in potential candidates.

No matter your background, I encourage students who are interested in working at Morgan Stanley to meet with our representatives if they come to your campus. Taking the time to attend an event and having a face-to-face interaction with someone from the firm can set you apart.

What other roles do you have within Morgan Stanley?

My team is responsible for overseeing all of the department’s employee programs and initiatives, so I am also helping support our sustainability efforts and am currently working with our employee networks, including the Women's, Asian,  Black and Latino networks, on our mission and strategy for 2020. One common focus of the networks is professional development. We try to organize different events, speakers from other divisions and various networking opportunities to aid employees in their career progression. 

How do you like the people you work with?

I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for the people who helped me along the way. They've recognized my abilities and have given me the chance to challenge myself and continue to pursue leadership opportunities, which I appreciate.

They've also pointed out areas where I needed more development and worked with me to address those issues, which I appreciate just as much. Being around people who you have a good relationship with is really important, both from a personal standpoint and a professional one. Every team that I've worked with over the past eight years has fostered a positive, collaborative environment, and all of them have been instrumental to my growth here.