Sahydi GarciaSahydi Garcia is a Vice President of Morgan Stanley in Enterprise Technology and Services based in London.

Sahydi is responsible for driving the adoption and implementation of Agile & DevOps practices and principles for the Corporate Workplace Technology department. She also performs project management/business analyst roles to deliver business outcomes for stakeholders in Corporate Information Management. In January 2016, Sahydi was named Vice President and later that year she accepted a mobility opportunity to move from New York to Glasgow. In October 2018, she accepted a mobility opportunity to London.

Sahydi started her career in Technology at the Firm in 2011 as an IT Service Delivery Manager in End User Technology, supporting the delivery of technology services to end users in Wealth Management branches during the Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney joint venture. She joined Morgan Stanley in 2004 as an Associate in Reengineering and Expense Management based in New York, serving as a Sourcing Manager in Corporate Services.

On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?

My typical day starts before 6am, which is always followed by a bowl of porridge and cup of coffee. With lockdown easing and outdoor gyms opened, I have been getting in a workout before the workday starts. These days that means a spin or HIIT class. Then, I log on to quickly review emails from the prior evening and shift focus to the biggest priorities I have for the day. My typical workday ends in Zoom meetings with New York colleagues.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I never sat down and strategically planned my career. However, I do periodically stop to think about the next step. Early on, I assumed that I needed to have a grand vision for my life and have it all figured out at once. In actuality, life and careers are rarely linear. My journey has been guided by thinking one step ahead, and my willingness to be uncomfortable and enthusiastically accept new opportunities when presented.

What do you love about working for Morgan Stanley?

I most admire the professional integrity of the people I work with at Morgan Stanley. Our corporate culture is guided by the Firm’s five core values of Do the Right Thing, Put Clients First, Lead with Exceptional Ideas, Commit to Diversity and Inclusion, and Give Back. The work environment reflects those ideals and challenges us to strive for our personal best, regardless of role or position. This enables us to attract incredible people, and I am regularly impressed with the combination of talent and drive my colleagues possess. They make me want to show up and be better.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you overcome these challenges?

Naturally, I have faced challenges in my career. I am surrounded by brilliant people, often with way more experience and knowledge than I have. That is not a comfortable position to be in, but I eventually came to realize that I had two choices. I can feel threatened by this, allow my imposter syndrome to emerge, and have it prevent me from asking questions and getting engaged. Or, I could be vulnerable and embrace that I will not know everything and ask for help. I now approach these situations as a learning opportunity rather than a judgement of my ability.

Have you benefited from coaching, mentoring or the sponsorship of others?

It’s impossible to have a meaningful career on your merit alone. I would not be where I am today without the generosity and support of coaches, mentors, and sponsors. A piece of advice I would give to my younger self is to invest in these types of relationships early on because they truly allow you to ascend. Coaches will help you to improve your skills, while mentors will help you to develop your career, and sponsors will advocate on your behalf when you are not in the room. You need them all, go find them, and don’t just take it from me, take it from Carla Harris!

Do you believe in the power of networking? If so, where do you network?

All my career opportunities have stemmed from the relationships I have built over time, so I firmly believe in the power of networking. Whether you are searching for a new home or shifting careers, your network can bring new opportunities and ideas to light. Personally, I lean heavily on the various professional networks we have at Morgan Stanley, like Women in Technology. We host various networking and knowledge sharing events intended to establish community and new connections across the Technology organization. Still, I look forward to the days where we can mix more casually in person, and we can make new connections casually chatting to the person standing next to you.

What advice would you give to those who aspire to a career in tech?

If you are passionate about problem solving, think creatively, have varied interests, and enjoy learning new things, you can have a fulfilling career in Technology. This does not mean you need to have a CS degree, be a coder, or engineer. Throughout the course of your career in tech, you can pick up different skills and hold different roles. My advice is to pursue what interests you, work hard at it, find ways to make your skills useful, and remain open to change.

What does the future hold for you?

The experience of the pandemic has made me re-evaluate a number of things including planning too far ahead or setting expectations around what the future holds. As a result, this is a difficult question for me to answer. The things I am striving towards this year include being more mindful of where I spend my time (goodbye Instagram, you are missed), questioning whether the time I invest adds value (to others and myself), and no longer postponing experiences, even if they are uncomfortable. Professionally, this has led me to slowly and reluctantly face my fear of presenting to large groups and like most things, it will require a tremendous amount of effort and energy to develop this skill. To answer the question boldly, which is not my natural inclination, in the future you will see me presenting at a TED Talk.

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