At a young age, Morgan Stanley Vice President, Joelle Archer, already knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. She had envisioned a life in the media sector and relentlessly pursued it. She now works at Morgan Stanley as part of the Research team where her career dreams have become reality.
How The Journey Began
“At the age of 11, I wanted to be a journalist. I actually completed a degree in journalism with creative writing at the University of Roehampton.”
Although she enjoyed the course, Archer wanted to move into something else. “My aim was to find a job where I could be more hands-on and involved with producing multimedia content instead of writing articles.” After completing her degree, she got a job at an investment bank where she interned during summer breaks. Years later, Archer joined Morgan Stanley as part of the Global Research Creative Suite team, where she now works on developing innovative ways to connect Research Analysts’ latest views with investors’ needs, mainly through producing podcast and video content.
The Power of Support for Black Career Advancement
Archer attributes much of her success to a strong support system. Her solid family network of resilient and ambitious individuals not only helped form who Joelle is, but continue to support her throughout her life and career. Alongside this, Archer has a robust professional network: “If you’re working at Morgan Stanley, you’re surrounded by successful, hardworking people, which rubs off on you… I’m lucky enough to have a great team, brilliant managers, and a wide support network across the firm.”
Diversity and Inclusion
D&I efforts at organisations globally may have ramped up considerably in the past few years, but Archer still feels that representation in financial services is not yet where it should be, and she’s striving to be part of the solution.
“You don’t see many Black women in roles like mine,” she says. But, she’s supportive of Morgan Stanley’s commitment to create an inclusive work culture. “There is a great sense of openness and inclusivity in my department; Black employees in the Research department have regular meetings with the department heads to talk about D&I- related issues and ideas, and everyone is encouraged to share their views openly and honestly.”
In advancing her career, Archer was an early believer in advice such as, ‘just work hard and keep your head down.’ Now, she recognises the merit of self-promotion and showcasing her value. It’s about accelerating your growth and getting ahead.
The flexible working style at Morgan Stanley also allows her to balance a busy schedule with family time. Her career journey is a powerful example of the importance of chasing your dreams, believing in yourself, and having a strong support system.
Shifting Past Limitations to Pivot in Your Career
Coming from a background in journalism, she’s successfully transitioned into a prominent position at a top-tier investment bank. She hopes her story can act as inspiration for anyone who is considering, but nervous about, a career pivot to the financial services industry – even if they may feel they are not qualified. “You don’t have to have studied finance to work at a financial institution.”
Archer’s story offers Black professionals something to ponder – no standard path works for everyone. Instead, be yourself, and wherever you are in your career aim to add value and make your mark.
To learn more about Morgan Stanley or to learn more about their commitment to creating an inclusive environment, visit their profile on our BYP jobs board.
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