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Flexibility and openness is opportunity for women in finance

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Having previously studied linguistics and psychology at university, she felt finance was something of an alien profession. She decided that in order to extend her qualifications and understand the world in which her students would work, she would study accounting.

She started off with an ACCA foundation course in accounting, and having excelled in her exams, decided to pursue her studies further and achieved a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant with ACCA she moved to England and began working in a bank.

Progressing with a Masters in Finance at LBS

In 2018, she decided that in order to progress her career and extend her knowledge she would study at London Business School, a decision which changed the course of her career.

“London Business School was a phenomenal next step for me,” she muses. “I decided to do it as a part time course because I wanted to continue working to be in the industry while acquiring and applying the new knowledge and new skill set that I was developing.

“I was working in the accounting department, but while I was studying at LBS I moved to corporate development where I was busy with mergers and acquisitions, and corporate strategy for the bank.”

The two-year, part-time Masters in Finance course started in 2018 and she found that she loved the thought-provoking lectures, the experience of working on case studies with other smart and motivated students, and the support and experience of the teachers. Studying part-time meant she could continue to earn an income and didn’t have the stress of trying to find a job at the end of the course.

“I really enjoyed the lectures and having the time to think about what I was learning and how to apply it to my own job. The teaching was excellent and there was great camaraderie on the course because all the other students had also been working in finance and industry for some time and had experience and insights to offer.”

When Covid affected the world, Radmila went on maternity leave to spend time with her daughter, who is now one year old, and to think about her next career step.

She had been approached by Goldman Sachs just before Covid hit, and although she had a job offer from the company, she decided to turn it down because of the global economic uncertainty. With the world of finance opening up again in 2022, Goldman Sachs once again approached her and this time she felt it was the right opportunity.

With the new working practices across all industries and hybrid working in the finance sector becoming commonplace, she was able to negotiate a package which enabled her to work from home for the majority of the week, combining an exciting new role with motherhood.

Persistence and determination pay off

Having come so far so young (she is still only 34), Radmila urges women to be persistent and have faith in their own talents and abilities. “It is so easy to have distractions in life,” she says. “But I find that really visualizing my goals and reminding myself what I am working towards is very motivating.

“Anything is possible if you are determined. There was no English teacher when I was at school, so I went to the library and used the dictionary there to read and translate English. Now here I am working at Goldman Sachs, and have studied at LBS. It is all about being persistent and overcoming obstacles.”

Her knowledge of personal development has also helped her be bold enough to speak up in meetings, offer new and innovative ideas, and believe that, even if she is the only woman around a boardroom table, her contribution is valuable and meaningful. She is helped by having learned coding at LBS, which means she can talk to IT departments about what may be possible and can communicate with C-suite personnel how ideas may be put into practice.

As for the future, her experiences at LBS have been so positive on a personal and professional level that she is planning to enroll on the LBS Executive MBA course in the near future.