Karine Massolo cherishes Fridays. She calls it Mama’s Day, where she does all the school runs and activities with her four boys, who are now five, seven and eleven-year-old twins. She’s worked part-time since having her twins while at the same time leading a successful career as a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan. Her career story shows that anything is possible. You can have any professional and educational background and be successful at J.P. Morgan. It was an inspiring conversation, and we enjoyed learning her top tips.
Show up as you are
Karine joined J.P. Morgan as part of the graduate trainee program twenty-four years ago. She quickly progressed through the ranks. Karine’s drive for success saw her become one of the youngest Managing Directors at the time – only 11 years after starting as a graduate.
Karine is proud of the high performing team she is part of and believes a crucial part of this is down to how diverse it is.
“Diversity is a broad term and not only about gender – it encompasses a whole range of factors including background, sexual orientation and experience, to name a few.”
While she acknowledges that there is still progress to be made, she does consider that J.P. Morgan is working to drive a diverse and inclusive culture for its employees and business — and it clearly shows in its hiring approach.
“You could have a degree totally unrelated to finance and have a fascinating career at J.P. Morgan. Some people might join us via an apprenticeship route and move through to a front office investment banking role. We support and train people.”
Karine joined the Private Side Marketing team last year after spending more than 20 years on the trading floor. Her remit focuses on developing the private credit space, covering institutional credit clients and providing bespoke capital markets solutions.
“We support our clients as they move into new markets. This means we are constantly looking at how the market is developing and following the key trends in order to best support our clients.”
A career is never linear
Karine is at the top of her game and a passionate advocate for gender equality.
“I strive to demystify parental leave; I want to show women out there you can have a great career in investment banking while having a family. I was promoted shortly after I returned from parental leave.”
Karine points to the different ways of taking parental leave and how individuals manage this.
“Personally I always wanted to keep in touch with the managers – we would often have lunch and telephone conversations. I have always been passionate about what I do for work, and I am very genuinely interested in the people I work with. I like to know what’s going on.”
A valuable lesson Karine has learned is that a career rarely runs in a straight line. She notes there will be moments when people may have to look after a sick parent or children, and reiterates the importance of being open with managers about this. Karine feels grateful that J.P. Morgan is a place where she can be open if there are any hurdles, and that it is a work environment where family and flexibility do mix.
“Finding the right balance is very personal, and you need to understand what works for you. I like to work flexibly, and I have worked four days a week since I started my first parental leave. It undoubtedly requires good organization and my brilliant and supportive team play an important role too.”
The world is your oyster
Karine shares her top tips with us and how J.P. Morgan has been a big champion for her career:
- There are successful women around: “You can be that person. You don’t have to tick all the boxes; just put your hand up and don’t undersell yourself. We need to let go of perfectionism and believe more in our capabilities.”
- Feedback is a gift: “I’ve had the right opportunities come at the right time because I listened to feedback. I would advise listening to any feedback constructively. No one is perfect. A good manager is there to coach and guide you.”
- Get to know people: “I find some people think that career progression is just about doing a good job. But it’s important not to forget that this is a people business – you need to develop trust and relationships. At J.P. Morgan, we have a lot of events and I would encourage everyone to get involved – it’s important to get to know people and build a strong, supportive and interesting network.”
We already mentioned Karine’s four boys. She says spending time with them is priceless and her biggest hobby and interest. She’ll spend time with the family enjoying watersports or relaxing by the seaside. And when she has a quiet moment, Karine loves curling up with a book.
Karine is someone who wants to challenge the status quo. We are looking forward to seeing where she goes in the next chapter of her career.