Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Finance (2019)
Isabella is an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley, a leading global investment bank. She has experience as an Advisor at the Parliament of Australia, with Castle Point Funds Management, as well as with Frontier Economics. She received the Women in Banking Scholarship from Morgan Stanley Australia and is a recipient of the ANU Tuckwell Scholarship.
Isabella started in the ANU Student Managed Fund (SMF) as a Junior Analyst in the Australian Active Equities (AAE) Team and became the Portfolio Manager in her second semester. Prior to graduating from a Bachelor of Finance and Bachelor of Economics in 2019, she was also active with the Finance Society (AFEC), ANU Snowsports Club and 180 Degrees Consulting.
What makes the SMF unique from other work-integrated learning experiences?
The SMF manages a portfolio of over A$700,000 that is used to fund an equity scholarship, so its work has real-world implications. The incentive is there for the students to perform as taking your eye off the ball could impact the Fund’s performance, longevity and the scholarship it funds. Everyone in the SMF team took seriously the value that we could add through our work and pushed for great outcomes. It’s also great to think that your decisions live on even after leaving the Fund. Some of the stock picks that I was a part of are still in the portfolio and are still performing well.
Has your prior experience as a Policy Advisor offered you a different perspective or unique advantage in your work as an Investment Banking Analyst?
It was certainly a shift in perspective, which is definitely helpful. What I found from my time working as a Policy Advisor was that the leaders are inspired by the work they do, and it has real impact. It really drove home to me what I need to seek in a career, to find a sense of mission as it’s such a powerful motivator. I definitely feel like I have found this at Morgan Stanley, and that I’ve been fortunate finding a role with that sense of impact and purpose straight out of university. It is a serious motivator to work alongside unbelievably driven and talented people. That perspective I gained from working as a Policy Advisor is something that I use to frame how I think about my work at Morgan Stanley, and I think the desire to find that sense of purpose and ability to have an impact will always be a great motivator for me building a career.
What do you believe are the most important standout factors that investment banks look for?
The key factors are the ability to work under tight deadlines, attention to detail and genuine curiosity/interest in the field. You definitely need a high level of intellectual curiosity, as the learning curve is steep, so you need to stay engaged and be confident to ask plenty of questions. I also highly recommend joining the SMF, as it will teach you valuable skills for the industry, serve as a unique talking point in interviews, and set you apart from other applicants. Most importantly – just be yourself. Do not try to emulate a stereotype; this field calls on a diverse set of skills and perspectives.