I am Ana and I am a honey bee – hard-working, adaptive, brave and communicative. When a bee colony outgrows its hive, it has to find a new place to live and one little brave scout bee takes off to search for that new home – and this is what I did.
I was born and raised in the post-USSR period in the poorest country in Europe – Moldova, where by my early teenage years I had realized the limits of local expectations and aspirations. At the age of 16, I decided to move to Switzerland to broaden my perspectives, to pursue my studies and, ultimately, to have a better future.
While I quickly noticed that I had to overcome language barriers and that my cultural awareness was limited to Soviet countries, as a bee, I worked much harder and had more drive and motivation than my Swiss classmates. I attribute this to growing up in a family with a working mother and grandmother, both of whom never took anything for granted and taught me in my young years the need to work hard to achieve goals. Even without speaking proper German, I was able to quickly find new friends and managed to successfully integrate and absorb a Swiss mentality of structure, precision, and toughness, while keeping traits my family brought me up with: an emphasis on independence, gender equality and family-centricity.
During my undergraduate studies at the University of St. Gallen, I gained some work experience in financial services, ranging from corporate and institutional banking (BNP Paribas in Paris) to private banking (J.P. Morgan in Geneva) and asset management (Ayaltis in Zurich). While I enjoyed the client contact during this period, I noticed that I was rather fascinated by the challenges of the financial services industry as a whole – the reason I joined Oliver Wyman after my graduation. Consulting is very competitive – your daily life consists of criticism while praise is often scarce, but you have a unique opportunity to work with exceptional teams and clients on shaping the industry together.
In the end, as a bee, I live in a world where big things can happen through community efforts, not by a single leader. However, I also believe in the importance of having an individual impact, and so I am brave and willing enough to invest my time next to my intense working hours, and when necessary, to sting and make sacrifices for the causes dear to me: work ethics, inclusion and gender diversity.
Banner image: sunset over Zurich Lake