An exciting journey: Lana’s story

From a career as a pharmacist to banking and now technology, Lana's varied career has taken her on an exciting journey to be proud of.

Lana Darwish

Head of Retail Banking Operations, Wealth Management & Deputy CIO UAE

My original career path looked very different. I was a pharmacist, encouraged to get into healthcare by my father. But the draw towards business studies was too strong, so after gaining my masters degree in International Business at Wollong University I took my first role in a local bank, where I quickly moved through the ranks to become a Relationship Manager.

I’d been recommended to the recruitment team at Standard Chartered, so I was delighted to get a call from the Talent Acquisition specialist. The only issue was timing, as I was on the labour ward, about to have my first child, so I had to tell them I was otherwise indisposed!  But two weeks after coming home with my baby, I returned the call and joined as a Credit Analyst after my maternity leave. 

“I was excited to join the bank because of our reputation and international footprint. But I didn’t realise what other doors were going to be opened for me.”

I was excited to join the bank because of our reputation and international footprint. But I didn’t realise what other doors were going to be opened for me. I never would’ve thought I’d work within Information Technology but it’s been a great journey, filled with energy and learning. 

My career path has proved that to be successful in ITO you don’t need a programmer’s technical skills – you just need to have innovative ideas. The bank’s capabilities and organisation design are so good that, with the right attitude and available coaching, you can make a parallel move between functions. I’ve also been very lucky to work with managers who have provided clear direction and talented peers who always push me to do better.

From pharmacist to banker to fintech solutions, my career to date has been so varied. I can’t wait to see what’s next.  

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