Learning and Growing – Anoli’s Story

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Personal growth  

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is don’t be afraid to take on challenging roles. Not only will they help you learn and grow, but they’ll also encourage you to discover what you enjoy doing.

Up until now, my career path has been very varied. I’ve had five roles at Standard Chartered in Sri Lanka since joining the bank 11 years ago. I started out as a Relationship Manager in 2010 and was promoted from a Band Seven to a Band Six Relationship Manager in two years.  

Becoming part of the team 

When I joined the team at Standard Chartered, I had a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) and a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants qualification (CIMA). Although I had experience in treasury management, tax, strategic planning and management reporting, I didn’t have any experience in banking.  

Working at Standard Chartered has allowed me to develop my knowledge of banking. It’s been very rewarding. I entered banking when the war had just finished in Sri Lanka and the economy was starting to boom. I felt it was an exciting time to get involved in banking and help businesses grow.  

 

My current role  

In 2019, I transitioned from my role as Head of International Corporates and moved to Global Subsidiaries as a Relationship Manager. I now head up Global Subsidiaries and work as part the Client Coverage sub-team of the Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking team (CCIB). We have a strong market share in this segment in Sri Lanka and support our clients in expanding their businesses.  

My favourite aspect of my job is finding new ways to support clients and onboarding new clients that have an interest in Sri Lanka. I love helping people grow their businesses – especially during challenging times. 

My current role has presented many challenges. The biggest challenge recently has been Forex Liquidity, as we are struggling to support importers. I am a natural problem-solver and enjoy finding effective solutions to problems. 

Flexibility and support   

What I like most about working for Standard Chartered is they provide lots of flexibility. I can work full-time from home or part-time at the office and part-time at home. This is very beneficial for me because it means I can spend more time with my family.  

The bank is also incredibly supportive when it comes to personal development. In 2013, I took a sabbatical to pursue my Masters in Finance at London Business school. I was the first employee in CCIB Sri Lanka to be granted a one-year sabbatical.  

I received a 60% scholarship (LBS Women’s Impact Scholarship). However, I faced a delay with my student visa and risked losing my scholarship. My manager at the time was able to speak to the British High Commission and expedite my visa.  

Encouraging others  

My advice to those searching for their ideal career is to take on different roles. For example, don’t stay in the same role for longer than three or four years, especially if you don’t feel fulfilled.  

This advice has helped shape my career and led me to my current role in the CCIB team. Take a few risks to get where you want to be – you tend to be more risk-averse the older you get.