Sonia relishes new challenges, and needs to work for a company that can keep throwing them her way.
I grew up idolising my mother. I still do. She worked for the UN World Food Programme in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. I witnessed how she balanced raising a family with her work commitments and it inspires me to keep driving my career forward. Maybe this is where I got my tenacious spirit from. As I was growing up, being the middle child made me feel like I had to fight for attention among my siblings. I wanted to be recognised as the brightest and the best, and this competitive spirit propelled me to becoming a good student.
When I’m passionate about something, I won’t let it go – whether it’s work-related or not. Having joined Standard Chartered initially as a contractor, I was made a permanent employee within six months and had three internal promotions in quick succession. I’m never happy staying still, so I need to work for a company that can keep throwing new challenges my way. After a change in management, I felt I needed to raise my profile as I was at risk of blending into the background. I gained attention through my positivity, as I believe a good attitude can help you stand out. After being with the Bank for over two years, I was offered a secondment position working at our US office. It didn’t come without sacrifice, as it meant three and a half months largely away from my family and building up the air miles and flights back and forth to New York, but it gave me the extra challenge I was looking for.