Josh Taylor - Operations Associate at Morgan Stanley

Issued: Tue, 30 Jun 2020 00:00:00 BST

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I'm an identical twin – this has led to some fun moments over the years!

Tell us about your career journey so far

My entire professional career post-university has been with Morgan Stanley, however during my degree in Physics I was lucky enough to complete some Physics/Engineering internships and one in financial services. My most exciting internship was at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, where I worked for 4 weeks with a researcher, looking to discover local group dwarf galaxies. The project was successful and later that year we were able to publish a paper on our findings!


Whilst looking to explore other potential career paths that utilised the skill set obtained studying a STEM subject, I was offered a 13 week internship within financial service, at Morgan Stanley Glasgow. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at Morgan Stanley and rejoined as a graduate analyst in August 2017 within the commodity derivative and foreign exchange derivative middle office. In this role, I directly supported the trading desks in London and New York for all operational issues.


In October 2018, I took an internal move within Morgan Stanley to perform a similar role, but for another set of products that Morgan Stanley trade – this time bonds, and in January 2020 I was promoted from Analyst to Associate.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

My favourite subject at school was maths. Partly because it was my best subject, but also because of the number of applications it had in so many of my other favourite subjects – Physics, Chemistry, Economics etc.


During my final two years of school in England (A-Levels) I studied Further Maths in addition to A-Level Maths, and given my small class size and passionate teacher, we would spend one lesson per week learning about some really cool maths theories and applications!

What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?

One of the benefits about working within Operations at Morgan Stanley is that any subject background can be translated into the workplace there. Currently a degree with good honours is required, however that can be in any subject. I've found my STEM background has been useful towards approaching problems with an analytical mindset, but likewise colleagues with different backgrounds have a different way of approaching situations. It's a great melting pot of different ideas and backgrounds.

What is a normal day in your role like?

In the morning I'll review any urgent emails and messages before having a morning huddle with my team. This is a good way of us catching up and discussing any issues and projects we're working on, and get a feel for the day ahead.


A day is never the same, and as my team support the trading desk, we're having to be very reactive to the activity from the traders. I help to execute Morgan Stanley buying and selling bonds, and work with our clients once traded to ensure a smooth transaction.


Trading is constant throughout the day, however in the times of the day slightly quieter I focus on any projects I'm working on. My team are looking to make as many tasks automated as possible, and this is where my STEM background comes in handy, as I am thinking in a scientific mindset how to improve processes automate work.

What's your favourite thing about your job?

I like to be kept busy so I enjoy the fast paced environment and expectations. There's always something to be done, so I don't find myself looking for something to do!

Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
Please share links to relevant resources.

Reading books and online classes I found to be incredibly useful when starting my role in the teams I'd been in. Coming from a Physics background, my knowledge of commodity/foreign exchange/bond trading wasn't particularly strong, and so to better understand the markets I watched online videos and read books on the matter.

Khan Academy was a great starting point for this, and was a website I was familiar with through my time as school as I used to watch the maths videos whilst revising ( ) and I was able to find plenty of books on Amazon and in the local library.

If you're a STEM Ambassador in Scotland and want to share your story you can download the form here.