Meet Haruka Shimoto, an Associate on the Aladdin Client Engagement team based in Japan. Haruka shares more about the different Aladdin teams she’s worked on throughout her career, how she’s built a global network at the firm and why BlackRock instantly felt like the perfect match.
What made you decide to begin your career at BlackRock? What factors were important to you in making that decision?
I knew I wanted to work in Tokyo, at a company with an international culture. I ultimately chose to accept my offer at BlackRock because of the people I spoke with during the interview process – it felt like I had really connected with them, and I thought I would like the culture here. Part of what stood out to me at BlackRock versus other companies was the mix of interviews conducted in English and Japanese; it really felt like a match.
How did coming in through the graduate program shape your experience?
The Full-Time Analyst Program provides an opportunity for new BlackRock grad hires to meet and start building relationships with each other. My experience was exactly that – I first met many of my close colleagues through the program, and that network isn’t just in Japan but all around the world. Knowing there may be a friendly face on any team I coordinate with has made collaborating easier and more fun.
What is the culture like?
I work on a close-knit team of eight people with a diverse set of skills and experiences, so we’ve been able to strike a good balance in working together and exceeding our clients’ expectations. Beyond just my team, the culture in the office feels open and fun. Now that we are coming back into the office, it’s nice to see both new and familiar faces.
Tell us a bit about your role at BlackRock. What has your journey at the company been like, and what do you do now?
I started as an Analyst on the Aladdin Client Services team, where I helped our Aladdin users solve any problems they encountered. Aladdin is BlackRock’s investment and risk management technology platform that is both used internally and delivered externally to other financial institutions. All the technical inquiries I handled deepened my interest in tech, and I made the decision to move over to the Aladdin Product Marketing team, where I took on a more active role in promoting user adoption. After gaining a firm understanding of the full platform, I transitioned to the Aladdin Client Engagement team to further develop my career in relationship management. Now I have the opportunity to build and maintain key relationships with our insurance clients by providing solutions for the wide range of issues they face.
What do you find exciting or inspiring about working on Aladdin?
What I find inspiring about working on Aladdin is that this product is used by countless organizations around the globe to streamline and optimize some of the most difficult challenges faced in asset management today. And it’s exciting that we have the constant opportunity to help holistically and digitally transform how businesses manage their assets with the most cutting-edge technology in the financial services industry.
You’re part of the firm’s Women’s Initiative & Allies Network (WIN) – can you tell us more about your experience with WIN?
When I first joined BlackRock, I wanted to find a way to get to know people outside of my team and the Aladdin business. WIN events allowed me to meet people in different regions, businesses and functions. I was also part of a program called WIN Elevate, where we had the opportunity to hear directly from senior leaders at the firm.
One of my most memorable WIN experiences was a few years ago, when we had a joint event sponsored by BlackRock and other companies in our tower. The event championed women at work and provided interesting networking opportunities across the different companies that were there.
What can someone interested in joining BlackRock do to stand out as a candidate?
You don’t necessarily need to be a finance or economics major to stand out. I’ve found that colleagues who work well at BlackRock are inquisitive and always curious to know more, are team players and are self-motivated to tackle any issue that comes their way.