This month we’re speaking with the Marketing Director for the United States, Olga Jewusiak.
A native Chicagoan, Olga joined Livingstone last summer, coming onboard to handle marketing activities for the United States as well as collaborate on special projects with the global team.
When and why did you choose Livingstone?
My journey to Livingstone is different from the analysts, directors, and partners we’ve heard from in this series because I didn’t graduate with a degree specific to the financial sector and I’ve spent the past 12 years in marketing roles across a variety of industries, the most recent one being a start-up.
Jack Thurston, Livingstone’s CMO, reached out to me the summer of 2017 on Linkedin and we scheduled a chat. You know those conversations you have with a stranger where you just click? That’s what happened. We followed up with an in-person interview wherein I met with Jack and one of the firm’s co-founders and promptly fell in love with the firm. I was quickly sold on a company that sounded more start-uppish and entrepreneurial than the actual start-up I worked at; collaborative teams, transparent communication, and a flat hierarchy were all promised and so far, delivered.
What does a typical day entail for you?
Everyone says this in their Livingstone interviews but it’s true – there really is no such thing as a typical day here. I handle all marketing activities in the United States and am fortunate that I get to work with each partner at the firm, learning about their sectors and putting together a strategy that highlights their expertise. Right now I’m pulling together a marketing plan for the second half of the year using data from the first half while rolling out a public relations strategy firm-wide, and working on a website redesign with the global marketing team. I’m never bored which is perfect for a person like me.
What is the most enjoyable part about working at Livingstone?
The culture, hands down, is the best.
When you think of an investment bank, you probably think of a space that’s filled with leather bound books, smells of rich mahogany and feels like the 80’s never ended. Our office dispels that image as soon as you step off the elevator into a modern, industrial loft-like space filled with light. I’m describing our office because in many ways it’s symbolic of our culture, neither our office or company are reflective of “typical” investment banks.
Livingstone isn’t a small company by any means, but it’s at the size where everyone still impacts everyone. The partners approach hiring thoughtfully, working hard to make sure each person hired is a good culture-fit.
How has Livingstone impacted your career? Or, how do you hope Livingstone will impact your career?
Most millennials tend to be job hoppers for a variety of reasons (usually tied to the economy) – and I’m no different. Prior to Livingstone I’ve never really had a job I could see myself in for longer than 2 years and now, I feel like I’ve found a place I can add value to while continuing to develop my own skill set. I’ve never worked at a company with so many people who built their careers here, but Livingstonians like Mark Carl and Ryan Buckley aren’t the exception, they tend to be the rule. To have my effort and work recognized is phenomenal, it makes me want to be better and add more value all the time.
What is your most memorable moment working at Livingstone?
Every year, 120 Livingstonians descend upon a new city for a 3-day annual retreat. We take part in team activities to put faces to names we interact with on cross-border deals and bond, basically. Last year we did it in Chicago, this year we packed our bags for Valencia, Spain.
I’d just accepted my offer when Jack extended the invitation to attend the Chicago retreat. I’m not an extrovert so the idea of meeting over 100 strangers over 3 days made me anxious but from the moment I entered the kick-off happy hour, people were warm, kind and generally awesome. On the second day, we participated in the “Livingstone Olympics” – watching partners fall into the dirt during the tug-of-war and good-naturedly getting up only to fall again was a great glimpse into the personalities I get to work with everyday.
It was a great start to a new job and every additional day of the retreat served to remind me I’d made the right choice.
What is the most memorable deal(s) you’ve worked on?
Typically, I don’t touch any deal till it is closed. I handle post-deal marketing for all transactions and the first deal I ever worked was a trial by fire – I was a couple weeks into the job and found myself handling a deal in an industry I was wholly unfamiliar with while figuring out the ideal step-by-step process – and the entire deal team rallied around me. Analysts stopped by my office to gently guide me in the right direction, partners calmly explained next steps, no one condescended to me and I got through it with minimal burns.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I consider myself the neighborhood dog lady, I haven’t met a dog I won’t try to pet. This summer, I’m set to begin fostering dogs through the Chicago-based dog rescue One Tail at a Time, before hopefully becoming a foster fail. Besides that, I love live concerts and comedy shows – and pack as many as I can into my life.