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November 12, 2021

‘A typical business background isn’t necessary to be successful’

Trish Koulogeorge followed a nontraditional route to a career in finance, a dual citizenship, and a global placement with Wells Fargo Capital Finance in London.

A first-generation American born and raised in Chicago, Trish Koulogeorge grew up speaking Greek at home with her grandmother, but sticks to English for work discussions. “I don’t know any finance terms in Greek!” she joked. Her nontraditional route to a career in finance, a dual citizenship, and a global placement with Wells Fargo Capital Finance in London tells a unique story of creating her own path with a career at Wells Fargo.

Koulogeorge’s early career teaching in Chicago transitioned well to the corporate world. “Understanding different types of learning and listening styles has been key to the work that I do. I didn’t come into the business world with a typical business background, and I don’t think it’s necessary to be successful,” she said.

Her success at Wells Fargo has proven that to be true. Koulogeorge was nominated to the 2020 cohort of Wells Fargo’s Rising Talent Group, an initiative for people with five to 10 years of experience to learn new skillsets and network. “I was able to leverage my skillset from one business to work in a completely different area and learn something new,” she said.

headshot of Trish Koulogeorge with a yellow horizontal bar underneath.
Koulogeorge found that her early career teaching in Chicago transitioned well to the corporate world.

Curiosity has been a constant thread throughout Koulogeorge’s life, and her multicultural upbringing led her to seek a larger global perspective while studying in Scotland. “I was very curious about the ideas of identity and belonging, and understanding what it means to belong and have different identities, depending on where you are in life — physically, mentally, or emotionally,” she said.

“I decided that if I had the opportunity to live overseas, I would do it — and I had no idea it could happen through work,” she said. “Once I completed the work to get Greek citizenship, it became a reality. I flagged that I’d be interested in global relocation, and spoke about it openly. I had so much support in my business, and so many people who were advocates for my learning and development. It helped that I had a passport and previous overseas experience, but I have to give a lot of credit to people being very open and communicative with me, and helping me to see various open roles.”

A lover of research, Koulogeorge navigated the cultural shifts of moving from one English-speaking country to another. “I assumed it wouldn’t be such a stark cultural shift,” she said. “I think people take for granted the cultural shock, on top of changing households, countries, job responsibilities, and team members. To mitigate that, I found it really helpful to meet my team before the move.”

Now on a secondment, or temporary internal placement, Koulogeorge focuses on a book of work — different projects and activities — that relate to regulatory and remediation changes. “I support the maintenance and oversight of this book of work, activities that have impact on our strategy, and I get to experience more directly how we work as a bank and how that translates throughout Wells Fargo globally.” Formerly supporting one specific line of business, she welcomes the new perspective. “It’s different; this work is dynamic and ever-changing, with so many different parts to understand.”

Outside of work, Koulogeorge enjoys experiencing live music in different venues across London and planning trips to countries she’s never been to before. “I want to travel and live everywhere and experience everything.”

To discover and create your own story with Wells Fargo, search open roles here: www.wellsfargojobs.com

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