Scrum Lead, Agile Transformation
Elina Lechere was set on a career in the fashion industry. Fashion is a family business: Her father and uncle are both in fashion. She conducted an internship in Madrid, Spain, where she ran a shop and learned about the retail industry. Afterward, she moved on to Paris, where she worked in retail at the heart of the fashion world for another two months. Even her major—management and information systems—was designed to help her merge technology and business, a vital skill in today's clothing industry.
But fate had other plans.
After she got home from Paris, she got an intriguing call from a friend. "She asked if I wanted to work for J.P. Morgan," Lechere recalls. “I was still at university, and a career with a bank wasn't part of my original plan. But I was intrigued."
She entered as an intern in GTI (Global Technology Infrastructure) for the Buenos Aires branch, and was soon hired. Today, she's an associate—and she's still growing into new challenges.
“It's hard to describe how grateful I am, whenever there's a new idea, a new challenge, I am able to take over," she says. "Maybe I'll fail, but I learn, and I do it again."
What does success look like to you?
Success for me is the moment I look back in my life and see myself today as a better version of who I was. Being able to achieve the goals and milestones I have set for myself—no matter how large or small—gives me enormous satisfaction.
Who is the biggest influence in your life?
My parents are my role models. Nobody else comes close.
They've witnessed my first steps, my first success at school, and every success—and failure—I've had since then. They let me fail and help me to understand why it's important to fail sometimes. They taught me how to turn failure into opportunity, and honestly, they still inspire me every day in terms of the encouragement they give me for everything I do. I see how they've led the way in all aspects of my life, and I'm eternally grateful.
What is the biggest obstacle you've overcome in life?
I used to be terrified of speaking in public. The very idea of standing up in front of people and having them wait for me to say something…I was petrified!
I've been really fortunate to have people close to me—particularly at J.P. Morgan—who told me to trust myself. For me, that was tremendously powerful, and probably the best advice I've been given so far. Because of it, I was able to realize that there were people who saw things in me beyond what I thought I could do myself.
I kept repeating that to myself as a mantra before every event: 'Trust yourself." I can say that now I am comfortable leading a meeting, talking to senior leaders or even hosting a training. It's amazing, because four years ago it was almost unthinkable.
Work-from-home, go to the office or a mix of both?
Here in Buenos Aires, the lockdown is still happening. And it's been a critical time.
I live with my parents and brother and work from home. It has worked out fine so far—my brother and I get along as best friends, and workwise, we have a lot of structure to keep connected and on target. But in the beginning, I have to admit that I was a bit lost. I needed to create routines that would keep me mentally and physically healthy. Before quarantine, I would wake up and rush into the office. Now I wake up and take the time for a nice breakfast before I ease into my work day.
It's also given me space to adopt new habits. I stay connected to my friends and family. I'm spending more time reading and listening to music. I've started painting, watching movies and documentaries. I've rediscovered what it means to have valuable time for yourself.