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Lili Long

Lili joined Finalta as an Analyst
in 2016

Now a Senior Analyst, she transferred from our Miami office to launch our office in Dubai and is looking forward to her client visits in the region.


Out of the Finalta offices, why Dubai?

Why not Dubai? I took my decision of moving to Dubai from a personal and professional perspective. It is such an impressive fast-growing city. The idea of living and working in a city such as Dubai excited me – especially a place full of different cultures from all over the world. On a professional level, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity of setting up a new office. Finalta in the Middle East is in its early stages and I wanted to be part of that growth.


What are you looking forward to in the next few months?

For the upcoming months, I’m excited to have more frequent client interactions – this is my favorite part of what we do and my current role. Being able to have insightful conversations and experience the impact of our work by looking at client reactions when we help them achieve their goals.

Also, going to Saudi Arabia for the first time is going to be a unique cultural experience and very different from growing up in Mexico! I never imagined I would have this specific opportunity to enrich my perception of the world.

In the long term, I am very hopeful for the expansion plans of the Dubai office. Being in a new location and closer to the clients is going to boost our growth geographically and project wise. I am looking forward to seeing the team grow, hire new talent, and be able to coach and share my experience.


How do you find adapting to your new city and country?

Dubai itself is a very modern city and most of its population are expats. Although different from what I am used to, I don’t feel like a stranger because I will always find people from other nationalities in similar circumstances. Having a friendly personality has always helped me in adapting to a new place and meeting new people – a smile is a universal language! The Finalta team has been an essential part of this move. They have been so warm to me and made me feel instantly as part of the team. I am never alone.


Is your transfer experience what you had in mind when you decided to move?

I was wanting something different, so Dubai met my expectations in that sense. However, I didn’t know to what extent it was going to be different. I am happy to say that I don’t regret the decision at all!

You’ve now experienced 3 Finalta offices, what is different and what remains the same?

I feel so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience 3 different Finalta locations in 3 amazing cities. Although Finalta is widely multicultural and each office is unique, what remains the same is a dominant culture and incredible teammates! Everywhere I go, I find kind, stimulating, and inspiring leaders, some of them have become lifelong friends. There is no better or worst office – each office has its own best practices and its own working style since they have different clients, regions, and circumstances. I’ve learned so much from all of them and I try to focus on sharing what I’ve learned with others.



How is working with new clients from a different region?

It hasn’t been as different as I expected. My reflection after working in different locations and 3 years of experience in Finalta is that the core of what we do remains the same. There are country, regions, and bank specifics that I need to learn along the way, but the set of skills I’ve learned in Finalta applies every time. Project-management skills, communication skills, and problem-solving skills, I find them key in my role to deliver in every situation. The rest of the client knowledge comes with a learning curve, but it is matter of time.


How do you find the culture in your new city?

I find the new culture fascinating. I am learning new ways of thinking, which enriches my mind and perspective. All cultures are based on respect, so I found it very easy to live in Dubai and be myself. I am so charmed by the Arabic culture that I’ve started learning Arabic and it has helped me understand more about the history and the social norms. Experiences will be defined by how I perceive them - I’ve decided to make the most of it and I am enjoying the journey!


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