02 Sep 2022
Meet Paula Nassif, Senior Associate, King & Wood Mallesons, winner of the WiBF Award for Achievement in Professional Services and past volunteer of an international contingent to build a school for young children in Costa Rica!
Paula Nassif is a Senior Associate at King & Wood Mallesons’ market leading banking and finance practice. She works on a range of multi-million-dollar projects, often cross border, in a range of financing areas.
Paula was able to attend WiBF’s 2022 Award Celebrations at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney, and she described the event as “fantastic – so beautifully and tastefully done.” When asked how Paula felt hearing her name being announced as a 2022 WiBF Award winner, Paula said it “was surreal – of course I was thrilled. It was even better having my guest and very loud cheerleader, the amazing Ms Diane Khoury, senior in house lawyer at Dexus there to support me. It was great!” Paula describes that winning the award has given her “an industry “stamp” or recognition for all the hard work” she has done, especially given the high calibre of women in the field. She notes “feeling extremely honoured and humbled (and also very chuffed!) to have won.”
Everyone’s path is different and Paula’s advice to anyone growing a career in the banking and finance is to “really try and challenge yourself; get out of your comfort zone; put your hand up for opportunities. Try and find people who support you.”
Reflecting back on her journey Paula shares more advice based on her experiences, noting that relationships are critical. She recommends to “try and build them before you need them. Be authentic.” Paula shares what is a valuable life lesson and that is to “be aware, sometimes people have their own agendas (which may have nothing to do with you.) If someone offers you advice, feedback, etc – take a good hard look at the person giving it to you and assess whether or not you should take on board their commentary or quite frankly flush it down the toilet!”
As a winner of a 2022 WiBF Award we asked Paula her thoughts on how to gain recognition and her message was clear, it’s all about growth! “You know when you are growing because you should be feeling excited, positive and energetic. Stagnation feels like the opposite.”
Besides Paula’s impressive career, you would be surprised to learn that during one of her university breaks she volunteered as part of an international contingent to build a school for young children in a village in Costa Rica bordering Nicaragua. She shares that it was “an amazing experience!” it was there where she also spent a couple of “surreal nights” in a Costa Rican hospital due to an infection from a giant-sized Costa Rican mosquito! We want to know just how big this mosquito was!
With a 2022 WiBF Award in hand, Paula feels as though it “gave her a huge lift!” She leaves us with the reminder to “find supporters who will support and facilitate your growth and development, with the right supporters, you will be able to soar!”
Watch Paula Nassif’s acceptance speech – here.