'I Love My Job’: Excelling Due to a ‘Collaborative, Customer-Centric and Forward-Looking’ Culture

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Sabrina Goicoechea

Image courtesy of Moody's.

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Welcome to I Love My Job, the series where we hear from real women who really love their jobs. In this edition, we sat down with Sabrina Goicoechea, Senior Vice President of Procurement & Sourcing Group Operations and Analytics at Moody's Corporation, a global integrated risk assessment firm that helps clients and markets around the world make better decisions.

At Moody’s, Goicoechea leads the procurement and sourcing operations and analytics team. “My role at Moody's is to ensure the company follows a consistent, global procurement approach — that combines efficient processes, user-friendly technology and robust governance procedures — to help us manage our most critical supplier relationships,” explains Goicoechea. “My team also provides vendor and market insights to internal customers across our business lines to help them make data-driven decisions about their budget, their spend and their suppliers.”

In her six years at the company, Goicoechea has found that her absolute favorite thing about Moody’s is the people, specifically her global team. “I’ve been really privileged to lead a very talented group of individuals,” Goicoechea notes. “They have different backgrounds, and they bring very different skill sets that really complement one another. It’s an extremely cohesive and strong team dynamic. They’re all very passionate, motivated and they're driven. I see them challenge each other and help each other, which is extremely inspiring to watch. I learn something new from them every day.

In short, “They are the highlight of my day every day, and they make my job even more enjoyable and fulfilling,” says Goicoechea.

To find out more about why Goicoechea loves working at Moody’s, and her advice for other women thinking of joining the company, check out the video below. We also share lightly edited highlights from this video discussion in the following article.

Tell us about a project you’re working on that you’re excited about.

I'm currently working on our responsible sourcing program. Here at Moody's, we are working to make sure responsible, sustainable and socially-conscious principles are reflected in everything we do — which also means that we need to be very diligent about understanding who we’re working with across our supply chain.

As an example of sustainability, one of our key initiatives is to decarbonize our supply chain to ensure that 60% of our suppliers set science-based targets by the end of 2025.

In terms of supplier diversity, we want to make sure that we’re providing suppliers of all kinds — including those owned by women, minorities and other key groups — equal access to business opportunities with our company. We participate in many different, external advocacy programs and forums, and we always continue to look for opportunities to add more diverse suppliers to our network.

Under the umbrella of due-diligence, my team leads our supplier relationship management program, where we monitor many different risks for our more strategic, critical suppliers. What I really love about this project is that it involves so many people, including my team, all our suppliers, our external business partners and senior management. We’re all working together to create more sustainable and resilient operations across our organizations. 

For me, this project is extremely special. It's an opportunity to really make a difference, not only at Moody's, but also in the world.

How would you describe the culture at Moody’s?

Very collaborative. We seek and we value different opinions, ideas and points of view. And, if you think about it, that's also part of our business. When we do a rating, there are many moving parts and data points to be considered. It's extremely important to be able to gather insights from multiple teams. We really work together to achieve our goals. 

Most people I’ve encountered here have an open-door policy. Everyone is encouraged to reach out if you need help or have a question. That’s not just within your team or management line. Across the company, people are generally very helpful. 

We [also] put the customer at the center of what we do. We're always looking for ways to better serve their needs. We always try to find ways to make the customer experience better, whether it be an external customer or an internal customer.

I’d also say we’re very forward-looking. As the company continues to grow, Moody’s continues to evolve, adapt and change. We’re always trying new things and taking new ideas and new risks and trying different approaches. To me, that’s extremely exciting because it's a culture that really gives me that opportunity to keep learning and growing. It allows me to stay curious and always ask another question. At every turn, there’s an opportunity to learn something new

How does Moody’s help you find work-life balance?

Moody's is really focused on cultivating a flexible work culture, with options for people to work hybrid, remote and in-person. Employees are empowered to have discussions with their managers about the best working arrangements, given their job requirements.

For example, in the days pre-COVID-19, my daughter was enrolled in aftercare in her own school every day. When the pandemic hit, the school stopped offering aftercare programs, putting us in the situation where we needed to pick her up in the middle of the afternoon. The company has been very open to offering me that flexibility and everybody at Moody’s — from my manager to my team members — understands that I block a little bit of time every afternoon. This has been a huge help for me and my family. It's one of the ways the company has supported me in achieving some sort of balance. 

Flexibility is really the key, because we’ve also learned from the pandemic that things change all the time. So, what might be working for us today might not work tomorrow. At Moody’s, you’re encouraged to have conversations with your manager, as personal circumstances change. That supportive tone comes from the very top of the company.

What advice would you give to other women who are thinking about working at Moody’s?

First, stay open to new opportunities and don’t be afraid to apply for a job that seems interesting. Or one where you may be a good fit, but you don’t necessarily check every single point on the job description. Just go ahead and apply. There’s no harm in putting yourself forward, so don't close the door.

Then, do your homework. Read about the company, get as much information as you can upfront, research the person who's going to be interviewing you or the department you might be interested in. 

I'd also recommend that people expand their network. And, if you're already in the interview process, take advantage of the opportunity to speak with someone from our BRGs or business resource groups. We have a Women's BRG, among many others.

My final piece of advice is always to always be yourself. We value authenticity at Moody’s. We want you to be comfortable in your own skin. We want you to bring your full self to work. Just be yourself and let us get to know you as you get to know the company.


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Check out other posts in the ‘I Love My Job’ series: