Saltire 10th Birthday - Post 7 Kate Osinska

My Saltire experience absolutely changed my life both professionally and personally.  In fact, I can honestly say I would not be where I am today nor have two important people in my life had it not been for my Saltire experience. 

“Since the formation of the Saltire Foundation in 2007, our Saltire programmes have been on quite a journey. We have supported over 900 individuals that have taken part in our world-class leadership programmes, many of whom have heightened their ambitions and achieved things they never thought possible. Our mission has always been to find, fuel and spark the next generation of leaders for Scotland, and looking back over 10 years of success it is clear we have some of the most talented, determined and capable leaders within our alumni. Now part of Entrepreneurial Scotland, our alumni are part of a wider network influencing economic and social change for our country. To celebrate 10 years of Saltire, we will be shining a light on 10 inspirational alumni members, over the next 10 months showcasing their fantastic journeys since taking part in our Scholar or Fellow programme”

- Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland

Post 7: Kate Osinska, Founder of American Financial Management Services LLC and 2011 Saltire Scholar

My Saltire experience absolutely changed my life both professionally and personally.  In fact, I can honestly say I would not be where I am today nor have two important people in my life had it not been for my Saltire experience. 

It all started in 2011 while I was in my 3rd year of my Finance degree.  I was fortunate enough to be selected to intern at TAESL, a joint venture of American Airlines and Rolls-Royce in Dallas, Texas, working with the Finance/Legal departments. While there, I did some incredible projects; including actively participating in a $500 million negotiation as well as leading a team to audit the JV’s Capital Assets.

Upon returning to Scotland I finished my Finance degree with First-Class honours, continued to be involved in running family businesses and graduated from Edinburgh University with an equivalent of a First-Class Law Degree in 2015 (Accelerated Law Degree with distinction).  I also worked for the likes of BMO Wealth Management and shadowed professionals such as law firm partners, sheriffs in the Edinburgh Sheriff Court and financial advisers, making some real estate investments along the way.

However, the impact of the Saltire Foundation did not end on my return to Scotland, it continues even today.  The individual assigned to mentor the interns at TAESL, Randy Thomas - an amazing man who would keep in touch over the years to see how I was doing - 6 years down the line helped me achieve my dream of setting up my company in the States; thence, changing my life forever.  Moreover, he and his wife became my close friends.

In May of this year, after a lot hard-work, I obtained an E2 investment visa and moved away to Los Angeles, California to start my staffing/consulting business (American Financial Management Services LLC or AFMS). Being an entrepreneur by nature, I realised that owning my business was the only way to advance my career at a pace I want to go at (fast), while also being in control and having the freedom to set the direction of the company.

Having done my research, I decided that California would be the prime location for my start-up. Well, it does not hurt that the Golden State also provides certain advantages for a woman like me to enjoy her favourite hobbies immersed in this beautiful landscape and not be constrained by weather.  I now get to enjoy horse riding, motor bike riding, and surfing (I have recently taken that up also) whenever I want.  I also enjoy playing electric guitars – my favourite, Fender guitars, are actually made in California.

If starting one business was not enough, Randy and I are equal partners in a second venture, American Business Planning LLC, where we work with clients to achieve their dreams of successful business ownership.  Our favourite clients though are those trying to achieve their own American Dream by immigrating to the States to start their own business ventures as I have done. 

I have many dreams/goals that I am yet to achieve, perhaps to work on the fluency of my Russian language to become fluent in four languages and to obtain an LLM or an MBA at Harvard or Stanford University, but the closest to my heart is to own a domesticated Mustang. There is something in wild horses that has always intrigued and fascinated me and it would be a true honour to save one of those beautiful creatures.

Ultimately, I cannot thank the Saltire Foundation enough for the opportunity I had been given; both my professional and personal life has been changed forever.  In the future, I am also planning to become a Saltire Host and hopefully inspire young Scots to pursue their dreams. 

But for the Saltire Foundation, I would not have been here!