Good news for candidates fascinated by financial news
If you are an avid reader of business news, then a career in banking could be right for you, according to Teresa Law, honorary adviser to the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB).
Speaking during the Leadership Forum, Law said: "One of the first questions that students need to ask themselves is: are they interested in news related to finance? Do you read the finance pages in newspapers and watch programmes about the stock market? If you are keen to read about those, then banking is probably the right choice for you," she said.
Another sought-after trait, she explained, is the ability to handle new information quickly, as the world of finance is ever-changing and bankers need to follow happenings closely.
Law said one of first things she does after getting out of bed every morning is to listen to the radio for market updates from the other side of the world.
She added that while many people think it necessary to hold a degree related to finance to apply for a banking job, this is not the case.
The banking profession requires talent from diverse backgrounds. People from human resources, sales and information technology are all in demand and they do not necessarily need a banking education background.
Only highly specialised positions such as financial analyst require applicants to have a degree in finance, she said.
Regardless of the position, integrity is essential. "We work in an industry that deals with money. There are a lot of temptations, so we have to uphold high morale standards," she said.
Grace Tsang, HR manager at Bank of East Asia, told forum attendees that the bank is looking for motivated, team-orientated individuals to join its MT programme. "The 24-month programme aims to groom future leaders of the bank. Candidates get the chance to work in different functional units of the bank and to go overseas for training," she said.
In the first 12 months, candidates will work in different bank departments. In the second year, they will learn on the job in one department and visit branches in London, Singapore or on the mainland.
"Trainees will be promoted to manager grade on completion of the programme," Tsang said. "Senior members of staff mentor the trainees, monitor their performance and advise them on career planning. Towards the end of the programme, they need to give a presentation on what they've achieved."
Applications for the programme open next summer.