Keep things easy, simple and familiar for clients
Vincent Tse Shing-hin was offered a summer internship focusing on Hong Kong business development at Schroder Investment Management (HK) after winning the Schroders Case Competition 2011, which tested participants’ ability to create a viable long-term investment plan. Tse talks to Wong Yat-hei
What’s your academic background?
I’m a Year Four student of quantitative finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
How did you start your day at Schroders?
I started working at 9am, but did not have a regular routine. Among other things, I assisted managers in their meetings with clients. I had to work fast to facilitate my manager’s hectic fund product pitching schedules.
What did your job entail?
I worked with the Hong Kong business development team, which focuses on the retail fund distribution business. My main job duty was to prepare PowerPoint presentation materials for my manager. These included global markets news updates and fund product recommendations.
What were the major challenges you encountered?
One of the challenges was customising materials for clients. I discovered the best approach was to keep the materials easy to understand, and to make use of examples of things encountered in daily life.
For example, I used the BigMac Index [of BigMac prices in various places] to illustrate the discrepancy in purchasing power in different countries. I also learned what it means to be client focused.
What have you learned about your chosen career? What are your plans?
The experience gave me an in-depth insight into the asset management industry, and aroused my interest in pursuing a career in this the field. It allowed me to understand what it means to be a global asset manager. Now, I am determined to enter the industry.
I have started to get professional recognition, such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and I am paying close attention to the mutual fund market.
Any advice for prospective interns?
I believe that it is crucial for an intern to be humble. On my first day, I was asked to check the brochures of all Schroders funds. It was quite repetitive, but as I looked through the brochures, I became familiar with most of the products quickly, and earned praise from my manager.
Being proactive is also important. A summer internship often lasts for about two months and you are assigned to one department only. Interns should make the most of it.