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Right track to a finance job

Published on Friday, 08 Mar 2013
Louisa Yeung

I want to develop a career in operations and strategy consulting that's related to the financial industry, and want to know what's the next best step forward. I graduated from a well-known university in Hong Kong four years ago and have since worked in auditing at a Big Four firm, in finance and IT at a small company, and have tried to start a business with a friend (which was unsuccessful).

Currently, I'm working on a contract basis in the finance department of an insurance company. My résumé looks jumpy but now I am determined to go for FI (financial institutions) operations and strategy consulting. I have completed the HKICPA exams and hopefully will be qualified soon. I have also passed all three levels of CFA and have excellent Excel, VBA and SQL skills and some financial modelling skills. Desperate Jobseeker

Firstly, we need to define financial institutions. In broader terms, it includes deposit-taking companies, banks, insurance companies, pension funds and investment banks. As you are working on a contract basis in the finance department of an insurance firm, you are already on the right track.

If you do a fantastic job in your current role you can build your experience and knowledge of the sector to move into an operation and strategy consultation role. Don't just think of your current position as a contract role. I have seen a lot of employers appoint contract employees to permanent positions. You can also explore internal operation and strategy consulting roles in your current company and apply for them via HR, or network and form relationships with the key decision-makers, such as department managers.

If you obtain a role with your current employer, you can then look at branching off into other firms in the FI sector.

Louisa Yeung is managing director of Michael Page in Hong Kong and Southern China.

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