Career Advice Archive

Use summertime to explore internships

For Suen Ching-man (below), working as a summer assistant at the regional loan agency of Citibank has been an eye opener. The internship has made her realise that bankers require extensive knowledge in both finance and the law. She talks to Wong Yat-hei about her work experience.  

What is your academic background?

I am a Year Two student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I am in a BBA-JD double degree programme offered by the faculty of business administration and the faculty of law. I plan to major in general finance and international business management. 

How do you start your day?

I usually work on ad-hoc tasks or read through loan agreements and other legal documents.     

What does your job entail?

I worked work for the agency and trust team under the regional loans agency. This team acts as an agent and provides comprehensive trustee, escrow and fiduciary services for corporations. I review legal documents for the loans to check whether the deals can proceed and help with data entry and documentation. 

What have been the major challenges? 

The first week was very tough as I was swamped with so much new information. I needed to read through a 118-page operation manual in less than a day before I could be of any help. The operation manual included words and technical terms such as hedging plan, primary conditions, ticklers and rollover – which I was not unfamiliar with. I ended up spending several hours reading the manual over and over again to grasp its essence.       

What have you learned about your chosen career and what are your plans?

Working at a loan agency is interesting and offers bright prospects. I plan to find a different internship next year – perhaps in marketing or human resources – to gain more exposure. I believe that this will be an eye-opening experience for me and having more diverse experience will shed light on which career path I would like to take. 

Any advice for potential interns?

Set well-defined career goals and explore internship options to see which job suits you.  Be ready to learn and take on whatever tasks are assigned to you even though they may be tedious. Remember that your colleagues are always there to offer a helping hand.