19 Feb Being a finance associate in Shanghai – the best job in the world
Being pulled out of the average routine of a teenager at university and being told you will be working from 9 – 6, 5 days a week is almost as daunting as spending a month in a city with a different language and culture.
The average day starts with waking up at around 7:45. After a quick shower its time to head to the metro. As I’ve mentioned previously, the Shanghai metro is quick, cheap and efficient. However, at peak hour it becomes more of a warzone. Elbows fly as a quiet set of lines quickly turns into a rugby scrum where whether you like it or not, you are getting on or off the train. Whilst certain stations are generally ok, some turn into a mosh pit – as shown in my photo. If there is anything I’ve learnt from this, it is to become a local. If you are getting shoved, shove back. You are trying to get through quickly, so are they, but without the consideration.
4 stops later and we have arrived across the Bund and into Pudong. A quick stop at our local street food street becomes our routine breakfast before our day at work. On the way to our building, there is a street filled with all different sorts of food being cooked right in front of you. My personal favorite is a savory crepe where I am still unsure what I am eating. All I know is that is costs me 4 RMB (or less than a dollar), it is delicious and I will be back tomorrow.
Luckily enough, I was assigned to my internship program with another intern, Thomas. Since Tom and I are studying the same units, we always had plenty in common. This made it easy when we first started working. What made it even easier was our boss. From the start he has been welcoming and polite and always keen to offer us advice about the business and/or life itself.
For the first week of my internship, most of my time was spent researching and contacting companies. This means that I had to find out what the company was worth, what position they were in and whether they would be worth investing our time into. After that was done I would have to try contact the CFO’s of multi million or billion dollar companies. Whilst I have now been hung upon more times that I would like, this period was also very successful and it is on these deals that I am working on now.
Once these deals began to form, I had to start creating models and presentation of the company. These are both to value how much the company is worth and present that to plausible investors. This is great because it combines what I am learning at university with a real world application.
As my internship continues, one of the most important things I am learning is how the business works. More so than the models I am creating, I am learning how people behave and how business is done in this industry. This is something that is almost impossible to teach in university. However, as part of Absolute Internship, I am receiving a real word experience that is both frightening and oh so exiting.
As a finance intern, we are extremely encouraged to network. This means almost every day after work we are to attend a networking event and then “attend” a nightclub with these people in order to make better connections. This is something I can definitely get used to.
One of the best things I have learned is that this is definitely the life and industry for me. I have learned more about the finance industry in these 4 weeks than the year and a half I have been in university. However, all that has shown me is how hard i am going to have to work to achieve this lifestyle of a finance associate In Shanghai, what I believe is the best job in the world.