22 Dec My Hong Kong Internship
My Hong Kong internship is technically my first ever fulltime working experience, so you can imagine my nerves, my excitement, and my anticipations. When I arrived at the office on my first day, it felt like I was unwrapping the biggest gift that I had ever received in my life.
The company that I’m working for is a fully fledged investment advisory and asset management firm. They provide professional tailor-made investment service and wealth planning solutions to their clients. I’m on the investment team, while there are a number of other teams including trust, compliances, accounting, and trading. I was briefed by the HR manager, who is also the CFO of the company, to know more about the company structure, my responsibilities, as well as company policies and rules. One of the interesting things is that, Friday is the ‘casual day’, which means that everyone dresses in casual clothes to work.
My work comes in various formats. It involves not only the basic ones such as data entry and administration, but also complicated research and analysis. I was surprised by how much I learned from even the simplest work. For example, there was a time I was asked to transform the format of a file from pdf to excel. At first I thought I could just use the converter software to do that. It turns out that some of the contents would get messed up in the conversion. All of a sudden an easy task just turned into a big headache. It was a wake-up call for me to realize that there are some basic but important skills that I used to overlook.
Doing researches is probably one of the most rewarding type of work. Through conducting in-depth research on certain topics, my knowledge level has been exceptionally elevated, while I was also developing the habit of following financial news. Later on it became a daily routine of me to check news first thing in the morning, to make sure that my information is always updated before I start any work. My research topics lie across a number of areas include global equity markets, commodities and foreign exchange. I would usually need to write commentaries to summarize my research results, which are good opportunities for me to improve both written and analytical skills. My commentaries are printed in the monthly client newsletters for some of the financial instruments issued by the company. Most of the documents need to have both English and Chinese versions, and that’s where my language skills come in, to translate the English files into traditional or simplified Chinese.
Financial analysis is definitely the most challenging part of my work. However for someone like me who loves a challenge it was also my favorite part. There was a project involving buying shares from a mainland company, and my role was to look at its financial data and contracts to assess the validity and profitability of the potential share purchase. The financial reports were in English while the contracts were written in Chinese. The inconsistencies in both languages and reporting structures made it a lot more difficult to reconcile the numbers. Critical analysis is something we often talk about in business school, however I never realized its significance until I put it into practice.
Sometimes I feel that entering working place as a fresh graduate is like walking into another school, and I’m so grateful for joining Absolute Internship, which gave me the best learning experiences possible.