05 Jan The spectacular sights, the exotic smells….
The spectacular sights, the exotic smells, the hundreds of stalls all selling different varieties of dried seafood were certainly interesting and fascinating experiences. Already this trip is living up to my expectations, from the beautiful views atop Victoria Peak down to the urban thriving markets around inner Hong Kong….and I’ve only been here one week. When I first touched down in Hong Kong International Airport I was immediately greeted by the friendly face of our Absolute Internship Program Director, Daniel. After a quick introduction we met with the rest of the interns and made our way to our accommodation in Central, Hong Kong. We dropped our bags off and made our way to our first group dinner, shortly followed by a quick walk to Lan Kwai Fong where we could all relax and get to know each other over a cheeky Flaming Lamborghini or two (a numbing concoction of coffee liqueur, Cointreau and white Sambuca elegantly lit on fire before quickly consuming it….through a straw).
Walking down the cobblestone lanes, past the many bars and under the fluorescent lights, it is easy to see why this small hub is so popular amongst the expatriate community. The next day, waking up slightly later than usual, we made our way to our sponsored tour around Hong Kong on an open top bus that drove us deep into Hong Kong and immersed us fully into the city’s busy and bustling way of life. However, it wasn’t until we arrived on top of Victoria Peak that we truly got a feel for the sheer size and beauty of this harbour city. With a 360-degree panoramic view of the city, Victoria Peak provided stunning vistas of the city where we will spend the next two months.
With the weekend coming to a close it was now time to begin preparing for our first week at our respective internships. Sunday night brought trepidation and nervousness, however, after meeting the director of my company on Monday morning, my nerves were quickly settled as he warmly welcomed the other interns and I into the company. The firm that I am interning at provides financial advisory services, wealth management, and insurance broking through its team of independent financial advisors and this will be our workplace for the next 8 weeks. After meeting our colleagues and a quick tour around the office, we were immediately given our first projects to work on for the week.
Having a legal background I was given the company’s corporate manual to update to include various regulations that recently came into effect. This task provided me with a great opportunity to do some more research into the investment and insurance industry regulations and to have a real impact on the company. Not only was I tasked with this but the Director also had some additional work that he needed, including drafting a 2013 World market summary and 2013 Market data review, both to complement the 2014 Market Outlook he needed from me before arriving at the internship. Whilst these tasks were challenging they have given me a deeper understanding of global financial markets and the feedback I have received on them has taught me even more. Not only do we have our own projects to complete during the day but we are also given daily lessons by experienced professionals in the office about the work that they do. Already, I have learnt about client risk analysis, financial planning processes and fund portfolio mixes to name a few and I cant wait to learn even more in the coming weeks.