Two FB students ready for career takeoff in investment banking

Michelle Leung

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Two final-year business students at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have won highly-coveted graduate traineeships at a multi-national bank thanks to their excellent academic results and active participation in extra-curricular activities.

Their achievement testifies that the philosophy of professional and whole-person education promoted by CityU is widely recognized by industry.

Sally Sun Qianhui of the Department of Accountancy and Iris He Haner of the Department of Economics and Finance will start work by October this year after completing their studies and go through a series of on-the-job training in investment banking. Both students agree that they have benefited from the professional education and diversified activities provided by the University. They said their campus life enriched the content of their résumés and boosted their confidence, ultimately helping them to secure their prestigious job offers.

“I participated in the Accounting Scholars Programme in my department last year,” Sally said. “I had the chance to work as an intern at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, one of the top four accounting firms. Although it was only for a few months, I gained a lot of valuable knowledge and experience such as the operation procedures and workflow of a multi-national company. It will certainly be a valuable asset in my future career,” she said.

Encouraged by her department, Sally formed a team with two classmates and participated in the “Quest for the Future International Accountants Finance Case Study Competition”, organized by the Association of International Accountants (AIA) last year. The team put in an outstanding performance in the financial analysis section and presented well in English, and eventually won the championship, beating teams from top universities including Tsinghua University, Peking University and University of Hong Kong.

Sally transferred from Shanghai Jiao Tong University to CityU in 2003 and she has made the Dean’s List three years in a row. She has taken part in various activities on campus, including the Student Ambassador Programme hosted by the Student Development Services (SDS). She said the special etiquette training, teamwork and public speaking skills offered by this programme significantly enhanced her interpersonal, communication and management skills, and helped her adapt to her new life at CityU.

Iris, also from Shanghai, excels in academic studies and extra-curricular activities. In addition to working as a Student Ambassador to promote CityU, she has served as the external vice-president of the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES) Hong Kong Chapter. Last April, sponsored by CityU’s Faculty of Business (FB), she went to Stanford University to take part in the annual summit of the ASES. As a Hong Kong representative, she had the chance to exchange views and share experience with delegates from other chapters. In 2004, she helped organize the Student Leadership Conference, a programme specifically designed by SDS for undergraduates in Asia. She invited speakers and planned the programme rundown for the conference.

“CityU has given me a tremendous number of learning opportunities outside the classroom and a wide spectrum of professional courses,” Iris said. “By organizing and getting involved in extra-curricular activities, I have learned a lot from people from different places. The teamwork and interpersonal communication skills that I acquired have helped me stand out from other job applicants.”

Iris made good use of term break when she took a summer job placement. She worked at a bank in Shanghai last year and learned about the differences between Hong Kong and Shanghai work cultures. The experience helped her define her future career goals, she said.

Professor L K Chan, Dean of FB, said CityU was committed to offering a professional education to the community. “We aim to increase students’ competitiveness by helping them grasp the practical knowledge and skills that the market needs. The achievements of these two students demonstrate that our education approach and our high standards are welcomed by industry. And so we will continue to nurture ideal graduates for society,” Professor Chan said.

Sally and Iris will enjoy a remuneration package in line with the job market. Based on market statistics, graduate trainees in investment banking can expect $30,000 to $50,000 per month.


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