What is involved in your role?
Getting in early, before 6.30am. Reading over night news and writing up summaries for the team. I attend the FX Morning meeting, which is chaired by the Global Head of FX Research. I make notes from the morning meeting and summarise these to send out to the team, I also throw in a few personal opinions from time-to-time. During the day working on adhoc tasks to support the desk and longer-term projects for my desk. I spend time at structured HR events and shadowing other desks on the floor. A large proportion of my day as an intern is spent reading news and keeping an eye out on ‘chats’ and breaking news for the team, as they are busy having an extra pair of eyes relaying information to them eases the workload.
What attracted you to your current job?
I enjoyed playing trade simulators in my spare time. I’ve always enjoyed interacting, talking to people and building relationships. The role of a markets salesperson meant being involved in the markets but also interacting with people building relationships. The Markets division truly is a fast paced environment, it constantly challenges its participants due to its ever changing nature.
How did you get the job?
I interned in the summer of 2014 with HSBC in the Global Markets – Sales programme. I spent the first week of the internship in training. Developing our soft and technical skills, whilst bonding with interns both in our division and beyond. The next 9 weeks I spent with the CMB FX Sales desk, as an integrated member of the team, whilst being able to get around the floor meeting other desks and learning. I worked on several projects to help my desk. We had a presentation to deliver at the end of the internship to our business sponsor, desk and HR. During the internship I created an intern trading game for the markets interns to play, several senior members of the markets business agreed to take out the weekly winner for a free lunch. I had the opportunity to truly appreciate what the different roles within the markets division entailed, whilst building relationships with my fellow interns and those currently doing the job I wanted.
What did you study at University?
I read for a BSc in Business at the University of London – Birkbeck College. The course was more qualitative in nature, which challenges the misconception that someone in markets must have a traditional finance or maths background.
What do you enjoy most about working for HSBC?
The people, it was easy to get on with the job whilst being myself. I found that people within the firm and in particular the markets division took a genuine interest in the interns and their colleagues. I enjoyed that as an intern I was treated like a fully functioning member of the team and invited out to social functions by several teams during and after my internship.
Are there opportunities to progress in your career?
Absolutely, there are opportunities in terms of progressing in seniority and across divisions. The opportunity to move to different countries was made clear to me during my assessment centre. HSBC’s strong global foothold in the Emerging/Growth Markets means more progression opportunities will be on offer as those markets mature. The rotational nature of the graduate programme (three rotations - with one being out of discipline in the first 18 months) ensures a broader skill-base and network to progress our careers.
Managing my disability
I was diagnosed after my A levels, with a condition similar to that of Dyspraxia, a motor neurone issue. It's compounded due to certain muscle groups being underdeveloped as a child and it not being picked up and treated at that point.
HSBC are involved in events for students with disabilities and this is where I first met HSBC representatives. It allowed me to get in touch with the relevant people at HSBC during my application process and obtain the appropriate support through reasonable adjustments to create a more level playing field.
During my internship a third party company were brought in to assess how best to support my disability on the job. My disability has been handled discretely. If I need any specific support, it was always taken care of without any issue or delay. HSBC have an active Ability Network, which I look forward to being involved with once I join full time. It is daunting disclosing your disability, but the way HSBC handled it took a massive weight off of my shoulders, meaning I was able to perform to the best of my abilities during my internship.