We recently spoke with Megan Noelle Chew, alumna of the Advanced Master in Financial Techniques, to find out more about her internship experience in London.
Could you introduce yourself?
I recently graduated from ESSEC's Advanced Master in Financial Techniques (Financial Engineering Asia) program, and will be starting the Graduate Program in Barclays' Investment Banking Division (IBD) in London this year. I'm a Singaporean and previously studied Business Management at the Singapore Management University. I speak French, and love animals.
Could you tell us more about your internship experience in London?
It was a very challenging and intense experience as competition was very stiff. Nevertheless, the immersion opportunity was priceless, and I was very blessed to have met many people who were supportive and nurturing.
How was it like living in London?
Integrating was not a problem as London is very refreshingly cosmopolitan. I felt safe, and was lucky to enjoy generally pleasant weather during the summer, which apparently happened to be London's hottest in several years. Food and accommodation is pricey, but overall, the vibrancy of its food markets, pubs and of course, people, made London an enjoyable stay.
What was the most valuable lesson you learnt from your internship experience?
The importance of building meaningful relationships and loving what you do. This entails more than just networking, but to be truly interested in learning from others and getting to know them personally. It is also important to love what you do, as well as the people around you, as the hours can be long, and work, arduous.
Could you share some interview and job application tips for those intending to work in Finance?
Don't try to impress during the interviews. Being technically strong is definitely important, but what's also necessary is to be yourself and to let your personality come through, in how you carry yourself and answer your questions. I personally feel that being composed and showing humility are two important traits that are highly regarded during interviews.
How did your experience in the program help you get to where you are today?
The opportunity to intern overseas taught me independence in a professional environment and inspired me to work hard given the keen competition around me. Today I am more confident of excelling in a foreign workplace and carrying myself well around very senior professionals.
What are your plans in the near future?
My current plans are to learn and contribute optimally to my team in London.