Clarence Lee Tien Hoe
My company and my job
I work as a Asia Equity Sales person for BNP Paribas. In simple terms, I am a stock broker and the most important part of my role involves helping clients I speak to invest in Asia listed companies. This could come in the form of pitching stock specific ideas across Asia and providing clients with the research of our various analysts to help them come up with a more informed investment decision. We also act as a bridge for companies to raise capital in the form of equity (IPOs etc).
How I got my job
I have to thank Andrea (BNP’s Graduate Recruitment) who still remembered me during my internship with UBS for reaching out on this opportunity. After sending my resume to her, it wasn’t long before I got a call for an interview.
On hindsight, I think what got me the job was my tenacity and hunger for this role (also the attributes I believe is needed to succeed in this role).
The highs and lows
As a grad in my mid-20s, there are very few jobs/roles in today’s world that allows you to speak to C-level executives of companies, learn about their business and speak to your clients about them. I also have access to the best minds in that of our research analysts that is always willing to share their knowledge and work with you on pitching ideas to clients. The intellectual challenge and amount of things you learn on a daily basis are phenomenal.
Of course, this is also a highly stressful job and an industry where competition is extremely intense. You always have to think out of the box and try to continuously improve yourself and deliver to stay relevant – i.e. why should clients speak to you when there are a few dozen other banks providing the same service? To me, that is a double-edged sword and I’d like to think that it actually pushes me harder than it stresses me out.
My happiest moment at work
Getting the results you desire (getting trades on an idea you pitched etc) and appreciated by your clients and internal colleagues/managers for the work you have done.
Training and support
BNP Paribas is a fantastic organization when it comes to giving graduates opportunities. The kind of client access I have is simply unheard of when it comes to someone who just graduated from college. Although that may sound daunting, there is always help available when you need them either from your fellow colleagues, or senior managers.
We start early and typically come in before 7am. While that may sound draconian for some, I get to go home anytime from 6-8pm – giving me more than enough time to spend with my family/love ones/friends. There is no culture of staying till a certain time – as long as you are done, go. I also travel a fair bit - not too much to make me tired, but enough to keep it interesting due to the different people you meet.
Essential skills in my job
Tenacity and hunger.
Always pick the right boss/mentor for your first job. My boss told me that before I accepted the offer, and is the best advice I have heard till date. However prestigious the other firm is does not matter if you are not given good opportunities when you are starting out.