Please tell us about your role and main responsibilities
I am a Business Analyst with UBS AG. My role is in cross-divisional business management, where we partner business divisions, including Wealth Management, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Corporate and Institutional Banking, and Group Functions to support the implementation of UBS Singapore’s strategy to ensure proper governance and front-to-back oversight of functions that impact the Singapore branch.
How long did you take to secure a job after graduation
I am grateful to be able to secure my current role with UBS almost immediately upon graduating from NTU.
What are some challenges you faced when looking for a job and how did you overcome them?
Pivoting to a sector that is not directly related to my discipline of study. Even though I majored in Civil Engineering, I knew that my passion was in Banking and Finance. It was challenging going up against other candidates vying for the finance roles that I applied for, with many of them coming from a business background and a handful with double degrees in business and accountancy.
The interview process for financial institutions is also very rigorous. I had to take quite a number of psychometric assessments, video-recorded interviews and attend face-to-face interviews with each application. More on how I overcame the challenges below.
How did you land yourself this position?
During my job search, I upgraded my skills by taking online courses offered by Coursera, Bloomberg, CFA Foundation, ADBI and CFI. Doing so not only enhances my general and technical knowledge relevant to the finance sector, I was also better equipped to add value to my employer once I secure the role.
I also sought guidance from the career coaches and consultants at the NTU Career & Attachment Office (CAO). They have enabled me to better understand my strengths and helped me in strengthening my purpose and moving closer towards my career aspirations.
I practised mock interviews and assessments on V-Mock several times to enhance my ability to present and to better connect with my interviewers. It is helpful to record yourself answering various interview questions and have your career coach or consultant critique and provide feedback for improvements from the perspective of a recruiter.
Please share your tips and advice with fellow students who will be looking for jobs or internships soon
To students from a non-finance background: don’t dismiss the banking and finance sector! Banking is a multifaceted business and there are many avenues for graduates from various disciplines to value add to the business as a whole. While there are the usual finance-focused areas such as financial advisory and product underwriting, there are also areas such as business strategy, business management, risk management, regulatory compliance and technology management that welcome graduates from other backgrounds.
Leverage the skills you picked up in university to help you clinch the job. As NTU graduates, we are trained to see problems from a multidisciplinary approach which will help us derive the most optimal outcome for real-world business challenges. We are also trained to solve problems in a structured manner which allows us to break complex problems apart for a more targeted analysis. Real-world business challenges can be complicated but we will be able to innovate, create better solutions and streamline processes by connecting the dots.
Pick up project management skills – this not only means setting milestones to ensure your project stays on track ( good time management), anticipate how potential changes and delays to one process will impact the overall project.
Finally, a general advice: there is no shortcut to achieve your desired outcome. It is through conscious effort invested in the right direction with the right guidance and support that you can become purpose-driven to make the journey towards your goals.
Remember to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, even though the task at hand may seem difficult. Don’t give up and keep striving for excellence in pursuit of your goals and dreams. Know when to seek guidance and help and remember that you are not alone in your journey.