A day in the life of a Graduate at Standard Chartered, Shanghai


Serena Yu's profile

  • A current Graduate at CCIB, Standard Chartered, Shanghai
  • Master's degree in Finance at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2022)
  • A summer intern at Standard Chartered, Shanghai (2021)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance at Fudan University (2020)

Every day at Standard Chartered is different, but as a Graduate, our days are typically structured to ensure we get the full benefit of the programme. Welcome to a day in my life as a Graduate in the Corporate, Commercial and Institution Banking (CCIB) team at Standard Chartered, Shanghai.

In the final year of my Bachelor's degree, I interned at an investment firm and I loved how banking can empower clients in their operations. I felt a real sense of achievement from the process and was ready to take the next step in my career. I wanted to gain purposeful experience and work on global projects that make an impact, which motivated me to embark on my journey with Standard Chartered, Shanghai after graduating.

My role and responsibilities in the CCIB team

Standard Chartered’s Graduate Programme is a 12-18 month internship that gives graduates the opportunity to rotate within the Bank’s various departments. I joined the programme within the CCIB team and I am responsible for supporting Relationship Managers to conduct client research, prepare pitches and assist with credit analysis. My team supports clients throughout their business journey by offering tailored financial solutions and expert analysis of market cycles. Since starting the Graduate Programme, I have been able to make a real impact and develop my knowledge at an exponential rate through my contributions to real operations such as developing a Business Credit Deal with a brand new client and industry from scratch. Throughout the process of the deal, I had access to industry-leading mentors and credit analysts who helped me to understand Standard Chartered’s risk framework and supported me through my decisions.


A day in the life of Serena Yu

Before work

I always familiarise myself with the industry and market news on my way to the office. During my summer internship with Standard Chartered, I made an effort to understand the habits and techniques that drove my mentor’s success. They stressed the importance of staying up to date with industry-related news, as it is important for any banker to follow market changes and their potential implications for our clients. I have carried this advice from my summer internship into the Graduate Programme and always familiarise myself with the industry and market news on my way to the office.


After getting a cup of coffee and checking my mailbox, I create a prioritised to-do list to ensure I cover every task that requires my attention.


I prepare for an upcoming client visit by conducting preliminary research on the industry and client. After putting the research report together, I consult with senior colleagues and management who have experience with similar clients for their insights and advice. Despite working with unfamiliar industries, I am confident that I can exceed client expectations with the support of my mentors and colleagues at Standard Chartered. Having access to industry leaders has helped me to excel in the Graduate Programme and lay a strong foundation for my future professional life.


Alongside Relationship Managers, I attended a call with a high-profile client from Indonesia regarding funding for a global project. I work closely with the team to support this client by collaborating with international internal teams and coordinating resources to help them seize global opportunities.


Shanghai’s expanding market is a hotbed for talent, which creates an exciting opportunity for graduates to learn from industry leaders. At Standard Chartered, everyone is willing to share and truly wishes for you to succeed. I take advantage of this by having lunch with colleagues from across the business, allowing me to get a well-rounded picture of how the Bank operates and how market changes may impact our products and clients differently. By regularly socialising with individuals within other teams, I have been able to build a network and facilitate future cross-team cooperation.


I have been in the research and discovery process of acquiring a new client with the support of the Relationship Management and Sales teams. Today, I was able to see the true value of my work whilst taking part in a live pitch where we delivered tailored financial solutions based on our research and understanding of the client's business. This project helped me to develop an in-depth perspective of the client acquisition process and gain industry exposure.


I had a call with a Credit Analyst to discuss my contributions to a Business Credit Application (BCA) ahead of submitting it for approval. During the process of preparing BCA’s, there tend to be many rounds of internal discussions with Credit Analysts before it is submitted. This process has been incredibly insightful and has allowed me to learn how to balance risk and reward, which is a must-have skill for any corporate banker.


I attended a learning session with fellow Graduates from across the globe. Group learning sessions are a great opportunity to network with graduates from different countries and I have made lots of friends along the way.


My team lead an internal sharing session to highlight the key risks that we may face in many live cases. Internal training sessions have proved to be a valuable resource during my time as a Graduate as the theories discussed can be directly applied to our current work.


At the end of each work day, I catch up with my rotation manager to share my key takeaways from the day, challenges and expectations. Although he is a very experienced banker, my manager is always willing to listen and give his advice like a friend. These regular talks are always helpful, as he would share career advice as well as his experienced thoughts on the industries and clients we are working with.

Interested in joining us?

If you're looking for a career with purpose and want to work for a bank making a difference, we'd love to hear from you.