Vicky Lee joined Standard Chartered’s Financial Market Operations team on the internship programme in January 2023. With ambitions to build a career in the financial industry, Vicky is currently in the final year of her degree at Sunway University where she is studying Financial Analysis. Today, Vicky tells us about her experience on the internship programme and how it has benefitted her future career.
What attracted you to join Standard Chartered’s internship programme?
My first experience with Standard Chartered was at a career fair for students. I was greeted by friendly representatives from the Bank who were more than willing to provide me with information about the internship programme as well as their journeys with Standard Chartered. I immediately got a feel for the supportive and diverse culture at the Bank and I instantly knew that I wanted to be a part of an organisation that is so committed to the development of the next generation of bankers. The inclusive nature of the Bank was further exemplified by Nisha, a member of the HR team, who led an exercise in sign language at the career fair. In addition to the positive working culture at Standard Chartered, I was also drawn to the internship programme by the Bank’s global footprint and its rich history that spans over 160 years. I was confident that the learning experience with Standard Chartered would be truly unique and totally different from other organisations - and I was not wrong!
Was working for a large bank what you expected it to be?
When I first joined the programme, I was partway through the final year of my degree. The internship programme was my first professional experience so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was beyond what I had anticipated. Despite the stereotypes associated with large financial institutions, Standard Chartered has a fantastic working culture, friendly employees, a colourful office and a flexible approach to work. The office is designed to promote hybrid working and I was astonished by the attention to detail - beautiful artwork adorns every wall, which in my opinion, truly promotes morale and creativity. I was pleasantly surprised by how Standard Chartered encourages its employees to take breaks and enjoy their surroundings. Although it may seem insignificant, I was genuinely taken aback by the little details that made the office a lovely place to work and it is clear that Standard Chartered is far from a dull and boring organisation.
Tell us something you learned during the programme.
Since joining the internship programme in January 2023, I have developed a well-rounded understanding of how a large bank operates. I learned how intrinsic collaboration is to the success of a bank and how each small team comes together to ensure operations run efficiently and effectively. Each individual plays an important role that contributes to the strategic direction of the Bank. I now know how business as usual operates in my department and I am confident that this knowledge has not only given me a competitive advantage once I have graduated from university but has also accelerated my career growth exponentially.
What has been your most memorable experience so far since joining Standard Chartered?
Each day on the internship programme has exposed me to new experiences, making for countless memorable moments that I will carry with me throughout my entire career. But I would have to say that meeting with the Independent Non-Executive Director (INED) group has been the most notable and memorable experience. Meeting with them was a pleasure for me and I am very grateful that there was a session set up for interns to chat with the group and receive advice from industry leaders. This was a rare opportunity for me to connect with high-level individuals and it definitely benefited my professional network. I learned a lot during this session, it was hugely beneficial to be able to ask questions and understand how the group views the financial world.
Standard Chartered Bank is the ideal setting for an internship and is unquestionably a great place to kick-start your career in finance.
What would you say to someone thinking about applying to Standard Chartered’s internship programme and wondering if it’s the right fit for them?
To determine whether the internship programme is the correct fit for someone, they must give it a try! As Standard Chartered is a trusted global financial institution, interns will benefit from a wide range of exposure. The Bank is a fantastic place to work that supports interns to comfortably explore the culture and the various processes of a large organisation. Every individual that I have met during the internship has been warm, considerate and enthusiastic about their work. Having the opportunity to network with such talented people has been incredibly motivating and I have learned a lot from them.
What do you hope the next steps in your career will be?
Once I have completed the internship, I will go back to university for my final semester to complete my degree. Having thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from my experiences on the internship programme, I hope the next steps in my career are at an organisation with plentiful opportunities to grow and progress, like there is at Standard Chartered.