Nick Tsou – Returning to his home country after graduating to build his career at Standard Chartered, Taiwan


I returned to Taiwan in 2021 to jumpstart my career in banking after graduating with a Master's degree from Boston College in Massachusetts. Like many with a similar age and background, we’re drawn to Western education, and it’s often the case that our parents have sacrificed greatly to make it happen. After graduation, my course-mates were discussing career direction and where they wanted to go, and I was unsure for a while. I had my options laid out in front of me, and I was absolutely sure of a few things: I wanted to go somewhere that I’d feel comfortable; to a company that I knew would make an impact; and I wanted to work on global projects that would enable me to gain international experience. I was mainly searching for career opportunities within my native region, and Standard Chartered, Taiwan’s opportunities stood out to me.

Aligning with the culture and building a strong career back in my home country

The financial market in Asia is rapidly expanding, which generates rare opportunities to work on exciting projects and trailblazing initiatives that aren’t seen in other global markets. I was immediately attracted to the high status of the Bank and found a role that fitted me well, and I know the Taiwanese market extremely well. Its dynamic and fast-paced nature attracts hundreds, if not thousands of motivated graduates like myself to explore new challenges and experiences at unprecedented rates. Coming back to Taiwan was also an advantageous way for me to grow and fast-track my career, as the opportunities here offer a wealth of knowledge within the global financial markets.

After having studied abroad, I identified the importance of aligning with the culture in the country where you work. Despite thoroughly enjoying my time in the United States, I knew that my unique understanding and insights of my native Taiwan would be an absolute benefit to my career, in terms of communication, and corporate markets, and bring an international understanding back home with me, as they’d be the first steps to building a true and strong international career.

Understanding the Bank’s operations and strategic direction through rotations

Shortly after completing the first series of training on the Graduate Programme, I began my first of many department rotations. Spending time within the various departments of Standard Chartered is an intrinsic part of the Graduate Programme as it helped me understand how each function operates and contributes to the Bank's strategic direction. I was able to get to know my colleagues within the different teams at the Bank, which aided me to develop a network while supporting future cross-function projects. During my rotations, I learned how each department functioned and how each team collaborated to achieve their common goals. I also had access to senior management within each function who provided me with a wealth of knowledge and career advice.

Making an impact

Shortly after my first year with the Bank, I was given the opportunity to work alongside senior management on the launch of a new online equity transaction platform. Working as a part of this project was a great change for me to be able to experience a project flow, from involvement with whole deal flows from frontline to back office – all very important parts of the project and all were absolutely vital for me to become intimately involved with in order to advance my career both short and long term. I also came to understand that projects such as these would be beneficial to me in terms of networking and business relationships, which can only be learned by doing. Having such responsibility after only spending a year with the Bank was challenging, but with the support from my mentor on the project, I was able to excel and make a substantial impact through my work.

The guidance and insights from my mentors helped me make strategic decisions

Throughout the programme, I engaged closely with my mentor whilst they monitored my learning and progress during my rotations. I was able to seek advice and guidance directly from someone with rich experience and knowledge. I was amazed by how accommodating my mentor was, he provided me with his unwavering support and tried his best to gather all the information I needed to succeed in the projects I worked on. His encouragement was a huge source of motivation for me and no question was too small. Working closely with him gave me invaluable insight into the wider impact of the projects I worked on and helped me make strategic business decisions, lead initiatives and manage a team.

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