Recognising My Strengths – Anna’s Story


Finding my skillset  

 I’ve always been drawn to a job that allows me to tackle numerical problems. I’m very mathematically minded and have a solid analytical skillset. Working in financial markets seemed like the right option for me. They are ever-changing and allow you to learn about geopolitical events taking place across the globe.  

I was accepted onto the Standard Chartered internship programme during my penultimate year of university. This was my first step into the world of banking. I wanted to work for Standard Chartered in particular as I feel the company ethos very much aligns with what I believe in. The internship made me realise I was in an environment where I could develop my skillset and learn every day.   

The right job for me   

The three words I would use to describe the bank are welcoming, inspiring and exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed the internship programme and knew that I wanted to secure a full-time job with Standard Chartered. Luckily, I was made an offer by the team, and I now work as an analyst on the eFX trading desk, a role that sits within the Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking function (CCIB).  

My team helps to optimise and manage Standard Chartered’s electronic trading platform. During the London active trading hours, the team monitors the prices that we show and adjusts them accordingly depending on our view of the market and the risk we have at that time. When we are not doing this, we research and optimise our trading algorithms, how we manage risk and how we price clients using a variety of analytical tools and statistics. 

For me, the role is about constantly learning and developing. Throughout the week, I shadow the team and learn how to watch our risk and trade more effectively so that when I am qualified, I can also do this. I learn about the general function of our business and how we operate. 

I spend time with different colleagues on the trading floor to learn more about the business and how it ties together. I also write reports that summarise our performance. This helps me to better understand when we do and don’t do well, and how to improve this. 

Successes and failures 

The thing I love most about my role is the excitement of working through dynamic problems. I am a natural problem-solver, so this is definitely the perfect job for me. It allows me to put my skills into practice and teach others how to do the same. 

Although the job is incredibly rewarding, it doesn’t come without its challenges. This is my first full-time job and I initially struggled to learn such a huge range of skills in a short time. I realised that it takes time to become confident with new abilities, and I try not to be too hard on myself if I don’t pick something up straight away.  

The best advice I’ve ever been given is that you can learn more from people’s failures than from their successes. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get something right the first time. What matters is getting back on your feet and trying again. My advice to anyone else looking for a job in banking is to have more confidence in yourself – often, we don’t realise our own potential and capabilities.