William Luk, Head of Partnerships, Mox by Standard Chartered
My career at Standard Chartered started in the International Graduate (IG) Programme as a Financial Markets IG in Hong Kong. As I majored in International Relations, I had not done a banking internship before, and so I was really intrigued by the IG Programme as it offered the opportunity to rotate through different parts of the bank, while – truth be told – giving me time to figure out what I wanted and where I belonged.
Standard Chartered’s International Graduate Programme
My experience as an IG was great. I rotated in several teams including Operations, Risk and Capital Markets before deploying into a role in Corporate Sales in Financial Markets. I truly cherished these rotations, as they allowed me to form a holistic view of how each cogwheel operates within the clockwork that is Standard Chartered.
The IG programme really brings the bank’s international network to life. It’s definitely helpful at work to have batchmates in virtually every department and market, and it’s really rewarding when many of them become your good friends from whom you can learn about new cultures, and with whom you can reunite when your work brings you to their city or at a batchmate’s wedding.
The Group CEO office
Being the Business Planning Manager (BPM) to Bill Winters, our Group CEO, was an incredibly transformative experience – I don’t think there was a day I wasn’t excited to go into work.
I now fully appreciate the breadth and complexity of matters, problems and decisions for which a CEO is responsible. I really enjoyed the fact that I was never bored – constantly learning, always thrown a different task to perform, a different challenge to overcome, across businesses, functions and geography. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Bill is an outstanding boss, mentor and human being in general!
The biggest challenge of the role was holding my own when usually I was the youngest and least experienced in every internal and external meeting, but I quickly learned that age is just a number, experience comes with time, and I can usually make up for them with good work, diligence, maturity and humility. I also realised that I bring a different kind of experience to the table – having come from and worked in the Group’s largest market means that I can interpret, explain and translate cultural nuances; being more junior and having a global IG network also means I hear about issues on the ground that usually get filtered by the time they reach senior management. After a while, I stopped doubting myself and became much more confident in the value I bring.
As it’s not typical for someone to go from financial market sales to become a BPM, let alone at the Group CEO office on the other side of the globe in London, to this day I still wonder how I got so lucky to have had that opportunity. Standard Chartered has always taken a chance on me and I’m grateful that building my career here has given me great perspectives on banking, my career and myself.