When I came back in 2009 — the banking industry is one of Indonesia’s better paid industry. My first job upon graduation was starting out as a specialist management trainee in a bank. Banking gives you a great perspective on how things work and gives you a really good birds eye view on how the financial industry works. Like a proper and professional industry, the basic certifications come in handy but here are some real tips that can really get you the position you want in the finance industry.

The banking landscape is categorized into many different sections — and they are very diverse. There are many roles within a bank that you can play such as marketing, sales, analytics, IT. You can graduate with any sorts of degrees but still find a role to play in a bank. It is THAT big.

If you graduated with a commerce, or economics degree (I majored in Finance and Marketing) — I think starting out in a bank is a splendid choice. It gives you a good knowledge to know what you like and what you dislike before deciding whether you’d like to continue or to move forward your career within that industry.

My last day in the bank

Prior to joining the bank as a full-time hire, I’ve completed 2 banking internships, both overseas. This is really important because it does matter where you’ve previously worked. My first internship was within the Capital Markets department and that is a role which involves selling and structuring properties as products to sell off to the market. My second internship position was within the Risk department, which helped me understand compliance and also gave me something else to talk about during my interview for my first job.

The key to getting a job in the banking industry is to really have a credible reputation. We are so lucky these days because there is an abundance of information available. You can sign up to networking events easily. A good place to start is your respective professional community. I used to ask my marketing lecturer if she knew any good networking events coming up. Learn to speak to as many people as you can because it will not only help you develop public speaking skills, you’ll also learn that these people you meet might jumpstart your career.

The one thing that your employers want to see is that you’re keen to learn — and the best way to do that is really to try out any work experience while still at school. I can’t stress enough how important expanding your learning experience is. Take up any jobs during school term, learn as many different things as possible and find a good mentor if you’re not good at teaching yourself. When I was still at school, I’ve worked at McDonalds, call center, a newspaper agency, packing and administrative work for many companies. Never look down on any opportunities that you are offered and don’t expect offers to be handed to you on a silver platter.

Take ownership of everything you’re given responsibility to. Always give your 100%. The quality of your work is a representation of yourself. If you’re asked to submit something, never submit it late and give excuses. Getting someone who witnesses your work ethics is important. Always ask for a reference letter from the person whom you worked with, it doesn’t even matter if it was a paid work experience!

Most interviews in the bank test out your basic knowledge of the bank, what it does and whether you're a good fit for them. A very frequent question is "What do you know about the bank?". Research about the organisation that you're interviewing at and make sure you know what you're talking about. Don't be lazy and learn about it before your interview. You'll be surprised to find out how many people in reality doesn't even google the company that they're applying for.

In the next few "In Conversation" series, we will share different women in multiple roles across diverse industries. From entrepreneurship, to advertising, to marketing and many more, we hope that this can become a great source of information and inspiration for you.



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