Phyllis Executive Director/Vice President, Equity Capital Markets Investment Banking Division, Hong Kong
After almost two years here, the term ‘colleague’ has gradually transformed to ‘friend’ and ‘mentor’.
I was an Economics major with a minor in Psychology and Mathematics at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
The Interview Process
During one of the phone interviews, I was asked to predict whether the US stock markets will open up or down in the next 30 minutes. I was rather surprised by the question, since the stock markets are driven by many factors and it is not easy to come up with an answer.
I tried to think through the major factors that affect the markets and quickly came up with a logical answer. In my mind, I went through the macro news and performance of the European and Asian markets overnight, and I also reviewed the performance of the markets in the last few days. It turned out that my prediction was right, but my interviewer later told me that the accuracy of the prediction didn’t matter—he cared more about my thought process.
Getting Started at Goldman Sachs
When I first joined the firm, I was very impressed by how the people in my team helped me get up to speed. My team members were extremely nurturing. Instead of just giving me instructions to follow (which would have been the fastest way to get work done), they patiently spent time with me, going through the backgrounds and rationales of the transactions.
Working in Investment Banking
Working in Equity Capital Markets, I feel like I am at the forefront of the Asian markets. I was involved in several very exciting transactions here in the past year.
I feel like my team and I have made an impact on the transformation of the markets. During two particular transactions, our team has set records in both Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, proving that the Asian equity markets have the capacity to digest large size transactions.
We have also witnessed the transformation of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange from a listing platform mainly for regional companies to a global platform for foreign issuers. I am really excited to be part of these changes.
A friend that I made during my summer internship has influenced the path I have taken at Goldman Sachs. She gave me advice on how to excel as a summer analyst, encouraged me to meet different people within the firm and helped me make the decision to join the group full time after I got my return offer. She has been very helpful to my career here.
My teammates were very mindful of the importance of maintaining work-life balance. Even though everyone works very hard in our team, they respect each other’s outside work interests and hobbies. Since middle school, I have been an orienteer. On weekends, I tried to join the orienteering races in Hong Kong. My team members were very supportive of this.
I have a great mentor who has been guiding me through my career at Goldman Sachs. She is not from my team, but from one that I often work with within the Investment Banking Division. This is good because she can always give me advice from another perspective. Having the right mentor is one of the most important elements for a successful career at Goldman Sachs.
It is always hard to predict the future, but I think that my next year at Goldman Sachs will open up more opportunities for me to develop my professional skills and I can see myself taking up new responsibilities and challenges.
To keep pace with the fast changing markets. One of the biggest challenges is to be able to come up with solutions to meet various financing needs of clients quickly. The ability to learn things quickly, pick up new information and efficiency are essential.
People at Goldman Sachs are nurturing and willing to invest in my professional development. When I first started working at Goldman Sachs, I would use the word “colleague” to define people whom I work with. After almost two years here, the term “colleague” has gradually transformed to “friend" and “mentor".
Outside of Work
I have participated in several Community TeamWorks events, both in Hong Kong and in New York when I was in training. I am always amazed by the program. People take it very seriously and are willing to make time for it, even on weekends.
Last summer, I spent time with some primary students at the Outward Bound leadership program in Sai Kung, in the Hong Kong countryside. Community TeamWorks is something that I look forward to every summer—it takes you out of the hectic work schedule and allows you to make a social impact.