Advice: Christina Ma, Securities Division, Hong Kong
Christina Ma, a managing director in our Securities Division in Hong Kong, is head of Greater China Equity Sales. Christina joined the firm in 2001 and currently is responsible for driving key strategic equity transactions and growth of the firm's client franchise in China.
Christina shares five pieces of advice that she would give her younger self:
1. Take a gamble on yourself. You’ll never know what’s out there until you try something new and take risks. I came to Hong Kong with a backpack and a one-way ticket after college to try to find my career. It was uncomfortable and scary but I believed in myself and the market and it has worked out great. Volunteer for that stretch assignment or big project; even if it doesn't work out the way you think, you will always learn or grow in some way.
2. Look around the corner. When you’re starting off in your career, merely identifying a problem is a job well done. As you grow, you’re expected to not only recognize potential problems but also offer solutions. Look around the corner to anticipate what is ahead.
3. Be the go-to person in your field. I was told early on in my career to focus on a country and a product and to be an expert in both. The time I invested in gaining that knowledge has paid dividends over and over again throughout my career. People value expertise and depth, and they will rely on you for it.
4. Be passionate, not emotional. It is great to be passionate about your job, but you need to moderate that and make sure you don't come across as emotional. Passion fuels success, but too many emotions can denote a lack of control and maturity, which are perceptions that are difficult to unwind.
5. Invest not only in relationships, but also friendships. We are a people business at the end of the day. While you need to get your daily work done, make sure you set aside time to get to know people and build connections with your colleagues. These relationships and friendships will help you when you need support during challenging projects and nourish you when you hit a rough spot.