I grew up in Shenzhen, China and attended university in the U.K. This move felt natural to me because I started at an international school that offered a British-style education. Early on, I knew I wanted to work in finance. So, I first studied accounting and finance at the London School of Economics, then went on to a master’s degree in finance at the University of Cambridge.
Interning at several investment banks helped me find the right fit. As an undergraduate, I did two summer internships at investment banks in London. When I graduated, one of them offered me a full-time role. Later on, I decided to return home and build my long-term career in China. I applied to intern with Global Investment Research based in Shanghai, and got accepted to the China real estate team.
I was given the opportunity to explore different areas of finance. When you intern here, you’re encouraged to get to know different roles and find what suits you. I had the chance to speak with people from other divisions and learn more about what they do day to day. The culture here really encourages people to share, and that has helped me grow and inspired me in many different ways.
I joined the firm in the midst of a pandemic. It was quite an interesting time, as I moved from my internship in Shanghai to a full-time role in my hometown of Shenzhen. I was also the first private wealth management analyst at the Shenzhen office. Onboarding remotely was an interesting challenge, and it was several months before I met my colleagues in person. We became adept at communicating through Zoom.
Currently, I’m an analyst in private wealth management (PWM). I gravitated to this role because this is a comprehensive platform. I get to look across all industries and financial markets, including private equities. Then I help communicate the nuances to other people, including our clients. The analysts on my team support the firm’s private wealth advisors across onshore China. When they need data to inform a decision, I’m their go-to person to research a financial market or potential client and give them the highlights of what they need to know.
The best part of my role is getting to work with smart, driven people. The advisors and clients I work with come from diverse backgrounds, and many of them have been doing this for a while. I enjoy learning from their unique perspectives and building relationships. In my role, people need to know they can depend on you. It’s important to be proactive and to take care of every small detail.
When I’m not at work, I like to lift weights and surf. I discovered surfing during the pandemic, when we couldn’t travel abroad. Turns out, there are some fantastic surfing spots not far from the city. At home, I enjoy taking care of my cats. I first adopted a Ragdoll with long fur. Then other people kept giving me more cats, I guess because I’m reliable. Now I have six cats in my house, lounging all over the floor.
Joanna is hired under Beijing Gao Hua Securities Company Limited, Shenzhen Trading Outlet. Gao Hua is a strategic partner of Goldman Sachs.