The key reason I think why my contribution at HSBC is valued is the fact that this firm has a very flat hierarchy, in the sense that whether you’re right at the bottom of the hierarchy or whether you’re right at the top, your view is always listened to. I think this is one organisation where going down the beaten track is not the thing that’s always encouraged. I think a lot of free thinking and new ideas are encouraged all the time. So I chose to join HSBC primarily because of its emerging markets focus and what I’d heard about the culture of the firm and heard that it is a very collegiate culture and one that is very easy for a graduate to grow and develop in. I wouldn’t say that there is a set working day. It’s very varied. It could depend upon whether I’m on a live deal or if I’m in the process of pitching to a client, so it’s very varied, I can’t say that there’s a typical day at M&A.
I’d say the key challenge that I have overcome since joining here is coming from a non-finance background. I did chemical engineering at university, and I guess it was a bit of a steeper learning curve for me to get familiar with just the whole universe of finance. And I think I’ve overcome that by just being very diligent and then asking questions. I think that people at HSBC are very easy to approach, to ask questions and that’s what makes it so good for a graduate to learn.