Be proactive and ready to accept new ways of thinking

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 August, 2011, 12:00am


Laura Bao (right), the summer assistant at Citibank's client experience team in country marketing, learned about the bank through the Citibank University banking course offered at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Through her faculty, she applied for an internship.

What is your academic background?

I am pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration degree at HKU.

How do you start your day?

I start my day with a daily huddle with my team. Each morning, we learn something new about our corporate values.

What does your job entail?

Our job is to ensure client satisfaction and improve service quality. I review customer service calls and categorise internal documents.

What challenges have you encountered?

I would say the real business environment is very different from the academic world. Every piece of information that is used needs to be accurate and reliable because the management will make decisions based on such information. All assumptions must be supported with facts.

What have you learned about your chosen career and what are your plans?

I used to think of consumer banking as mainly branch operations. However, with my experience at Citibank, I have gained a deeper understanding of the various departments that are supporting the frontline operations. For my long-term professional plans, I would like to start as a trainee to build up my leadership ability, and take up job roles which involve strategic decision-making.

Any advice for potential interns?

They have to be proactive and prepared to accept new ways of thinking. Every decision they make, right or wrong, would affect the whole organisation. Therefore they have to be detail-oriented and accurate in their work. They need to be one step ahead of their supervisor. They should think from their boss' perspective, and find some areas that they can do better.