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HSBC Graduate Scheme - India Review

  • Work/Life Balance

  • Practical Skills Learnt

  • Live Up To Expectations

What department did you working in and where were you based?

Unlike a lot of people studying domestically I am actually from India and worked out there with HSBC for 3 years in their global banking division; more specifically I worked within a team that dealt with portfolio management.

How big was the team were you in?

It was quite interesting, I feel I was quite fortunate to work in a reasonably small team with had some really great benefits. I worked in a team or 6 in India (Bangalore) but worked with another team of 6 individuals in England. So combined the whole team was 12 which was small considering some teams were considerably larger, over 100 people sometimes.

How did working with people based in the UK after your work?

It is obviously good to have communication with colleagues around the world. It did mean that we actually worked unusual hours in India due to the time differences and the need to work at the same time as the UK counterparts. So my normal hours would usual be 12 noon - 9pm. I actually really liked these hours as I am more of a 'morning person' myself so this was something I found a help rather than a hindrance. I generally didn't work much overtime but when I was asked to work weekends rather than being given financial compensation we were rewarded with an extra day's holiday.

You mentioned that worked in portfolio management, what sort of roles did that incorporate and did all your team have the same tasks?

Within portfolio management my area was analytics, that was always my area of strength and previously I had a job within a similar field which meant that this role suited me. I used to perform analysis on identifying risky aspects of a particular portfolio and identifying ways in which clients can reduce risks and maximise returns. Luckily for me when I joined the team it was a newly formed unit of people who had been chosen and they consciously chose different people from varying backgrounds in order to have a very diverse range of skills.

What sort of people were you working with in India?

There were completely different types of people who had strengths in areas I hadn't had much experience in, such as economics to marketing to engineering so it was very diverse. It was great because it enabled me to learn aspects of the job that I wanted to develop. I learnt so much of what I needed for my job from my colleagues rather than from the formal training I received.

Was there anything from your experiences in India that you think differs from perhaps opportunities elsewhere in the world?

One thing is the fact that they had 26 days leave with an additional 8 days holiday, which I think is more than most companies and it was compulsory to take thethe full allocation of holiday every year. I think this was to try and ensure you had a life and work balance. This was something they did pride themselves on and I think was crucial. I personally believe a good balance between work and social life is vital because if I am earning money I would like the opportunity to be able to enjoy spending it.

What would you say to someone looking to gain experience working abroad? What challenges and insights does it provide you with?

I personally found coming from working in India to living in the UK is that there is a big culture difference and getting used to the different people and personalities you meet along the way. I think that getting experienced in a variety of cultures is very helpful and some people deal with it better than others. I have met people in the UK who have come here in order to experience the opportunities that the UK has to offer and intend to transfer what they learn to their domestic economies when they have finished.

I understand you are studying for an MBA here now, did HSBC offer you any way of working in the UK?

Yes they did try and accommodate me as much as they could and I think the only reason I decided to study here is because I have a clear ambition to work with equities and unfortunately the role I was offered in the UK didn't include the aspects I found most desirable.

Was it a very difficult decision to move to the UK away from the country you have lived in? Is it tough being away from your family?

It was obviously a tough decision to move across to the UK however it wasn't difficult so much for family reasons, this is because in India I worked a fair distance from my family anyway so that wasn't so much a factor. However walking away from a job that paid relatively well in India made it difficult to decide however I was determined to come to the UK and achieve what I wanted here.

Are there any advantages to working in India compared to perhaps opportunities elsewhere worldwide?

I think the main benefit is definitely the elimination of one of the hardest barriers when working in a foreigh country, the language! In India speaking English is so common and everybody seems to understand that it can be easier to integrate whereas in other markets it might be more essential that you know another language which can obviously be extremely challenging.

If there is 3 words you would use to describe your experiences at HSBC what would they be?

Maturing, Multi-cultural and Insightful


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