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CHARLES JEFFS

BNP Paribas Securities Services

Debt Market Services/Market & Financing Services

Graduate

Why do you enjoy your job?

At BNP Paribas, I’ve been very fortunate to work in two very interesting and distinct areas of the bank as my traineeship comprises of two six month rotations, my first with Debt Market Services and my second with Market & Financing Services. Having a rotation has been very valuable for me in helping me learn more about the bank and its products and the wider asset management and financial services industry. Each role involved lots of market and data analysis which I have enjoyed very much given my background in studying numerical and quantitative subjects. I also learnt a great deal from, and enjoyed just as much, my work in supporting the sales teams being involved in all stages of the pitch process and getting the chance to personally interact with clients and other market participants. It taught me about the interpersonal skills needed in maintaining and building client relationships.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

The very steep learning curve when starting off almost from scratch in finance is difficult to overcome quickly, but everything I was learning about and being exposed to was fascinating which made it much easier to absorb new information.

What I also found very daunting was meeting senior managers, clients and industry experts for the first time and on my very first business trip to a Lisbon conference hosted the first team I worked with, Debt Market Services. Having helped my colleagues organise the conference, I was very fortunate and grateful to have also been able to attend the conference with them. Although very frightening at first, it has been the most remarkable and rewarding experience I have had in my job.

How did you get into your job?

I completed a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Chemistry, at the University of Hong Kong. During my studies, I gained several work experience placements at different banks due to my interest in financial services and as a result, it became an industry in which I wished to start my career after my graduation. I came across the Investment20/20 website whilst searching for graduate roles and I found it extremely appealing due to its focus on school leavers and graduates new to the industry and because of the many different interesting roles throughout the asset management industry that were advertised. Investment20/20 has given me an excellent start to my career and has opened up a huge range of new opportunities for me.

What are your future aspirations?

Though I don’t have any concrete plans, Investment20/20 has given me a much better idea of the sort of work and roles I enjoy. I hope to be able to stay at BNP Paribas and I hope further in the future that I may get to experience work in both the buy-side and sell-side.

How would you sum up your Investment20/20 experience?

A unique and invaluable experience which any graduate or school leaver wanting a career in financial services and asset management should definitely consider.

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