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The importance of being creative and focused on clients
Hilda Poon
update on Friday, September 23, 2011

Queena Kwong Ming-wai first joined Citibank as a summer intern in 2009. On the back of this, she was invited to interview for a management associate position. She passed the selection process, which involved a trio of assessments – a numerical reasoning test, business case study, and an individual presentation and panel interview. She tells Wong Yat-hei she hasn’t looked back since. 

What is your academic background?

I graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with a major in hotel and tourism management, minor in Spanish. During my course, I visited Sweden, France, Canada and the mainland on exchanges and internships.   

How do you start your day?

I usually start my day with a hearty breakfast to give me the energy to face the challenges ahead. Then I check emails and prioritise my to-do-list. As teamwork is emphasised at Citibank, I must work closely with my team and other departments throughout the day.   

What does your job entail?

One may think that a job in a bank is all about finance but it is not necessarily true. In my previous job rotation, I was the organiser for various lifestyle events, including the annual horse-racing hospitality event in association with Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup, as well as wine dinners and private shopping nights with prestigious brands. Besides, I also need to prepare business presentations for the management team. I am currently working in business process re-engineering. I assist my supervisor in leading project teams to streamline and improve key processes to enhance customer experience. 

What are the major challenges you have encountered so far?

As my educational background is not finance or banking related, I needed to build up my analytical skills and financial knowledge. My fellow management associate colleagues have been very supportive and I passed all the examinations – both internal and external – with satisfactory results.   

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

Consumer banking is a fast-paced and exciting industry which requires me to respond quickly to market changes. Working at Citibank is challenging and satisfying. My career goal is to become a successful and responsible business leader who can deliver business results as well as contribute to society. 

Any advice for potential interns?

My advice involves the 3Cs. First, be creative – always think outside the box, as new ideas always bring in new business opportunities. At Citibank, we value new thoughts and innovation. Second, think from the client’s perspective and understand their needs. Keep abreast of market trends and be aware of how these might affect consumer behaviour. Finally, have a clear goal – explore your own interest, do not follow others blindly. Set a clear goal then work towards it step by step.

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