Coming to Hong Kong from the mainland at the age of 12 years, Grace Cheung did not speak a word of English – or Cantonese. But being a hard worker and a fast learner paid off. Years later, she earned a university degree and a job as a financial adviser. In less than four years of being on the job, she has been promoted to vice-president (sales division) for wealth management at Sun Hung Kai Financial. Cheung also mentors mainland exchange students, and has made time to plan the broad strokes of a charity to help the city’s poor.
What inspired you to enter the finance industry?
I graduated in 2007 from the City University of Hong Kong, majoring in a bachelor’s of business administration in marketing. When I was at school, I had no idea what I was going to do after I graduated. In discussions with a university lecturer, I was advised to join the financial field due to my outgoing and cheerful personality. I took his advice and become became a financial planner.
What is your secret to getting promoted quickly?
I ask questions. I jump at any opportunity to learn from experienced staff and my superiors. I understand that widening my social circle is the key to success, so I have tried hard to get to know more people. I attended as many events and seminars as possible by volunteering to help at the events.
As a newbie, many of my clients are more experienced investors than I am, and I have to win their trust. I have to let clients know how much I care about their wealth more than mine and to be very patient in listening to their requests.
I think of myself as a positive person with a can-do spirit. When I first came to Hong Kong, I didn’t know a word of English or Cantonese, but I still made it through the public examinations and graduated from university. Nothing is impossible if you work hard.