The November 18 seminar, conducted in Cantonese and organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) and Classified Post, was aimed at providing tips to those who are considering a banking career.
Pong cited the example of Andrew Fung Hau-chung to illustrate that one does not need to have an in-depth knowledge of finance before joining the industry.
"Mr Fung is the executive director and head of treasury and investment at Hang Seng Bank. He always has innovative ideas on a range of investment products," Pong said.
"People might think that he studied a finance-related subject at university. However, he actually obtained a bachelor of arts degree in English literature, and had little technical knowledge of finance when he first entered the industry," Pong added.
She said that having a passion for the industry and possessing a positive attitude are far more important than a specific degree.
Pong recalled that some time after she was hired, she learned from her boss that she was chosen for the management trainee post in 2007 because "she showed passion for the industry and convinced the interviewer that she was hungry to learn."
Pong said that regulation of banks has become stricter in Hong Kong, following the Lehman Brothers minibond fiasco.
However, she sees the strengthening of regulations as a good opportunity for the employees in the industry to give deep consideration to what it is that clients really want, and to enhance the professional standard within the industry.
Pong is confident there is still considerable room for the development of the city's banking industry. "As Hong Kong enjoys the unique position of being the offshore renminbi centre, it is set to play a highly important role in the RMB internationalisation process," she said. "Besides, with a population of 1.3 billion, China is undoubtedly a huge market with enormous space for development and exploration. Hence, the market for the banking industry in Hong Kong will never