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Boosting career readiness with internships


Written by
Tan Yu Xuan

BSc Economics and Finance student Yu Xuan reflects on his internship experiences so far and shares some valuable advice for his fellow students.

Hello! I am Yu Xuan. I am a penultimate-year student studying BSc Economics and Finance at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) with the University of London. I initially pursued Aeronautical Engineering at the diploma level but later discovered a passion for finance and investing, prompting me to pursue a degree in the field. 

My academic journey has deepened my understanding of economics and provided me with a theoretical foundation in various financial products. Additionally, my two-year involvement in the SIM Economics Society has allowed me to conduct research and engage with experienced professionals through various events. 

Boosting career readiness with internships 

To me, internships serve several crucial purposes:  

  1. They help to clarify one's true passion; 
  2. They allow a focused approach to building a career portfolio; 
  3. They are vital for levelling the playing field. 

Graduates typically enter the workforce with two to three relevant experiences, underscoring the significance of internships as an essential part of the equation. Recognising the competitiveness of the job market and driven by my curiosity, I proactively sought opportunities to enhance my qualifications from the outset of my university experience. 

Internship experiences

Tan Yu Xuan BNP Parabas

Securities Services Intern at BNP Paribas 

I completed an eight-month internship at BNP Paribas’ Investment Analytics team in 2022. Balancing this internship with full-time studies presented challenges, but the foundational skills acquired in my freshman year significantly contributed to my learning. 

Furthermore, the support from my team was pivotal in fostering my growth. 

In this role, I delved into the quantitative metrics used to assess factors influencing the success or underperformance of the investment funds while preparing performance attribution reports for our clients. This immersive experience reshaped my perception of risk and unveiled the robust framework that holds fund managers accountable for their performance.

Tan Yu Xuan at Goldman Sachs

Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs 

I completed a nine-week internship at Goldman Sachs's  Prime Brokerage Middle Office desk in early 2023. Despite exam preparations, I found myself fully immersed in the fast-paced programme. 

The numerous networking events helped me understand the various teams within the Global Markets division. Additionally, I actively participated in automating the settlements team's pre- matching process and witnessed firsthand the resourcefulness and power of a professional network to overcome challenges. 

This internship, characterised by minimal downtime, provided profound insights into the workings of a top-tier investment bank, the intricacies of client service, and strengthened my determination to pursue a career in the financial markets. 

The key to achieving your goals is to pursue what truly motivates you.

Tan Yu Xuan Bank of Singapore

Portfolio Management Intern at Bank of Singapore (current) 

I took a gap year from studies for this opportunity. It was a steep learning curve due to my lack of experience in managing investments. Fuelled by my inherent curiosity, this role allowed me to explore a range of financial products and uncover connections between various market events. 

I was entrusted to co-manage a sizeable portfolio, where I assisted in conducting weekly reviews of portfolio holdings, analysing research reports, and suggesting actionable trade ideas based on our market outlook. This opportunity in portfolio management has been enlightening and my greatest takeaway was learning how to manage risks effectively. 

I am grateful for these opportunities and look forward to continuing my growth through future internships, completing my final year of studies, and embarking on my career. I strongly believe in lifelong learning and maintaining motivation to expand one's knowledge. 

To my fellow students, I would like to offer three pieces of advice: Follow your passion, seek guidance from experienced individuals in your chosen field, and stay focused on your path. I hope my experiences and advice prove helpful as you navigate your journey. I wish you well.