Name: Oluwatobi Oyebanji
University: Lancaster University
Host Company: Oriental Harbour Investment Management, Shenzhen
I’ve always had an interest in working in Asia; being home to some of the largest financial hubs in the world and being at the forefront of innovation in almost every sector, the opportunities for growth professionally and personally are limitless. This led me to actively seek out opportunities to break into the market. I applied for the Generation UK programme as it provided me a unique opportunity to become more culturally aware and to step out of my comfort zone, pushing me ahead of peers who traditionally only work in environments that they are already familiar with.
During my time in Shenzhen, I worked as a financial analyst at the hedge fund Oriental Harbour Investment Management. Day-to-day, I was responsible for performing the stock analysis on two major US companies, Tesla and AMD. Researching how these companies operated, their competition, historical stock performance, marketing strategies, potential risks and forecasting cash flow and future stock prices. At the end, I was required to present my findings to upper management, advising them whether to buy, hold or sell depending on whether the firm already had shares or were looking to purchase shares.
As I came from a mathematics background I had never done finance or investment prior to coming to Shenzhen; this meant I had to learn quickly and efficiently in order to do my job to a standard I felt comfortable presenting to others. Added to this, I needed to adapt to Chinese business culture as from the first day I was involved in listening to pitches from various security companies and meeting with clients. I was able to overcome these challenges through the support of my supervisor and colleagues, who were always willing to answer any questions I had and not just taught me about investment, but provided me with material to read in my own time to further my knowledge and enhance my career.
During my time in China I become familiar to with idea of “Guanxi”, a Chinese word meaning connections, the idea in Chinese business is that you only do business with your friends as no one wants to business with someone they’re not friends with. This was very apparent day-to-day as my supervisor would always try and help me out when trying to progress my career, from giving me advice on how to get into the sector to even helping me find other internships and jobs in Asia for next year. As globalisation of the financial sector increases, I believe that it is imperative to have a good understanding of how business works around the world. It is important to be able to understand the differences in culture and business etiquette to stay competitive in the global market.
The highlights of my time in China have to include presenting my first successful stock analysis, experience my first client meeting, traveling around China with other Gen UK interns and exploring and experience Shenzhen.
Through my time at OHIM I have developed a much deeper understanding of investment not just in China but globally and made life long connections with my colleagues who even after leaving China I still keep in touch with. Being in China gave me a crucial insight into the inner workings of the financial sector in Asia, allowing me to learn about and analyse the differences between businesses in the East compared to the West. I believe that applying for Generation UK was one of the best decisions I could have made and has helped me in my aims to develop a successful career in Asia.