Finding a job was not as easy as it seemed …
Alvin is an intellectually curious and motivated Economics and Philosophy student. Like many, Alvin chose his degree out of an interest in learning rather than with a specific career in mind. He spent his early university years exploring what career opportunities might be available through chatting with other students, participating in clubs and societies, and engaging with his professors.
Alvin describes himself as a ‘wide-eyed freshman’ who didn’t think finding a job would be too hard… until it was time to find one. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
“Getting that first internship was already very difficult – that was the first shock to me – I thought I knew what I was doing and I didn’t – I didn’t know what people expected, and there was a lot of experimentation and experience on the go…”
Alvin needed opportunities to find out what he loved
Through cold outreach, Alvin was really excited to secure an investment banking internship in Hong Kong during the summer of his Freshman year. He enjoyed the experience, but still had little insight into other divisions that might suit his skillset or pique his interest… enter the Citi Markets Virtual Experience Program on Forage.
A contact referred Alvin to the Citi program and he immediately saw the opportunity as a no brainer. It was the perfect way to gain insight into a day in the life of a Markets Analyst – bridging the huge gap between what you learn at university and preparing yourself for the world of work:
“I took a look at the modules and they were really interesting to me [e.g. running a Markets morning meeting]… I was able to sit back and have a think: what are they asking me to do, and how can I excel with these modules?… I felt like a lot of it relied on storytelling, and I realised that these are the sort of skills that someone who works as an analyst needs. These are the sorts of tasks that people at Citi are actually doing. It wasn’t abstract, it was concrete things.
… This program on Forage is like having binoculars – you aren’t experiencing the entire environment yet, but you get to peer across and see what it’s like – piecing together what you have read about”.
The program showcased Citi’s great culture and passion for education
After completing the Virtual Experience Program, Alvin was delighted and surprised to be invited to an exclusive networking event with senior members of the Markets team after a Citi team member had reviewed his work. In the session, he was inspired by Citi’s genuine passion for educating and sharing insights about the Markets division with the event attendees. He now felt confident that Markets was the right division for him and that Citi was a progressive and interesting company.
Through his experience, not only was Alvin able to demonstrate his genuine interest in the firm by committing time to the program, but he also feels convinced that the work he put in helped him along the process – particularly in being able to more clearly understand the skills required for the job, and then demonstrate these skills in his application and interview.
“After the Citi program, I knew what skills I needed to focus on – that is what stood out for me in completing it. It helped me to understand what I need to work on and what I might be good at….
It made me really interested in the [Citi Markets] internship program, because I really enjoyed [the virtual experience] and felt I was well aligned with Markets.”
Alvin had applied to a number of other firms – however when he was offered a position at Citi as a 2021 summer analyst – he made the impactful decision to start his career with Citi. He was really happy with the experience he’d had with the bank so far, and felt reassured to be entering his first job with a connection to Citi’s culture. He had practised solid skills to allow him to confidently step in and be work ready on Day 1!
Congratulations Alvin for all your hard work in the program and securing a position with Citi!
Alvin is an incoming Citi Markets Summer Analyst, Bachelor Economics and Philosophy at Brown University
Connect with Alvin on LinkedIn here.
Follow Forage on LinkedIn here.
By Annabel Gurney