Alvin Fan is an intellectually curious and motivated economics and philosophy graduate of Brown University. 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!
“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…”
Matching Skills With Interests
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 skill set or pique his interest. Enter the Citi Markets job simulation on Forage.
Citi Markets Sales & Trading
Analyze an FOMC meeting and learn how to interpret market movements in this free Citi job simulation.
Avg. Time: 6-7 hours
Skills you’ll build: Research, critical thinking, written communication, summarization
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 he learned at school and preparing himself 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.”
Job Simulations Give Insight Into Company Culture
After completing the job simulation, 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 right for him and that Citi was a progressive and interesting company.
Citi Personal Banking
Learn how to research customer needs and demographics to launch and a new personal credit card to the market.
Avg. Time: 5-6 hours
Skills you’ll build: Fact finding, client communication, Microsoft Excel, data analysis, data extraction, Microsoft PowerPoint
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 throughout 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.”
From Job Simulation to Dream Job
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 practiced solid skills to allow him to confidently step in and be work ready on day one!
Citi Investment Banking
Explore a day in the life of a Citi investment banker by evaluating a prospective acquisition target in this free job simulation.
Avg. Time: 5-6 hours
Skills you’ll build: Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, critical thinking, valuation, financial modeling, forecasting
Congratulations Alvin for all your hard work in the program and securing a position with Citi!
Connect with Alvin on LinkedIn here.
By Annabel Gurney