I haven’t written in ages, and it’s taken me over a year to write that I’ve since left the Blue Bank. Honestly it wasn’t a particularly difficult decision despite not having any push factor to move. Back in the Blue Bank, I had an amazing team and although I’ve gone through different departments and bosses, I’ve never really had a bad team nor a terrible boss. It was a chill working environment despite having our checklists like mountains around us.
Looking back, after I graduated with my Master’s Degree, I actually did NOT really know what I wanted to do so whenever I talk to interns nowadays who seem so firm and confident on what they’ll do post graduation, I actually look up to them! And because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I let the wind take me. I applied everywhere across different industries BUT within 5km radius of my house because the commute outside of KL CBD area would have tortured me so much. Perhaps much more than the job itself!
I joined RHB as a Management Trainee and at that point, the programme was under the purview of the Chief Strategy Officer – who has also left the bank and went on to become a CEO of a bank in Myanmar – and they only took 5 people on board with me being the only girl. I remember the crazy rounds of interviews… they were so taxing that I almost did not go to the 4th interview but I’m glad I did.
I started off joining the Investor Relations department where I managed to work closely on a day-to-day basis with the Group CFO who was also my official mentor (every MA used to get their own C-suite mentor) throughout my tenure with RHB. But 2 months into my job, RHB announced the potential merger with CIMB and all IR activities were halted.
Then came the exciting part – I was flown to our Bangkok’s office with 24-hour notice and it was a great roller-coaster journey since then with me serving the Bangkok’s office for the next 8 months. I made so many great Thai friends whom I’ll keep to my dying day and although it was a demanding tenure in that office, I cried so much when it ended.
I was then asked to return to KL office for 2 months and I continued to serve the Group Financial Reporting team where I played a part in coming up with the accounts of the entire bank. As we had to do accounts closing, we even got our own rooms to sleep in office – crazy what mid 20s allowed anyone to do even with 3 hours of sleep everyday!! I wish I can turn back time and appreciate my youth more.
In March 2018, I was then flown to our Singapore office and I finally started doing the other side of IR that I had wanted to do – as a sell-side research analyst. I served at the RHB Research Institute Singapore where I covered real estate and consumer stocks listed on the Singapore Exchange working alongside super great colleagues and reputable economists. It may look like a bubble, but I had renewed optimism on Singaporeans (lol) and working with them wasn’t as bad as people tend to generalise them to be!
My mum passed away in October 2018 and I returned to KL since then to be with family and joined the Asset Management office in KL to be a buy-side analyst and remained there until I left the bank. RHBAM was a family. Industry players even labelled us as the “Disneyland” seeing the way we worked.
It was all my luck and privilege.