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2018 Asia Career Trek

From January 15-19, 10 students from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China and 10 students from the school’s Washington, DC campus embarked on the annual Asia Career Trek, a week-long trip to a variety of companies and firms in Shanghai and Hong Kong including Wells Fargo, Deloitte, KPMG, Johnson & Johnson, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Control Risks, Goldman Sachs, and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

During the trek, students had the opportunity to learn about working in industries in Asia ranging from finance and risk management to healthcare. They were welcomed by employees at these companies, many of whom were alumni. Representing different points in their career, the employees shared about their work to give students a better understanding of the businesses they visited.

In their meetings with various practitioners, students learned a great deal about professionalism in the workplace. First, always be prepared. Qualities that companies in Shanghai considered essential include punctuality, professional attire, a clear mind, and demonstrating the knowledge and skills required in your discipline. The importance of these attributes was reiterated to them in their meetings in Hong Kong. During their visit to Control Risks, a member of the company’s senior leadership began the meeting by asking students specific questions about the company, such as the name of the CEO, the location of the company’s headquarters, and the name of the company’s online platform. During the student’s meeting at Natixis, Alumna Trinh Nguyen, a Vice President and Senior Economist at Natixis Hong Kong office, emphasized that the key to a successful presentation was preparedness – practicing repeatedly until you are 100% familiar with your script. “Always go back to the beginning,” she said, “even if you get stuck with your name.”

Most career opportunities introduced on the Asia trek required a global view and mastery of regional studies. This is where the school’s competitive advantage lies. Many of the presenters said that, compared to other students who have just studied an MBA or finance degree, Johns Hopkins SAIS students have a better macroeconomic perspective on what is happening in the global economy because our education is interdisciplinary. Many presenters also suggested that students should make full use of their schools’ resources to build up capabilities required to work in the financial sector in the future.

This post was adapted by a blog post written by students Teng Man ’18 and Kris Rodulfo, MAIS ‘18