SpringBoard success stories beating the odds

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful”
-Eric Thomas

Hi all, as we head into the festive period round the corner, we wish to share with you recent success stories on our SpringBoard TM platform; some others on our Advanced track are also in the final stages of their interview process.

We are now taking our Mentorship platform to the next level. We just organised our inaugural Research Challenge (stock pitch) competition, where a hiring manager was present to assess the competition and their suitability for his job openings.

We will provide more exciting details when we circulate our year end mailer.

Meanwhile, let our stories inspire you.

Sharon- a young lady – becomes a sell side analyst, from middle office

Sharon comes from a finance background and was working in a compliance and regulatory role. In June, she began the Foundation track mentored by AKY, an equity analyst at a regional institutional broker. He had come from a similar but unrelated background, and possessed a unique set of quantitative skills earned from hard work. She found AKY’s mentoring to be tough but rewarding – among other things, he expected each assignment to be completed weekly, in preparation for what would happen on the job. Her financial model was grilled by AKY many times, and many corrections were made before arriving at a working model. As an extracurricular activity, she felt that it was even more gruelling than studying for the CFA.

As the job market heated up in August, AKY urged her to apply for jobs although she felt she was not prepared, only having recently completed the last assignment in the Foundation track. As luck would have it, she was accepted for a research analyst position on the sell side. Despite her lack of industry experience, the hiring manager was impressed by the level of commitment demonstrated by going for a Springboard mentorship and taking the CFA. Now she wishes she could have spent much more time on her Foundation track assignments!

Ashley- a young lady – made it into investment banking

We met Ashley at CFA Arts appreciation event in 2012Q3 and saw her enthusiasm in trying different things in life. Back then, she was busy preparing to showcase her paintings at her own Art exhibition- an important achievement in her life. She is a very passionate lady: she attended some other financial modelling courses from leading institutions on the street and attended a couple of networking events organised by CFA Singapore and SpringBoard. She went for job interviews regularly, some via referral from private contacts, but somehow just couldn’t receive the offer for one reason or another.

She finally came under SpringBoard Mentorship Programme in July 2013, and under the good guidance of Don, she showed significant progress in her skillset and also polished her interview skills, thanks to interview tips from Don. Her job search picked up momentum in the summer months of 2013. Luck was initially not on her side when she lost in final round of interviews due to language issues-> one PE firm preferred someone fluent in Bahasa Indonesia; another PE firm preferred someone strong with the Chinese language. Nevertheless, she persevered and under strong encouragement from Don and Yoman, she was selected for multiple interviews in various buy-side and sell-side firms.

With lots of perseverance, she finally started in Oct 2013 as an associate in Investment banking unit of a regional bank, and is now having the life of an investment banker. That implies she did career switch within 3 months into our Mentorship Programme. We are all very happy for Ashley and wish her all the best in her new role.

Kevin finally made it into private banking…

Kevin first came to inaugural SpringBoard event in Dec 2009, when Eng Yew and Yoman first launched the Equity Research Program. The selection process was highly competitive, and he failed to make the cut. Back then, he was in the back-office of an insurance company and still struggling with CFA Level 2 exam.

Despite challenges hitting him from all directions – personal, career and failing the CFA exam, he pushed ahead with sheer grit. He took up numerous other courses to polish his skill sets, regularly attended networking events by CFA Singapore and SpringBoard, and eventually cleared all 3 levels of the CFA Program.

In Apr 2013, he signed up for SpringBoard Mentorship Program and was placed in the good hands of Jessie, PE Fund Manager, to learn how to value an IPO company. He learnt well and progressed to Advanced track, doing some outsourced research work for SpringBoard partners – Fund Managers / Analysts in the industry. Despite being perceived as a slow learner, he possessed some special qualities – intellectual curiosity, passion for learning, humility, and impressive determination.

After years of perseverance and with the aid of exceptional Mentors, he finally secured an entry level front office role in a private bank.

This is a perfect example of how one can still do a career switch despite being a slow learner; the X-factors are passion for learning, perseverance and determination!