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Interning with Corporate Finance

Interning with Corporate Finance

  • 8 October 2019
  • By Tan Ke Rong
  • 5 mins read

Interning with Corporate Finance

Working within a corporate development team? Assisting a wholesale corporate marketing team? Taking a leave of absence from school to explore corporate finance in a boutique bank? Tan Ke Rong has it all when it comes to internship experiences. To the then economics undergraduate, internships were a semblance of the real working world, an experience that allowed one to test school-taught theories and concepts. Still unsure of his level of interest in the banking industry and competencies in finance roles, Ke Rong embarked on a 4-month internship with OCBC’s corporate finance team.

Summer 2016 for Ke Rong was spent assisting senior analysts and associates with marketing materials creation. Initially, his pre-assigned deliverables revolve around early stage life-cycle work, doing foundational research and preparing pitch books. Overtime, he got involved in mandated transactions and assisted in executing them, from which he gained a more thorough understanding of various businesses and OCBC’s products, operations and processes. Being engaged as a financial advisor to sell a waste management firm would have to be the highlight of this then NUS undergraduate’s internship. Specifically, he was heavily involved in the live transaction and contributed by putting together presentation materials to OCBC’s valued client. Being part of this key important deal was an eye-opening experience for Ke Rong.

Here are the three key things he picked up during the stint:

1) Do not miss the forest for the trees. Look at the big picture, know what are the other relevant opportunities available.

2) Advisory first, sales second. Be client-centric, recommend only what is right and beneficial for them.

3) Never settle for status quo. Aim higher, constantly think of how existing products, presentations and processes can be further refined and improved.

Many know Ke Rong as an internship senpai, who is now a talented year-three analyst in the same corporate finance team. These days, he evaluates deals in mergers and acquisitions as well as in fund raising for both public and private companies. What some are unaware of, is that he had joined another boutique investment firm upon his graduation, prior to re-joining OCBC. Why did he decide to return a year later?

Netflix may have ‘13 reasons why’ but Ke Rong has just one: the people.

Yes, OCBC does have a strong loan franchise, a strong client network and not to mention an awesome work location. The biggest pull and keep factor, however, are his bosses and colleagues. A dedicated manager who has faith in you, invests time to mentor you and even accompanies you to buy an engagement ring for your beloved. Open minded co-workers who believe in the power of teamwork, willingly covers for a colleague who is ill and cares for each other like a family would.

To Ke Rong, an internship is about learning the ropes and absorbing like a sponge. He advises potential interns to start building their personal brand equity early on, to be accountable and take pride in what they do. “It all helps you in deciding on your eventual career path,” Ke Rong concluded.