Hibah Jamal started at E&P Wealth as an associate in 2019, after previously completing an internship within the E&P Financial Group in 2018. During 2020 when the world and business sector was impacted by COVID-19, Hibah more than proved her adaptability by quickly being able to pivot from working in her new office environment to working from home for several months.
Applying learnings to the real world
Keen to put what she had learnt from her university studies into practice, Hibah takes us through a typical day working in the office as a new graduate.
'I wake up early as I like to fit in a morning workout before work. After a shower and a quick breakfast at home, I catch the train into the city,' she says.
Then once at the office, Hibah will tune in to the 8.00 AM daily morning meeting. She says these meetings are great for getting updated on overnight market news, discussing current trends and insights, and hearing from research analysts.
Hibah says: 'When I first started in the role, it took me a little while to understand all the discussions but then over time it became easier to apply what I’d learnt from my studies to what I was dealing with in a day-to-day sense ― revealing how it’s practical in the real world.'
After the initial morning meeting, Hibah heads back to her desk and starts working on the most critical items for the day. This includes checking any international trades from the night before and responding to emails from clients or the advisers she reports to.
Hibah says: 'Once I’ve completed any urgent tasks on my to-do list, around 9.00 AM I’ll grab a take-away coffee with some other associates at a café near the office.'
'The rest of my day is filled with tasks such as preparing statements of advice, responding to client requests, completing trades and administration work. Advisers talk me through their own tasks so in the future I can eventually begin to take on more work,' she adds.
Hibah says she has recently been given more responsibility in talking to clients and has enjoyed getting to know the clients and their financial situations better, which helps in understanding their portfolios.
Lunchtime comes quickly.
'I occasionally bring lunch from home, otherwise, I’ll grab something from one of the many restaurants nearby. If I eat lunch in the office, I try to make sure that I at least have a quick walk around the block for some fresh air before heading back to work for the afternoon,' she says.
Around 5.30 PM, Hibah will finish her day and might catch up with friends before heading home.
Reflecting on year one
Hibah says: 'I work with two wealth advisers. During the lockdown period, we caught up regularly on the phone, and scheduled Zoom meetings where we made sure to talk about things other than work which was great.'
She says her team of advisers have been supportive in helping her to figure out short- and long- term goals.
'When I worked from home it meant I wasn’t able to listen to and observe others. However, now we’re back in the office I’m excited about the opportunity to catch up on the past year, for example, by attending client meetings. It’s great to be back in the office with the team and I’m excited for what’s ahead,' she adds.
Hibah is currently working towards completing accreditations through the Stockbrokers Association of Australia with some other team members and says this has been useful as the content relates to her day-to-day work. She says balancing full-time work and part-time study can be challenging at times but is ultimately rewarding.
'The work I do each day has helped me to understand so much about finance in general. Being constantly exposed to new people and new ideas is a great way of developing your own way of thinking. And while I work in Private Wealth Management, there’s also plenty of opportunities to get to know people in other areas of the firm – it keeps broadening my outlook.' she says.
What the firm offers
Hibah says: 'There’s the opportunity to get to know other parts of the firm really well as we have regular meetings across the different teams, for example, deep dives with analysts from the Research team. There’s also the support provided by the firm for further study as well as ongoing training and development with senior staff members.'
What tips or advice do you have for future applicants?
'Don’t worry if you don’t know what exactly you want to do – the only way you’ll know is by trying different things and having exposure to different people etc. In my experience, people have always been willing to share their thoughts and advice. Be prepared to consider the study opportunities provided by the firm.
'I would also say, try and engage as much as possible with finance news, through sites such as afr.com.au and investing.com,' she says.